Lady Gaga is a good example of successful branding and brand loyalty. I’d go as far as to say she (and/or her PR team) is a branding genius. In a few years she has amassed legions of loyal fans all over the world who adore and defend her. Everything she touches is signature ‘Gaga.’ Here is what she’s doing right:
- Creating an exclusive community: Lady Gaga calls her fans ‘little monsters’ and herself ‘mother monster.’ This creates an exclusive relationship between Gaga and her fans, and a special identity for them to buy into. Lady Gaga also calls herself a misfit who was bullied when she was young, so this community is an accepting place for other misfits.
- Creating a unique experience: If you go to a Lady Gaga concert, you will hear her speak about empowerment, acceptance, and scream for her little monsters to put their paws up (if you’re not familiar with this, it’s where you curl your hands into a monster claw, like this) – this is another exclusive element that unites the community (think of it like a secret handshake).
- Aligning with social causes: Aside from her music and crazy costumes, Lady Gaga is known for being a voice for youth empowerment, LGBTTQ advocacy, and anti-bullying – causes that are important to her little monsters. In 2012 she founded the Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on youth empowerment, self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development.Her message generally promotes acceptance for all.
Lady Gaga has added another element to her well-defined brand: the Born Brave Bus. It does all of the above: creates an exclusive community, a unique experience, and aligns her with complimentary social causes.
According to Rolling Stone, “Opening three hours before every U.S.-based Gaga concert (33 dates in total), the Born Brave compound – a mini-festival available to all youth (ticketholders or not) – is a haven designed to provide community, strength and support for anyone under the age of 25.”
The Born Brave Bus – image from Lady Gaga’s Facebook.
Misty from ClevverMusic took a behind the scenes tour of the bus, and describes it as a tailgate party. Once inside, there are different tents outside of the bus, featuring:
- Interactive kiosk signs letting visitors know what resources are available to them on the bus;
- Lounge chairs and games;
- Info tents for various charities;
- Free food;
- A photo booth.
I think this is a great way to engage youth and have conversations about important issues affecting young people, while generating more buzz for Gaga’s U.S. concert tour. She is going beyond lip service and putting her money where her mouth is when it comes to advocacy, and it reinforces her brand.
I went to a Lady Gaga concert a few years ago, and it was fantastic. I’d love to check out the Born Brave Bus if it comes to Canada someday. If you’re like me and won’t have the chance to visit it anytime soon, follow the #BornBraveBus hashtag to keep up to date.
*Full disclosure – I love Lady Gaga and am a little monster. Paws up!*