The Susan Boyle lesson in Branding

Susan Boyle's lesson to marketers is the lesson of a story. A story that moves the masses. A story of how an overnight sensation can flower from within ordinary folk. Its about the lotus in a marsh.

As Patrick Hanlon states in his book, 'Primal Branding', for a brand to connect there must be a story. The Susan Boyle brand is on its way, riding on a story that has moved millions. Now I don't want to bring in any dissonant notes. But I must quote what Maureen Callahan has to say about us, about our 'collective rejection-embrace-elevation' attitude;

'But there is something disturbing about the collective rejection-embrace-elevation of Susan Boyle. There is the element of self-congratulation in the viral spread of this link around the Web, the idea that we, the secondary viewers, the judges of those who are judging, are far more evolved. There is the clip itself, suspiciously ready-made for online consumption: A 7-minute movie, slick and pithy in its perfect execution of the underdog narrative. (That something like "Rocky" took two hours to tell now seems antediluvian.) There is the classic David vs. Goliath subplot, the primal satisfaction of seeing the bully (Cowell) slain by such a seemingly inferior force. And there is the profound desire for this entire thing to be authentic, which in and of itself suggests that it probably isn't. Not since P.T. Barnum has there been a show business master of the trompe l'oeil like Simon Cowell.'



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