Dime Dailies: Digital Branding 101 – Gospel According to GaGa

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In an interview aside, Lady Gaga talked about why she “likes Twitter and the Internet so much” (because I’m really good at it, you can be too – and this is The Fame).  If anyone – individual, corporate, person, or persona – needed a Digital Branding 101 primer: look no further – she breathes branding. Below: how you can be as comfortable and in control of social media as a head of the Haushold.

“Part of why Twitter’s so great is because – for me – you can build trust with your fans if you use it for the right reasons. You know, people that argue on Twitter, or use it as a celebrity networking device: it’s boring; it has nothing to do with your fans or your vocational purpose. I use the Internet – I’ve embraced the Internet – in a Pop Cultural kind of way.”

  • First key to effective digital branding: customer service, transparency, loyalty
  • A CEO might say “She’s wearing a bubble dress – bubble. dress. What do ‘little monsters’ have to do with my company?” Simple: customer service. GaGa – like the best brands, and people – is committed first, and foremost, to customer service.
  • While I don’t suggest Warren Buffet twitpic a “For my GEs and my gents” tattoo on his arm (a la this) to boost customer relations, simple conversation, worthwhile updates, and personality don’t hurt.
  • Don’t knock the competition: it’s a waste of timeline. You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him. The social space is transparent and reflective. The content your brand puts out has a mirror effect: it reflects on your brand more than anything else – negative commentary kills the messenger first.
  • Stick to your goal. If the goal is boosting customer loyalty: converse with the customers; if it is brand identity: be transparent and give behind-the-scenes insight; if the goal is to make another brand look worse, re-evaluate your goals.
  • Make it Pop

“I think about what would ‘what would a Pop artist have done in the 70s or the 80s if the Internet was what it is today,’ and they would’ve embraced it. Warhol would’ve – he would’ve done something beyond what I do, and what we all do, with the internet. I could liken it to what Nick Knight does with the Internet because it is so powerful, because it can reach so many people… Even previewing music videos and things.”

  • The medium is the message: be like “social media,” be like the Internet – innovative, progressive, and impactful
  • Andy Warhol is modern branding: brand ideals, brand the abstract, creatively commodify culture, mediate everything, create the citizen-celebrity – advertisers and content creators need to think in that same way, actively construct brands through interaction with the people; then let the consumers’ behaviors and buzz build the brand. Warhol created celebrities out of everybodys; we live in his Pop Mediated world, any company who doesn’t make celebrities out of their constituents is doing it wrong.
  • Innovate the medium and means by which we communicate – keep moving forward. Don’t think outside the box – forget the box existed.

“I can use the television, but the truth is: that the Internet is more powerful. It gives other people the platform to have a voice. You can comment, you can chat with other people about the same video you’re watching. You can make friends on the Internet – safely: safely make friends.”

  • Interactive > Passive: social media is social; it relies on conversation over dictation. As a company, lead conversation and invite discussion. The interactive component means that brands are built organically through reaction and response by the consumer. The customer voice now takes precedence over the company itself – they are your new brand ambassadors. Now, there’s a constant brand shift/development.
  • Brands are constantly shifting veneers, and the identity fluctuates along with customer morale. Keep your customers aware, and involved with the process. As long as you keep to the core identity, the brand will not suffer. A strong business model should never change, regardless of the branded veneer.
  • Partnerships/networks – kids make friends online, why can’t brands? @reply bloggers, outlets, companies, non-profits, people who have engaged with your brand. Expand your real life network to the social space, build a new community online, make friends: safely

“I guess my point is, I think it’s wonderful to embrace that now there’s two windows; like I was saying earlier about how I wish right now there was a window out there looking at the fans, but I know they can all comment online – which is wonderful – and I will read all of your comments.”

  • Key Points: engagement, reassurance, value of the medium
  • Engage with customers. Reassure them that you are online, present, and attentive.

“Embracing the Internet is what a Pop Artist should do. It’s the new era; it’s the way we live. We are wired.”

  • The Internet is a lifeline to the world, and a microphone: plug it in, don’t plug it up.

Watch this space: You make it so hard when it’s all so basic… “Social Media” doesn’t have to be rocket science

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