What Brands Can Learn from Celebrities

From comedians to pop divas who are also brilliant businesspeople, successful celebrities like Louis C. K. and Madonna can teach business owners some surprisingly important lessons about branding. Today we’ll go over what some of the hottest names out there can show us about staying relevant, being passionate, and engaging fans.

When you’re passionate about something, show it!

We’ll never forget that moment when Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch out of sheer exuberance over his new relationship with Katie Holmes. Even though everyone thought it was a little silly, that moment is one that we still think about to this day. Tom wasn’t afraid to show his excitement and share his joy, and you shouldn’t be either. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to let it show. Your customers need to see that you are all in!

Be uniquely yourself

So many celebrities look like one another. Hair extensions, veneered smiles and designer clothes are the norm, but some celebrities stand out from the rest because there’s something distinctive about them. Think of Angelina Jolie’s lips, Lady Gaga’s insane outfits or Cindy Crawford’s mole. They all totally own and play up something that sets them apart. What is unique about your brand that sets you apart from your competition?  Embrace it and emphasize it rather than being a clone!

Reinvent yourself

Nobody can deny that Madonna is the mother of reinvention. Since 1983, she’s been switching it up, keeping her music and her image fresh for her legions of extremely devoted fans. According to Guinness World Records, she’s the best selling female recording artist of all time. We can learn a lot from her as her boundary pushing ways have earned her a place as a cultural icon. Clearly, Madonna is a brilliant businesswoman who has kept herself relevant for decades because she’s not afraid to change with the times. Don’t let your brand become stale! Pay close attention to change and go with it.

Be real, stay in touch with your customers.

Comedian Louis C. K. is an authentic guy for sure. Watching him perform his stand up act feels more like hanging out with a neighbor on a Friday night. He comes across with such authenticity that you can identify with him immediately, and therefore appreciate him all the more. He carries that same spirit of authenticity with him in the way he handles his business. All of his specials are produced independently and directed by him. They are then distributed digitally on C.K.’s website for only $5.00, forgoing both physical and broadcast media. His goal is to build a direct relationship with his audience to deter piracy, and it seems to have worked! His website has earned him over a million dollars!  Other comedians like Jim Gaffigan are starting to release their own specials with a similar business model.

Of course he’s a very talented comedian, but his success in business is due to the way he retains a strong bond with his fans. There’s nobody in the middle mucking up the water and driving up ticket and video prices. Are you interacting with your customers this way?  Do you engage them (in person, on your website or on social media) in a way that’s authentic and lets them know that you understand them and care about them? 

Some of the hottest celebrities of our generation are brilliant marketers. They know how to connect with their audience and build a devoted fan base. There’s certainly no guaranteed path to success and fortune, but we can all benefit a bit from paying attention to those who have made it big. What’s special about them? How did they get there? What lessons can we learn from them?

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