Gaga over Gaga - Lady Gaga - Iconic Pop Singer Superstar - Study

Lady Gaga - Iconic Pop Singer Superstar

Who is Lady Gaga? Why is she so popular?

Just now in her mid-twenties, Lady Gaga has taken the music world by storm with a unique blend of business savvy, interesting hair and wardrobe choices, and a fabulous sound with a "spacey Euro vibe.""? Five years ago, Lady Gaga did not exist. But the individual who is Lady Gaga, Stefani Germanotta, was waitressing and singing in drab and dingy New York clubs. She was ambitious and had bigger goals. After being signed and dropped from one label, Def Jam (turns out that may not have been the best decision by them), she joined forces with a hand-picked core team of creative advisers she called "Haus of Gaga." Behind all that glitz, glamour, and unusual fashion choices is a "case study of what it takes to succeed in the music business today." 

Gaga's impact on the music world in the span of a year has been nothing short of phenomenal. Writing her own material, she's sold more than 10 million albums. Her debut album generated four No. 1 songs. She also topped the digital sales chart in 2009 with 15.3 million tracks sold, most on iTunes. She's had more than 1 billion Web views. Some 3.8 million "Little Monsters"- Gaga's nickname for her fans-follow her on Twitter and she has over 6.4 million "fans" on Facebook. She was the most-Googled  image in 2009. And then in recognition of the fact that she's been deemed worthy of the success she's had, she opened the Grammy's award show in early 2010 with music legend Sir Elton John. She "reigns over a brand that spans music, video, design, and marketing." One advertising executive said, "No other artist commands the kind of attention that Gaga does. If she does something with your brand, it's like bam- million eyeballs." For instance, together with MAC Cosmetics, she created a shade of Viva Glam lipstick that has raised $2.2 million for AIDS awareness --Viva Glam's most successful launch over. What strategies has she used to navigate the turbulent industry and become a star ?

One important component to her success is her savvy awareness of the power of digital media and her exceptional ability to exploit it. "Her persona is built for the online generation." Even though much of Gaga's audience has got her music online legally for free, "being embedded on the Web can pay dividends in exposure and the loyalty of fans." Gaga keeps her Little Monsters engaged with personal musings and real-time thank-yous. 

Another important aspect to Gaga's success is what's called in the music business the 360-degree deal. The major upheaval in the music industry over the last decade led major record companies to look for ways to replace declining revenues. In a 360-degree deal, a label invests more money upfront-on marketing, for example--but in return, gets a piece of merchandise sales, touring revenue, and other earnings artists usually kept for themselves. This arrangement has been wildly successful for Gaga.

Finally, Gaga's persona has been a calculated strategy. "Gaga's allure is that of a misfit run amok in the system, a role that has helped her cut across disparate subcultures, including teens, finicky hipsters and gays." Her look isn't considered shocking like it was say, for instance, when rockers Alice Cooper or Gene Simmons first appeared. It's unique and keeps her audiences eager to see what her next image might be. 

Gaga is determined to not be a niche artist. However, her "now-trendy sound won't last forever." Her ability to remain a music industry mainstay will depend on her ability to evolve.

1. How is strategic management illustrated by this case story?

Strategic management:

Strategic management, as the name suggests involves strategic way of thinking, planning and analysing the organisation needs continuously, in order to achieve the objectives.

Strategic management illustration in this case study:

For any strategic management, the first step involved is, having clear objectives which we want to achieve over a period of time- In this case study the objective is clear, that is to become famous successful artist in the music business.

The second step in strategic management is, to analyse the opportunities in the market- In this scenario, it is evident that till Lady Gaga entered, there was no much use of digital media and very limited access to online platforms. So she succeeded in identifying the current marketing opportunities to reach her goal.

The next step in strategic management after identifying the marketing opportunities is to device a plan to implement the ideas- Lady Gaga and her team crafted a strategic plan of 360 degree deal and the use of digital media to achieve success in music industry and to reach desperate sub cultures.

The fourth step is to implement the plan successfully and monitoring the results- They have successfully implemented the plan by reaching millions of audience through digital platform.

2. How might SWOT analysis be helpful to Lady Gaga as she and her advisors manage her career?

SWOT analysis: 

SWOT analysis is an analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

SWOT analysis is helpful in identifying our own strengths. Once we know our area of strengths, we can focus more on them and implement Strategic plan by elevating strengths.

Identifying and analysing weaknesses is always an important thing. Once we identify the weaknesses then only we can have development plan to overcome them.

The new marketing trends identification and using those opportunities to reach more and more people is the integral part of SWOT analysis.

Identifying the underlying threats beforehand and taking proper measures to use those threats into opportunities always gives competitive advantage.

3. What competitive advantage do you think Lady Gaga is pursuing? How is she exploiting that competitive advantage?

The competitive advantage that Lady Gaga is pursuing:
  • She writes her own songs.
  • She has gained the popularity in desperate subculture including teens, gays and frinchy hipsters.
  • She has a unique way of attracting people through her attire and gain attention of larger crowd.

How Lady Gaga is exploiting the competitive advantage:

Due to the savvy awareness of digital media, Lady Gaga manages to get her music online for free for her audience so that she gets the payments through dividends through web and as well as earns the loyalty of her fans.

4. Do you think Lady Gaga’s success is due to external or internal factors or both? Explain.

Lady Gaga’s success is due to both external or internal factors - the reason is, first of all she was ambitious and has bigger goals. After being signed and dropped from one album, she did not lose her heart and gave up on her dreams but instead worked even more hard to achieve her goals. She also raised funds for the social cause. She evolved as a star by adopting unique fashion.

The external factors 360 degree deal and the use of new marketing strategies like digital media also helped to achieve success in music industry and to reach desperate sub cultures.

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