Lady Gaga: Queen of the Self Brand

(As of July 17, 2011)

Facebook: 40, 726, 316 likes

Twitter: 11,696, 933 followers

The numbers speak for themselves. Lady Gaga is more than just a pop icon. She’s a branding genius. Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most powerful women, Gaga has branded herself in the world of Hollywood through her style, her attitude and her success. Although a bit quirky, the young artist is a very smart entertainer. Gaga has leveraged the strength of her image to create a community. She calls her fans “little monsters.” She has also leveraged her power to help put up a fight for gay rights. She is confident in herself and she is determined to reach the top. This is most apparent in her efforts to promote her self-brand.

As defined in the review, “Lady Gaga, Guru,” Gaga has taken the perfect steps to carve her brand into Hollywood. Many marketers can learn from the singer’s actions, as her branding process is identical to the suggested steps in “Reinventing Your Personal Brand,” an article in the Harvard Business Review. If you combine the two lists, you get something like this:

Establish: Lady Gaga knows who she wants to be. She has defined her own role as an eccentric entertainer.

Enhance: Lady Gaga recognizes her strengths. Her image is consistent at every touch point as all successful brands are.  She exploits her image for all that it is worth.

Endorse: Lady Gaga promotes herself consistently in every aspect of business. From her performance to social responsibility, the star has established trust and a strong fan following from the authenticity of her behavior.

Execute: Lady Gaga performs. Meant not to be taken literally, the star successfully carries out her message as a means of establishing relationships with all of her constituents. She comes full circle with her delivery as she maintains these relationships using the tools of social media.

The success of a self-brand does not solely come from a successful promotion. Paired with necessary effective management, brands thrive on consistency, authenticity and perseverance. These values are best supported through social media. As seen with Lady Gaga, a brand can flourish if social media is effectively implemented to promote a consistent message and foster a promising identity. And while social media fosters it, an individual must live it. Just watch Lady Gaga.