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The Science & Strategy Behind The New Miley Cyrus


We often classify ‘brands’ as big conglomerates that sell high turnover products to a wide spectrum of audiences, like the Nestlé’s or Samsung’s of this world. We seem to forget that almost anything and everything can be branded – from your blog, to your mother’s cooking, to even you!

Luckily, the big boys over at L.A. and Hollywood know all of this too well and brand their celebrities like you would with any other product; concentrating more on their style and public image than the ‘art’ they create (which helps, because writing songs and making movies is such a drag!).

What better way to express what I mean than by bringing our good friend Miley Cyrus to the stand – a popular teen idol, singer, Disney star and the face of the entire tween generation.

If you look at it as a step-by-step process of growing up, Miley Cyrus has been with us (us being 10 year old girls) every step of the way, like any timeless brand.

From her hit TV series Hannah Montana, where she depicts the common pains of a teenage girl growing up and the unchartered territory of boys, to her songs that solidify her messages and your relationship with her every time you press play on your iPod – nobody understands you like Miley does.

But soon enough, you mature to womanhood and respectfully cut ties with your awkward teenage frame and past fads. However this will not do for Miley, as you act as both cash cow and life support.

So what is a girl to do? REBRAND.

I am not going to get into her current stunts, music videos and family drama because I’m sure you are well aware of it all. What I will get into, however, is the rebranding exercise that IS Miley Cyrus, because it is nothing short of brilliant.

I can only assume this is how the strategic layout for Miley Cyrus’ new public persona would have maybe looked like:

Marketing Objectives:
To establish Miley Cyrus as the newest and hottest pop star
Increase Miley Cyrus merchandise sales by 500%
Increase social media presence by 1000%
Get over 100 million views on her Youtube Channel.

Advertising Objectives:
Appeal to a larger and more mature audience
Create shock value with a ‘love to hate’ approach

Target Audience:
Female Tweens – Middle to upper class – Avid partygoers – Students
Teenage boys – Lower to upper class – Avid Internet users – Students
Dirty old men

Consumer Benefit:
By creating a common enemy who stands as a confusingly weird sex symbol, she will not only bring the masses together by allowing them to share the same views of her shamelessness but also create a strong presence of sexual liberation we all strive to have.

Support:
Twerking abilities
Freakishly long tongue

Consumer Perception:

Before:
“Aw what a sweet girl. She shows my daughter that through hard work and a can do attitude, she can be successful too”

After:
“I think my eyes have contracted AIDS”

Competitive Frame:
Lady Gaga
Rihanna
Selina Gomez
Ke$ha

Tone & Manner:
Mono & questionable

Brand Positioning:
Miley Cyrus is a teenage pop sensation that will fill your cringe quota for the week.

So what came next? SUCCESS.

Since her rebrand, she has managed to collaborate with huge stars like Robin Thicke, Snoop Lion and WizKhalifa, her current single ‘Wrecking Ball’ is her first ever single to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and she was named #1 on the Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood with $120 million.

Miley Cyrus seen as rebranding exercise was a complete triumph; from her raunchy videos to her great online presence as€“ she always left us wanting more. You should never underestimate the public’s love for a good rant, as this blog post is proof enough that she has won.

What proactive steps is your brand making to be talked about?

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