Building Loyalty Like Gaga
Branding Tips for Real Estate & Multi-Family
I’m excited to share this series of blog posts with you that are focused on building loyalty like Gaga! If you watched the Grammys, you saw Lady Gaga up on stage doing her thing. I thought she was just so inspiring. As I watched her, I kept thinking “This is Perfect,” because it reminded me of a presentation I used to do. And when I was looking at the presentation, I thought, this is so timely for everyone joining us on Sprout.
Just to kind of introduce new people to who we are and what we're talking about, here’s a few things I want to share:
I'm Barbara Savona, CEO of Sprout Marketing. I started Sprout years ago with my best friend, Lauren. I started in property management when I was 19. At first I was a leasing agent, but six months in, my property manager got sick and they put me in the acting role of property manager. It was terrifying. I was so new. I had no idea what I was doing. And I really, really wanted to shine. Becoming a property manager was a total accident for me. It was really just meant to help me while I was going to school to make a little bit of extra money and get a discount on my apartment and it has ended up being a lifelong career. And I think for a lot of you, that's exactly how you got in multi-family.
So...whether you're in multi-family or real estate, or any form of business really, my goal is that today we take some new perspectives on marketing principles and show how we can implement them into everything we're doing. I want all of us as marketers to really learn how we can extract lessons from industry leaders in other sectors. How we can learn from them and incorporate their ideas into our businesses and in our brands. And so let's talk about Lady Gaga and Brand and Loyalty.
So, let’s talk Gaga, shall we?
How has Lady Gaga built loyalty? Why should she even be our teacher today?
Lady Gaga whether you love her or hate her, you cannot deny that over and over again despite the cycles that she's had in her career, the world has gone gaga for Gaga. And on Sunday at the Grammys, we saw it again. The reality is, is this woman who has won nine Grammy awards and 24 Grammy nominations, has built an incredible community. And that’s nothing to laugh at.
The number one thing she's done is build her community. From 5 to 105 year olds, she has got this huge, dedicated fan base. And the way she's done that is through her branding. Her brand is herself. And great branding is not an accident. People think that sometimes it happens by chance. Even now we have in this digital age with things like social media, everything so beautifully curated and people think, oh, this was an overnight success.
Absolutely not. Branding is not an accident. And if it's left to chance, there are those one offs that people become hugely successful. But somebody like Lady Gaga built a career on making herself the brand. When you think of Lady Gaga, you think of an image she has cultivated in our minds over years and years.
For our brands, that means it takes time and it takes planning and action to build a brand that resonates with people.
Whether you're here and you have an apartment community that is the brand, or you are maybe a real estate agent or a personal entrepreneur and you are the brand, the reality is, you still have to craft a branding strategy like Lady Gaga did. And when you think about brand loyalty, people cannot be loyal to a brand that they cannot easily identify. So one of the first rules of branding and marketing regardless of who or what your brand is: you've got to be consistent.
When I log in and I look at your Facebook page and then I jump to your Instagram, and then I get an email from you, whether it's your community or you personally. Does that email feel like the rest of the interactions wherever you're at?
Let's say that you meet me at a presentation and hear me speak very personably and down-to-earth, but after you get an email for me and it’s very rigid and tailored. The two do not come fall in line, right? There's no brand recognition because there's no brand consistency. That's what I want you to think about. And for those of you on that either now or later, go back and look at the different places. Look at your Facebook, look at your Instagram. Ask yourself: do the interactions that I have build a singular brand?
You know when Lady Gaga is about to take the stage because she's not like anybody else. And that's what's so cool. Now the second thing I want y'all to think about is with Lady Gaga just a few years ago, she's hit high-highs and she's hit some low-lows. In fact, there was an article that was printed not too long ago, that said basically “Lady Gaga's Career is Dead.” Nobody is going to ever be interested.
She's had kind of a slew of bad records that didn't sell as good. And what did she do? Well, listen to what Forbes said: “Whoever thought that Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga would scale new heights in 2018 by trading musical styles? Imagine going back in time playing Shallow, right? And Look What You Made Me Do. And making people guess which one was Lady Gaga versus which one was Taylor Swift.”
See, these two girls have completely reinvented themselves as brands and styles. When you build a brand it does not matter if it's not always going to be what you want it to be. As times change, you can evolve with that brand. But when you build that loyalty, your fans will follow.
When Lady Gaga hit a low and people thought it was over, what did she do? She came out swinging with a hit movie, A Star is Born. She made a new partnership, re-shaped how we saw her, all of these things, and completely reinvented herself.
It's not what people expected, but we have learned to expect the unexpected from Lady Gaga because that's what she does. One day she's coming out wearing a meat suit and then the next day she's coming out in this beautiful gown and she's singing with Bradley Cooper.
Look closely at your brand. See if it's in line with who you are. Maybe it’s too rigid and you're not that way in person. Look at your community see if it feels dated. And if it does and you're thinking, “How am I going to keep up with the competition? Everything is boring!” Don’t worry! That is the perfect time to reinvent yourself.
Check out this resource I put out a couple of weeks ago about building out that client journey and it looks at all of those little pieces of your brand and those interactions for building loyalty.
Ask yourself, what is my brand personality? Am I in line with it? What makes my brand stand out from somebody else’s? What do I want my customer experience to look like? Take some time, with the resource above, it will help guide you through this process and help you really refine yourself or community into a Gaga Level Brand in no time.
More tips from Sprout and Lady Gaga in part two of this series! But for now, I’ll leave you with some wise words from Gaga you might be able to use when thinking about your brand, “It’s ok to be confident in yourself!”