The Nation



Hi! Manager: What lies behind Lady Gaga's meteoric success

Panatda Chennavasin

Panatda Chennavasin

Lady Gaga's series of concerts during her "Born This Way Ball" tour in various countries created both craze and controversies. This 26-year-old American pop singer, who was chosen as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine, stirred up a media frenzy in Thailand, not only on her show day - May 25 - but also before and after her concert. Thais who were not among her 48.8 million fans on Facebook or her 20 million Twitter followers, got to know her more and more every day via various types of mass media. I am personally interested in the meteoric success of this pop diva, which is no accident. Masterfully executed marketing strategies have played a crucial role in her instant rise and put her at the top of the game.

Lady Gaga's fantasy costumes are uniquely eye-catching and controversial - not only on stage but every time in public. Have you ever seen her get dressed like ordinary folks? Her clothes, wigs and other accessories always raise people's eyebrows. On May 23, after her private jet arrived in Bangkok, she went out to greet a great number of her fans in showy costumes and overdone makeup as usual without any sign of being fatigued after a long flight. She knows well that the fantasy touch has set her apart from other pop stars. So, it is necessary to keep that magic being associated with her public image all the time.

She realises how powerful the social media is for this generation and effectively utilises them to build a strong fan base. She closely takes control over her own social media accounts with a capable backup team. Her daily tweets enable her to always stay connected with her fans in this digital age. She has named them "little monsters" while calling herself "mother monster" and uses the so-called "monster claw" as a gesture of greeting. Wherever she goes, in the United States or abroad, she is always greeted by those "little monsters" with the "monster claw". It clearly shows that she can successfully create her own culture.

By means of social media, Lady Gaga can easily reach out to her "little monsters", who are her "customers" in the business term, and get to know what they really need. She has an extremely huge customer database all around her. That is why she never stops networking to foster the customer loyalty and enhance their satisfaction.

Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She brilliantly created the strong brand "Lady Gaga" with a distinctive identity. She deeply understands the influence of the brand on her customers and makes use of it to nurture a lasting impression on them. Her great success is a good business case study. It has highlighted the importance of effective marketing strategies in brand awareness and customer relationship management.

It is obvious that Lady Gaga's legendary rise depends heavily on the masterful marketing efforts, particularly differentiation strategies. She knows how vital differentiation is to be ahead of the fierce competition in the crowded marketplace. She has harnessed it professionally - be it product differentiation, image differentiation or communication differentiation.

Her marketing talents have brought her both fame and fortune as she is ranked as one of the most popular artists and one of the top money-makers in the world. Whether you personally like her or not, her meteoric success is a valuable lesson for us as she is not "weird" but exceptionally "wise". She is really a phenomenon of this generation.

Panatda Chennavasin is senior vice president for Corporate Strategies and Corporate Relations of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales as well as the director of Isuzu Motors International Operations (Thailand). Her column is published every third Wednesday of the month.

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