What do the most powerful brands have in common?
They have an army of loyal brand ambassadors willing to spread their message across the world. I read an interesting book a few weeks ago by Mark Hughes (pick up Buzzmarketing from Amazon.com – affiliate link). About half way through, he talks about Britney’s brand.
He takes a whole chapter to dissect Britney’s brand and highlight the things she did right to build a buzz around her brand.
It’s the very definition of branding done right.
Branding 101 From Britney
Hughes uses Britney to demonstrate how to create a buzz, but I’m going to focus on how she established such a great and powerful brand.
First, she was laser focused on her target audience. As Hughes talks about in his book, Britney’s manager (Larry Rudolph) knew exactly who her music would appeal to, and therefore he was completely dialed in about Britney’s competitors and the market environment.
He knew that Britney’s audience wasn’t quite ready for her.
Understanding The Market
Rudolph also understood that the pop genre was getting too crowded. With competition from the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, and Hansen, he knew that there was no room for Britney to start a girl band.
He did however, see another market for a white female solo pop artist. He understood that fewer competition in this segment meant more chance of success for Britney.
Rudolph was first contacted by Britney’s mom in 1995. But because he understood the market and the target audience so well, he knew that Britney wouldn’t make it at that time. It wasn’t until June of 1997 that Rudolph finally had Britney record a demo.
Delivering a Great Product
Rudolph (and Spears) understood that the true key to Britney’s success would be a rock-solid product. That’s why he hired a kick-ass producer in Eric Foster White to shape her voice (the product) into something distinctive and unique.
Which leads us to…
Building A Loyal Fan Base
Britney’s success is all due to the fact that she has an unnervingly loyal fan base. Stephen Gates says:
Britney’s fans go to her [concerts] even though they know they aren’t going to see a real performance…
She has created an army of brand ambassadors. The face that her performances are no longer what they used to be doesn’t make a lick of difference. They are willing to pay just for the experience of interacting with her in a live venue.
That’s when you know you’ve got a powerful brand!
What else do you think makes Britney’s brand so successful? Share your thoughts in the comments!