Susan Hires a Boss

How to brand Susan Boyle

Inc. Magazine posed the question of how to brand Susan Boyle to extend her 15 minutes of fame in to a career.

Interesting – the literary agent thought she should write a book, the big agency people want to get her endorsement deals, the guerilla marketer wants her to do a reality show. Seems everyone instinctively reaches for their most common tricks.

The way I see it, Susan Boyle has a rare opportunity, whether she wins or not. In fact, it might be helped by not winning as it could add to the underdog story.

I’d argue there’s already a story (or brand) there – one that speaks of authenticity, courage and the unexpected. She shouldn’t limit herself by endorsing products; most will only speak to one part of her story and turn her into a parody. Here’s what I would do with her:

  • Your dream is to be a professional singer, not a celebrity. So be that. Record an album of soaring Broadway numbers since that seems to be your bent. Go on tour. Enjoy yourself.
  • Instead of endorsing products, look for companies to sponsor you and your tour. This keeps control of your story in your hands. No one can show you as anything other than exactly what you are that way.
  • Love the new hair (much needed) but beware changing too much. You need to stay Susan Boyle.
  • Beware overdoing it. You had never heard of YouTube before all this happened. To suddenly be all over the social media and internet world backfires if it’s not authentically you. No one wants to follow your PR agency talking about you on Twitter. Over-produced videos on YouTube will feel manipulative. They will want you.


posted on May 24, 2009 under