Britney Spears first captured America’s heart as an innocent, adorable youngster on the Mickey Mouse Club, alongside fellow superstars Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.
Before long, she was strutting her stuff as a good-girl-gone-bad in provocative music videos like a young Madonna. After a rocky road of drug abuse, postpartum weight issues, a shaved head and shamefully public court battles, it looks like Britney is back in the spotlight — with a whole new image. The pop star proves that rebranding can be a valuable tool for artists and businesses alike.
The New “Britney Jean”
This year, Britney will soon release her 8th studio album, titled Britney Jean. The songs caught the attention of Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas who booked her for a 100-show residency through 2015. With this album, Spears told fans, “I want to show you a different side of myself.” Her lyrics are more personal and relatable, she says, and the collaborations she’s done along the way have created a more global sound.
As ABC News put it — “In the time of headline-grabbing young artists like ‘Twerking’ Miley Cyrus, Britney is working to stay relevant.” By focusing on her core strengths and reaching outside her comfort zone to incorporate more ideas into her sound, 31-year-old Britney has managed to successfully hang onto the spotlight for a little while longer.
According to a 2008 article titled “The Britney Economy,” the star was responsible for bringing in $400 million for her record company and generating $100 million in sales for her perfume company. Images of her accounted for 20% of the US paparazzi market and spurred tabloid sale increases of 33%. Despite her celebrity media blowout, the UK Guardian reports that the “Britney brand has been re-built, media access carefully controlled; her hair has grown back, her latest album has sold millions, she is back on the Forbes list of the most powerful celebrities, and has won shared custody of her children.”
How Businesses Can Re-brand Like Britney
We feel there are several “right” moves Britney made that restored her good name…
1. She stopped the hemorrhaging. During the worst of times, Britney knew it was time to disappear from sight for a little while. After shaving her head, she checked into a rehab facility and let her dad manage the estate for a while. She stopped driving around with her baby on her lap, she stopped partying with Paris and Lindsey, she stopped vomiting in front of paparazzi, she stopped flashing her genitalia, and she stopped attacking photographers. If a business is suffering from an image problem, it’s best not to continue fighting petty arguments with competitors or angry trolls on social media. You may need to erase the old websites entirely and start rebuilding from scratch.
2. She laid low for a little while. Fans waited a long four years for the release of Blackout in 2007. Even though it boasted a commendable modern and innovative sound, Spears did not heavily promote the album with magazine interviews, talk show appearances or tours. It was a quiet release that piqued people’s interest and managed to sell over 3 million copies worldwide. Likewise, businesses that have been aggressive advertisers in the past may come to realize that these efforts have not, in fact, paid off. It’s possible to build a brand that stands on its own two feet by offering stellar products, expert customer service, helpful content, and a handsome website.
3. She consulted others. Britney didn’t lock herself in a recording studio and go it alone. In recent years, she has worked with Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Will.I.Am, Naughty Boy, William Orbit, The Black-Eyed Peas, Sebastian Ingrosso, Sia Furler, and Madonna — to name a few. These collaborations have helped her push her sound to new levels and keep an edgy sound that audiences can’t get enough of. Businesses can stay fresh by consulting with outside agencies about their image and assembling ideas from their workers about how to best move forward. It’s easy to get boxed into one way of thinking. Those closest to management may be reluctant to express their true thoughts. Experienced branding firms (like Mod Girl Marketing) can provide an objective, yet knowledgeable, opinion that can guide your company to greater success.
4. She returned with a vengeance. Britney’s new albums, music videos, product launches and websites have been explosive. She knew she couldn’t emerge with a watered-down product. She needed to spend time on polishing the perfect product. By the same token, businesses should consult experts and do their image right. It may have been fine to work with a college intern on the old website or have one person trying to do all the social media marketing on top of other duties. This time around, you need a team of dedicated professionals vested fully in the re-branding efforts.
5. She expanded her empire. In addition to music, Britney offers fans fragrances, dolls, apps, video games and clothing. These calculated moves have brought more money to her empire and ensured that she will leave a lasting legacy behind. Businesses that are in a good financial position may consider branching out while re-branding to capture a larger market share — especially if fans are hungry for more.
6. She continues to closely guard her good name. Being a superstar is hard. No matter how many loyal fans you have, there will always be salacious gossiphounds waiting for you to fall again. Britney’s PR people have allegedly furnished radio hosts with dossiers of “current, accurate information” regarding the Britney camp, including notes that Brit will not be lip-synching her upcoming Planet Hollywood performances. Even so, rumors persist. Instead of answering the accusations directly, she lets her PR firm handle these claims directly. As for rumors that she “slimmed down” a chubbier version of herself for one of her new music videos, she decided not to give such a fanciful claim the time of day.
All businesses go through multiple re-branding stages, including hugely successful brands such as Starbucks, Gap, and even Wal-Mart. You don’t need a Britney budget to re-brand like the pros.
Mod Girl Marketing Offers A Full Suite of Business Re-Branding Services
Need to re-brand like Britney? Mod Girl Marketing offers a full suite of business re-branding services, including web design, SEO, PPC advertising, content generation, social media management, local marketing and more! Contact us today to find out how we can help you rebuild your company’s reputation and stake out a more lucrative position online.
Stay tuned for the launch of our new portfolio where we will be displaying some of our most successful re-brands and re-designs. Our clients are loving our re-branding work and we can’t wait to show it off to you! In the meantime, if you feel your company could use a fresh, new look, contact us today!Tags: britney, britney jean, britney spears, business branding, miley cyrus, rebranding, rebranding a company