Miley Cyrus – A Proper Step Taken In An Improper Way
The same was expected with Miley Cyrus. Her brand image as a teen and a singer, owing to her most popular Disney TV show Hannah Montana was so really good and consistent for a staggering four seasons. And of course, her mega hit movies and albums all represented the same brand image as she continued to reinforce the family values of the Disney and soon became America’s good girl.
Her brand image continued to prosper, as it entered the merchandise field, apparels and already toys!! Children everywhere loved her and wanted to be like her. She was their role form. With the growing brand image, her net worth continued to increase and surpassed 150 million (celebritynetworth.com)!! These figures further propelled her image. Earning such a fortune at such a young age made many American teens think that already a good girl image can amass such a fortune.
This was yesterday. But, everything has changed now – the little girl has grown up almost suddenly, and that too, at such a speed that it has become really hard for the fans to digest. In fact, her grown up position in real words would be – “she got real raunchy!!”
As a personal branding expert myself, I understand the importance of changing the brand image at a consistent speed. Any person who wants to break the shackles of an age old brand image can certainly do so, but was Miley Cyrus’s approach right?
Cyrus’s recent performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards made her fans go nuts. This can be looked upon as a small gamble that she played to showcase her “wannabe identity.” Looks like it almost worked. In this performance, wearing a flesh toned latex she is seen grinding herself to Robin Thicke and later spanking a huge teddy bear.
After this performance was aired, her young followers have started branding her with a new brand image. This was not already close to the brand image that she was looking for. They branded her as being, “scary” and “embarrassing” on twitter. Cyrus’s use of African-Americans as sloppy signs poured in more and more outrage among many people including celebrities like Will Smith. Brooke Shields, who played Hannah’s mom was surprised by these acts too, and said, “I just want to know who is advising her.”
Her raunchy performance in her new video, “Wrecking Ball” where she is seen straddling a giant wrecking ball with no clothes on – that’s being “more than just naked” – has made many mom’s tell their young daughters, ” do not be a Miley Cyrus anymore”. This might be a total contradiction to what Cyrus might have expected, or, maybe it’s the reality of her true self that she wanted to show.
in any case the reason might be, it is true that the people, who once were Hannah’s fans, are now adults and she has every right to be an adult in addition. But with the kind of image that she is handling, it would have been better if she had a better adviser or a branding expert who could have helped her change.
There are many such stars who have taken this change period on a slower observe and allowed others to help them while they are evolving into a new brand. for example, there is Al Franken who turned into a politician from comedian and there is Kelly Osbourne, who turned into a fact designer and later became a commentator from TV star. There are many more examples of such celebrities. But they went in the right way with a proper guidance and have become successful.
As a branding expert, Cyrus is quite right in trying to change her brand image from being a kid to an adult. But, doing it the right way is more important. She should be thinking on a pro-active basis like, “What kind of impact is it going to have on her current followers? Will this new identity help her career?”
These kinds of issues are important and should be taken into consideration before doing something in a hurry. There is something that separates legends from could-be legends. And, that is, lake of proper guidance. Before its too late, she has to take help from a PROPER branding expert, who can help her in her quest for being one of those legends who will be remembered for a long time to come.
Anyways, cheers to her new records and for being such an intelligent and outrageous performer. But, let’s hope she will be wise soon!