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Branding Secrets You can Learn from American Idol

As American Idol continues to fascinate the American public with over 72 million votes cast last week, now is a great time to think about this TV show not as a singing competition, but as a branding competition – really!

Just as in business, the goal of branding is for prospects to remember you in order to do business you. Or, in this case, the goal is for viewers to remember you in order to vote for you.

If we look back at Season 10, we’ll note that the show is comprised of judges and contestants who have either embraced or rejected these proven branding techniques.

  1. Unique Vocabulary – I thank Randy Jackson for introducing us to the “dog pound” and “dog” as a term of endearment. If you woo Jennifer Lopez, she gets “goosies” meaning goose bumps. And, Steven Tyler gives us outlandish  libs such as “you don’t look a day over fabulous”  or expressions that rhyme with “suck a duck.” Your job? Determine how to speak a language that is unique to you.

  1. Consistency – Both Jacob Lusk and Haley Reinhart fall victim to violating this rule over and over again: they don’t understand their brand DNA and as a result, choose songs from every single different genre. By comparison, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery understand that they are both country singers and stick to it!  

  2. Dress –  Randy will forever appear in his trademarked sweaters and Jlo will continue to show off her fabulous legs. Lauren has embraced the country outfit complete with boots and yet, again, Haley’s outfits are all over the place. She horrified us 4 weeks back with a conservative outfit of skirt and orange blouse that was reminiscent of my “dress for success” days. Yikes!   What are you doing to dress appropriately for your brand?

  1. Can You Be Imitated? – James Durbin was our leather-clad, screaming rocker all the time. As a result, he is easy to imitate and his fellow contestants did just that with even Scotty paying homage to him with a raspy note. Can you be imitated?

Remember that when it comes to branding, every interaction counts: from your voice message to your email to your blog entries to personal encounters. Ensure that they project the same image and you too can be on the road to winning votes and business from your customers!

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