I think it’s safe to say that most attendants at the Creativity World Forum are interested to learn more about possibilities to combine their creativity with success. Antwerp based, Australian born Prof. Jamie Anderson is the author of the book “The Fine Art of Success”, was named Management Guru by The Financial Times, was included in a list of the top 25 management thinkers and teaches strategy, innovation and creativity at Antwerp Management School.
Although his field could make you think of dry, spreadsheet based, numbers and cases ridden presentations. Anderson’s presentation revolves around just one case, and a very refreshing one indeed: it’s the emergence and success of Lady Gaga.
Why Lady Gaga? Well, can you think of a person or brand that exploded in just three years time, using technologies and trends so well and elegantly to it’s advantage? Together with her entourage, the House of Gaga, her persona and is built and marketed in the way most suitable in this time. She has a designer in her entourage who helps her create a new image – every five or six weeks, with every new single being released. Compare this to the other cameleon of pop, Madonna, who went for a metamorphosis every two years, on average, once with every new album.
But interesting to all social media (non-)believers, is the way she used social channels to grow her fanbase in the most natural way. Because she started using MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to really connect and be engaged with her fans and followers. Much more than all those who claim to do the same, she creates an intimacy that is honest and really appeals to her following by communicating pure and from the heart, replying to messages often and overall being thankful for her fans’ loyalty.
Social media also allowed her to break free from the bounds of traditional media. Take the conventional 4 minute limit of a song. Did you ever wonder why this limit exists? It stems from the vinyl era when the groove could capture maximum four minutes of length.
Making it happen
It’s essential to understand that creativity is just one of the factors in her success. Vital are also her vision and profound understanding of her ‘customers’ and the industry. And of course even Gaga isn’t perfect, but by leveraging her strengths and addressing her weaknesses her image, persona and product doesn’t have to suffer from this. If you think about it, it seems so brilliant in all it’s simplicity. It’s marketing in it’s purest form, compelling, enchanting even, and in the end -selling. Because the side effect of her intimate approach is that Lady Gaga is a dear friend to millions. And you don’t steal from friends, now do you? No, you actually want to support them and you BUY their music.
I think Anderson did a great job in explaining this case to us, from a management perspective. We can learn a lot from this quirky lady, who turned out a definite game changer, in more than just the music field.