Positioning a Brand: a Lesson from American Idol
Tuesday night, a bazillion viewers and I were watching American Idol. This was the first “live” episode of the season, which featured the show’s top 12 female vocalists.
Performance after performance, Simon Cowell and the rest of the show’s judges shared with the contestants how they had simply failed to “stand out” among their peers. I was struck especially by the judges’ recommendations.
“You’re trying too hard to mimic Adelle or Duffy.”
“It’s all about song choice. You need to find the right song for you.”
And for me, one of my favorite Simon quotes is always…
“That was just… forgettable.”
The bottom line is, these contestants are trying to position their personal brands in front of millions of viewers. It’s similar to branding a business.
Originality, personality, and individuality matter, whether you’re competing on American Idol, or running an enterprise-class business. Too many of both – Idol contestants and businesses – suffer from the boring, uninspired sameness of “me too” positioning.
When it comes to being original and memorable this year, who are your favorites? Who is the most unique contestant (or brand) in your mind, and why?