I'm going to assume you know who Lady Gaga is. If for some reason you don't, Let Me Google That For You. We'll wait.
Good. Now that you are aware of who Lady Gaga is, you're wondering, what can my Credit Union learn from her? Should we institute a pant-optional policy? Give out free wigs with each account opened? Of course not. However, Lady Gaga looks at herself as a brand, and since she is one of the more successful brands in recent memory, we can all take a page out of her style book (figurative style book, not literal...I still want you to wear pants). Commence bullet points!
- There's nothing wrong with putting a twist on something familiar.
Lady Gaga was not the first brunette to bleach her hair blonde and walk around in a bra. Actually, I seem to remember this artist from the late 80's who did it and got pretty famous for it (her name was Madonna). There is nothing brand new under the sun. Nothing. However, taking a tried and true method and flipping it, tipping it and ripping it until its something fresh can yield rockstar results.
- Being self-aware is not only ironically cool, its a smart business strategy.
When Lady Gaga first burst on the scene, the were rumors that she had a little something extra in her bikini bottoms (read: people thought she was a man). As her star began to rise, she became the butt of jokes as people conjectured about her sex. Instead of completely ignoring the rumours, she referenced them in some of her songs and eventually made it a non issue. Every product, bank, credit union, financial institution and Toyota Motor Company has problems. Once you identify a problem and take steps to rectify and acknowledge it, you have the advantage of turning a negative into a positive. See: Domino's Pizza, "Oh Yes We Did."
- There's nothing wrong with putting things in pretty packages.
Invest some time into your brand identity and design. Popular maxims notwithstanding, I do judge books by their covers. When I go into a bookstore and I'm looking for something good to read, the cover is the most important thing I see! The way you package and present your product should convey 83% of what your product is about. And yes, I just made that percentage up. If you have a choice between to equals, which would you choose? Boring and bland, or exciting and (in the case of Lady Gaga) pantless?
- Put your all into your brand, 24/7/365.
Back before the fishnets, wigs and Kermit the Frog, Lady Gaga was just Stefani Germonatta, a budding songwriter trying to make it big. Check out this clip of her on an old MTV show called Boiling Points from 2005. She's the brunette who sits down at :16.
Well how about that! No blonde hair, no faux-British accent, and I think her dress is from Wal-Mart. Why is this important? Once she made the decision to become "Lady Gaga," she decided she would live that persona all the time. Lady Gaga has publicly stated that the way she behaves on stage and in public is something that she exercises all the time in her private life as well.
That means that when she wakes up in the morning, the first thing she probably does is don an asymetrical wig and a dress made out of recycled glass. She is that invested in her brand. When you're promoting your service, product or credit union, make sure that everyone is excited about it, unilaterally across the board. Your website, your tellers, even the people who clean the toilets should be all about your credit union.
For bonus points, check out this humorous video, "If Lady Gaga Weren't A Popstar." Its juuuuuuust slightly-almost-NSFW, but very funny, so check it out!
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