Lady Gaga Case Analysis
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, popularly known as Lady Gaga has come up as one of the greatest marketing phenomenon in the entertainment industry in the recent years. From being a support artist on the reunion concert tour of 'New Kids on the Block' back in 2008, she has become the biggest celebrity in a matter of 4 years. The success of the 26 years old pop artist has been a result of the complete packaging and presentation of her talent right from her loud and provocative video songs to her continuous presence on social media.The pop-star has emerged as a brand in herself in the last 4 years.
The early journey of Lady Gaga was indeed a very challenging one with lots of risks and important decision for her and her creative team 'Haus of Gaga'. Her debut album 'The Fame' was released in August 2008 with two sleeper-hit singles, that finally achieved grand success months after its release in early 2009. Immediately after this acquired fame, she plunged into the debut solo concert tour 'The Fame Ball Tour' in March 2009. She had to cancel the co-headlining 'Fame Kills' Tour with Kayne West following his then infamous controversy for his interruption of Taylor Swift's speech at MTV Video Music Awards. This case discusses the strategic marketing choices that the star's manager Troy Carter faced in the sudden wake of events back in 2009.
The early plans for Lady Gaga for the autumn of 2009 was to embark on an extensive co-headlining concert tour "Fame Kills" with the rapper Kayne West. The tour was to support Gaga's upcoming album 'The Fame Monster' along with Kayne's '808s and Heartbreak'. The tour was cancelled after the public outcry for Kayne's interruption of Best Female Video speech by Taylor Swift at MTV's Video Music Awards. Subsequently, Kayne West decided to take a brief career break and Lady Gaga and her creative team were left to decide the next course of action.
Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter and the 'Haus of Gaga' had the following options to go ahead with:
- Continue with the tour as planned Solo
- Continue with the tour but readjust it with much smaller venue choice
- Cancel the tour altogether
- The rising stars of Lady Gaga with recent success of her recent album 'The Fame' after her solo concert tour 'The Fame Ball Tour'
- Critical Appreciation of her eccentric and Fashionista style with the clarity of vocal chords
- Her consistence online presence and personal quality control of all her posts with a huge fan following on social media like twitter, Facebook etc.
- Lady Gaga's previous concert tour experience has been limited to be a supporting artist at concerts and solo tours for club venue
- The fan following though increasing consistently but is still limited and unproven for the success of a grand and expensive concert tour
- The promise of financial gains from the sold-out 20K+ seat arena is tempting and encouraging
- The Online marketing through social media and other online portals is catching up. With the already increasing online fan base of Lady Gaga, the prospects of further marketing and promotion of the concert tour were huge
- Other marketing channels and expanding media promise a greater public reach
- The competition consists of not only the already established star singers but also the budding artists bringing making their debut in the industry
- The revenue from record selling have declined in recent years and thus other revenue generating sources like concert have become even more important
- The debut concert 'Fame Ball Tour' was not profitable and if that followed the financial risks are even higher
From the onset of her career, Lady Gaga had formed her personal creative team 'Haus of Gaga' to take up the responsibility of managing her brand image through definitive marketing strategies. The results have been fruitful so far. Her eccentric and obscure attitude and fashion have constantly kept her in the news. Moreover, the practice of managing her social media accounts personally, she has established herself as a conversationalist among her fans and brought out a sense of direct connection with her fans.
Getting back to our point of discussion, in the given course of events Lady Gaga and her team have multiple options to go for which are discussed below in detail.
Case (A) Continue with the solo grand arena tour alone
Lady Gaga's debut album has already won many accolades and was highly liked by the public and critics. Her efforts and presence has already made an impact on the online and digital media, while her regular appearances as supporting artist at concerts has played its part for her publicity. Considering the above fact and the continuous efforts shown by her creative marketing team, the solo concert tour hold a great potential in terms of Lady Gaga's popularity and brand image as well as financial benefit.
As it is a known fact that higher the potential, higher the risks. The cost involved is huge and is will be very difficult to recover if the concert tickets are not sold-out.
Case (B) Continue with the solo tour but readjust it with much smaller venue choice
The co-headlining tour was originally planned to start from November 2009, which could be replaced by a solo tour readjusted for much smaller venue and smaller costs. Since the costs involved are lower, the risks are also reduced. It will also give a limited and safer exposure to Lady Gaga (with an audience of 8000 approximately) that can be a good experience for her to set her foot in the event industry. This would be a much safer bet.
The other side of the coin tells that though the risk is lower, the financial benefits are also much less pertaining to low ticket prices and smaller size of the auditorium. There is very less time to design and readjust the tour. Also considering the similar 'Fame Ball' tour in the past that did not make much profit, another small tour can meet a similar fate.
Case (C) Cancel the tour altogether
With the risks involved in conducting the tour whether small or big, the tour can be cancelled altogether saving from further losses other than already invested USD 4 million.
The downside of this option is that the time lag caused by the absence of physical presence of Lady Gaga will make it very difficult for her to come back with same vibrance. The tour will be a deciding point in her career.
With all the popularity, honours and accolades, and recognition among the music industry, Lady Gaga has proved herself a promising and rising pop star. After taking all the facts and situation into consideration, going for the solo concert tour could be beneficial for her brand image and popularity as well as profit. Even though the risk is higher, the potential benefits are also very high. The curiosity created by the eccentricity and obscurity of the talented pop-star can be an added spur to take this risk.
Since Lady Gaga has already been to a small solo tour catering small venues, another similar tour may not bring much to her brand image. So given an option to go for either a 20K arena concert tour or a smaller tour with the club like the venue, the former option is one that can actually make any difference to the present popularity of the pop star.