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Who is your 1%? How Brands can take a page from Lady Gaga’s Songbook

I confess – I have been converted to a Lady Gaga fan. And no it was not the platform patriotic shoes or red dagger nails from her Superbowl performance that won me over. She won me over with her business savvy – here’s why.LadyGaga.png

From the time “Just Dance” was released in 2008, I was not sure if Lady Gaga was an original talent or a Madonna knock-off. But she didn’t care about skeptics like me. She spent her time with her emerging fan base – what Jackie Huba, who wrote Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, calls the 1%.

Now Gaga is being invited to pay tribute to David Bowie during the upcoming Grammy Awards. She has clearly done a few things right during her career. Jackie shared examples of Lady Gaga’s business savvy during the recent NRF Women’s Leadership event. Here are a few loyalty examples that consumer brands can use:

  • Focus on the consumers who are “liking” your brand on Facebook, pinning your brand on Pinterest, and more. Cultivate that relationship with emotional connections to the brand and one another. Loyal fan + active community is a force multiplier for a brand.
  • Give your brand fans exclusive access. Find ways to make them feel special. This may be advance shipments of new styles for a shoe designer, taste testing parties for a chocolate brand, or home decorating workshops for a housewares brand. Bottom line: an experience = a memory = a loyal brand fan.
  • Give them something to talk about. In Huba’s book, she recounts how Gaga famously pushed Coty to develop a perfume that became a best selling product. Gaga wanted a perfume that appeared to be black in the bottle and transparent on your skin. She gave consumers something to talk about and she benefited from skyrocketing sales.

So whether you’re a Lady Gaga fan or not, you have to give her credit for her business savvy. And I for one will be watching the Grammys!

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  • It is probably just as well that her "red dagger nails from her Super Bowl performance" didn't do it for you: they were blue.

    I enjoyed her album with Tony Bennett, but what does any of this have to do with SAP solutions?


    • SAP offers software for consumer insights that brands use to increase customer loyalty. Many of these ideas from Lady Gaga could be implemented by marketers using the software. Hope that helps explain what this has to do with SAP solutions!

      • Yes, quite so, Stacy; the point is that it is preferable to see that kind of commentary connecting the topic to SAP actually *in* the blog post, not an afterthought that had to be pried out and tacked on. Some details on her potential use cases for specific SAP tools would also add value.  I suggest reviewing the Rock Star Blogger video for more information on quality blog posts in SCN.

        • I think Stacy's intent - like so many others here on SCN - is to simply tell an interesting story that ties back to SAP in a subtle manner or allows the reader to sometimes make the SAP connection themselves... or to just offer a different perspective on something that might be helpful to others in a less technical manner. I haven't seen the Rock Star Blogger video, but if it is encouraging more folks to be more technical in their storytelling or to mention SAP more directly... that only works in some situations, for specific pieces of content related to event coverage/news, customer stories, demos. For tips on taking a more holistic and authentic approach to blogging/storytelling, I'd recommend checking out The Build A Better Blog series.

          • Tim,

            I see, so it is by intent that readers might or might not be left to our own devices to connect SAP solutions to the trends discussed in the SAP Business Trends space, an intent which makes that space not highly differentiated from the 1,090,00 others returned when I searched for "Business Trends." I had expected a more direct connection to SAP services or solutions on SCN, but thank you for that clarification.  I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

            Now my suggestion to you is, before you comment further on the Rock Star Blogger video, you might want to watch it. I found it interesting and helpful for creating the kind of quality content that is well received on SCN. Hypothetical comments on something yet unseen can be way off base.


          • Hi Gretchen, that is correct. Readers have the freedom to formulate their own takeaways and opinions like any good piece of content should. No need to adjust expectations, we named this space SAP Business Trends for a reason, so that there is no confusion about the type of content readers can consume here.

  • Great story! I felt the same way at first - is she a Madonna imposter? She's definitely taken some inspiration from her but at this point has her own brand and identity. Also, interesting takeaways about how businesses can turn followers into fans. Maybe some good lessons here too for SME's as they figure out new ways to expand their businesses.