Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Your Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga

Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but being a slacker is not one of them. She has propelled herself to stardom. But like most overnight successes, it was through her hard work, determination and some shrewd business tactics that she enjoys that success she has today.

So you think Lady Gaga has nothing to do with your business? Looking at her success, we can glean a few things that we can apply to almost any business.

1) A Product or Service People Want

Her music isn't for everybody, but then neither were the Beatles when they first hit the scene. But, her product, her music, hits the right demographics (that beloved 15-24 crowd - you know, those individuals with free time and spare cash).

How can you apply this? Is your product or service wanted, needed or desired by your target market? Do you even know who your target market is? Learn about your demographics, what their needs are, then deliver a product or service that fills that space.

2) Product/Service Add-ons

Music is a wonderful business for add-ons. Not only do you have the sales for music, for both singles and albums, but, you also have concerts, posters, t-shirts and any number of merchandising opportunities that you can think of. And of course, Lady Gaga has her image on many of those products. I dare say that a reality TV show around Lady Gaga is not out of the question.

How can you apply this? Can you create other add-ons or opportunities around your product or service? How about a membership site around your service? Can you write a book or e-book about how to use your product? Even selling t-shirts or other merchandise with your logo on it can be effective.

3) Raving Fans

What would Lady Gaga be without her "Little Monsters"? Her raving fans that follow her every move and hang on her every word. It is these fans that help her promote and support her work. Having a pet name for them helps endear Lady Gaga to her fans and creates a unique bond with them.

How can you apply this? Do you have raving fans? At the very least, do you have happy customers? If you do, these fans can help promote your product or service and gain you new fans.

4) Communicate 

Lady Gaga is always talking to her Little Monsters through Twitter or Facebook. Updating her fan base on what she is up to and what is going on in her life. Whether it's words of encouragement or announcements about her new single or tour, she keeps them informed and entertained.

How can you apply this? How do you communicate with your fans or customers? Do you even communicate with them? With Google+, Twitter, Facebook, email, blogs, it's easy and inexpensive to keep in touch with your fans and have them keep in touch with you. If you don't already use them, get yourself a Google+, Twitter and Facebook accounts and learn how to use them. Each has advantages and disadvantages and should be used differently depending on your message.

5) Win-Win Partnerships

Her partnership with Amazon on her latest single was very lucrative for both Lady Gaga and Amazon. Not only did Lady Gaga undoubtedly pick up new fans from offering her single at $0.99 on the day it was releases, but Amazon gained new users of it's Amazon Cloud Player and MP3 service. A definite win-win for both partners.

How can you apply this? Can you create win-win partnerships with other businesses? Even if you just share marketing material, you gain access to that business' clientele and they gain access to yours. A definite win-win for both of you.

6) Be Seen Everywhere

Not only can you hear Lady Gaga's music everywhere on the radio and on commercials, but you can see her in music videos, appearances on TV Talk Shows, Award Ceremonies, you name it. It's getting so that you can't change the channel and not see Lady Gaga. This helps her to promote her brand, her image and her music.

How can this apply to you? Marketing your product can be tricky. You don't know when, where or how someone is going to notice or find you. So it's beneficial to have your name, message and product in as many venues as possible. At a minimum, you should be marketing and communicating on the web, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. How about print ads? TV or radio ads? Use them all if it makes sense and it is within your budget.

Regardless of what your business is, we can always learn what other businesses and people are doing to promote themselves, their products or services. Why reinvent the wheel? Discover what the successful people are doing and adapt it to your products or services. 

Who knows, with your new found success, you could be rubbing elbows with Lady Gaga.

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