Justin Bieber is making headlines again with his recent haircut, a cute new ‘do that I happen to think says a lot about the crossroads Bieber is facing in his career – and the longevity of his brand.
Depending on how you look at it (for all you Beliebers and non Beliebers alike), Bieber had either a not-so-great week or a pretty awesome week last week. There was the Grammy’s snub, the Rolling Stone’s controversy and the New York Times article, that according to E! Online, “practically predicted his obituary.”
Personally, I think the haircut was a great career move. Bieber is back in the news and he didn’t have to resort to sex tape making, pole dancing or drunk driving! And… word on the street is that his recently-released movie, Never Say Never is a true delight. (This just in from my 70 year-old mother and my 8 year-old daughter: “We went to see it to see how bad it was, but now we love him! It’s the most inspirational movie we’ve ever seen!”)
Now. What the heck does this have to do with you and your brand? A lot. Right now things may be humming along with your latest product launch or ad campaign, but even the best companies eventually face a few blips and start to lose their mojo. The buzz simply begins to peter out. When this happens, you can either choose to make a lot of noise and generate a lot of hits with a sex-tape type of brand strategy move, or you can pull a Bieber and simply get a haircut. He even turned it into a positive PR spin by donating his locks to charity!
Any recent controversy aside, the message that's still stuck in my mind (and I'm willing to bet is still in the minds of millions of fans) is that Bieber’s message is 80 percent squeaky clean. He sings pop music. He's a kid. He's got a whole lifetime ahead of him that he can fill with silly love songs, so I just don't think the jury is out yet. Perhaps most importantly, his ultimate propaganda vehicle at the moment, Never Say Never, focuses entirely on his back story. This is what I truly believe (Belieb) is his most powerful tool. Yours too. The best way to connect with fans of any kind is to reach them at a deep emotional level and to pull at the heartstrings a little bit. A compelling back story or archetype can work wonders for a brand's longevity and one could even argue that without one, you don't really have a brand. Bieber’s is all about overcoming obstacles and unleashing the hero within.