Tuesday, September 18, 2012

American Idol: Personal Brand Builder?

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We all know about American Idol, the television show. But what about American Idol, personal branding professionals?

According to Forbes, “Idol is a perfect example of an integrated brand platform that’s based on building strong emotional connections with its audience.” When a lot of people think of American Idol, they simply think of the television show as a brand itself. But what about the smaller brands that they produce during the making of the show?

The show is about talented singers trying to break their way into the entertainment business, for sure. One thing that I find interesting is the fact that we, over the course of the show, really get to know the contestants. We get to know their likes, where their from, their idols, and most importantly, what their “entertainment personalities” would be.

Take for instance one of the most powerful personalities that emerged from the show: Carrie Underwood. Although she dates all the way back to season 4 of American Idol, we all remember her presence as she reigned on the show: bubbly, Christian-raised, blonde, and country. As she got further into the competition, we started to learn more about her, and we started to root for her more. Now she is a country superstar. However, her image and her personal brand started developing when she appeared on American Idol.

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The show has a way of branding itself by being THE brander of new musical personalities. We get to know the singers. We laugh with them and we cry with them. We feel as if we get to truly know them over the course of the season. And, by the time they exit the show, we felt connected to them. This circles back to American Idol’s brand, making them seem as dream makers. The Forbes article that I read speaks solely of how American Idol is a lesson in branding; however, I can see brand extension within the show since it creating smaller, personal brands in their singers.

American Idol was the first “dream maker” show of its kind. Other shows like The X Factor, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent soon emerged. They, like American Idol, brand themselves as “dream makers” by showing the world unknown talents and uniquely branding them as the show goes on.

We can learn a very important lesson from American Idol: brands create other brands, which create other brands.  Simplified, American Idol created Carrie Underwood. Carrie Underwood created Carrie Underwood products, such as albums, posters, t-shirts, etc.

Kellogg on Branding says: “Brands are assets” (pg 91). American Idol’s brand helps them recruit new talent, and their new talent’s personal brand is unleashed in the process. Thanks to American Idol, Carrie Underwood went from this:



To this:

Sources: http://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2012/05/24/american-idol-a-lesson-in-branding/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCzunGIp1NY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HYyPOtjVc

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