It’s impossible to miss the phenomenon called Lady Gaga.
I don’t follow the latest pop culture, but the other day I was driving past the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco and saw a line of young people lined up in front and round the block and then some more and wondered what was going on. A small sign displayed the name Lady Gaga which didn’t strike a chord, so I went on with my day, but over the next few days I just couldn’t escape the lady. She was on radio, on the Grammy award show, on YouTube, basically everywhere one looked, there she was.
It got me thinking about how modern pop culture has evolved into something that can go from unknown to known in a day or even a few hours. When you really get to the bottom of it, Lady Gaga and her marketing machine belong to the generation that they’re serving and that’s what makes them so successful. They are in tune with their listeners, their positioning is unique and their message resonates with their target audience.
In many ways, we in the business world and especially in the car dealership world exist in a different time and space. Some things are changed forever; the Internet has become the market place for autos, and even though cars are not sold on the Internet yet, customers are most likely to encounter their next car on the Internet and then email or call for more information. The demographics are changing and it’s the Lady Gaga generation that will be our customers tomorrow. It therefore becomes an important business lesson to learn from the lady and teach ourselves a new way to market, communicate and sell.
So here goes: Tailor your message to resonate with your audience. When Lady Gaga sings about a bad romance, its not Romeo & Juliet stuff, its gritty, bad boy love. The young audience get it, she talks about their life experience, hopes and desires. We need to do the same in business. Let’s think for a moment – Is price the only thing our customers care about today, do people shop purely on that? Is it convenience? Is it safety? Is it service? Do your communications speak to your audience in the same way the lady speaks to hers?
Positioning. This is the next lesson to be learnt. Lady Gaga is clearly the darling of pop. She’s found a place right in the center – Not Hip Hop, Not Rock, Not Country, Not Ballad, Not Jazz; she has her own unique positioning. Her audience is the Hanna Montana crowd growing up. I would even go so far as to call her an aspirational brand.
Dealers need to create their own unique positioning in the market place. Many dealers have done it in the past and have been wildly successful. Be unique and your message should be what your target audience resonates to.
Accessorize. Have you ever seen Lady Gaga and her outfits? Truly unique, edgy and amazing. She is wearing art. Dealers need to start selling accessories on cars. They are cool, customers want them and they are highly profitable.
Be everywhere. Make it easy to be located. Be where your audience is. Lady Gaga had a gazillion hits to her YouTube listings. You need to spread the message and spend some money doing it right. Pay Per Click advertising is as blasé as vanilla ice cream, move on to using new media to market. And spend some time along with the money you are spending. Attention to detail and commitment to your cause is the key.
Take a little risk. Lady Gaga pushes the envelope and challenges her audience to keep up with her. You do just a little bit, but venture out with a unique message and unique positioning and you’ll get the attention of the customers.
Here’s to the Lady.