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Marketing Like Miley: Five Lessons Learned

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 48 hours, you know that Miley Cyrus was a featured performer on the VMA's and performed some unusual material. And while people all over the country - well, actually the world - are questioning her performance (myself included), let's take a moment to look at it solely from an apartment marketing perspective, okay?

1. Miley's like a property that is undergoing renovation. Her old reputation as Hannah Montana, a Walt Disney creation, wasn't about to continue to sell in today's pop music economy. She's outgrown the wig wearing, double life persona who sang such bubble gum pop as "The Hoedown Throwdown" and "Best of Both Worlds". She's got to tear down the clubhouse, throw out the white appliances and put in finishes that will SELL to the audience that buys today's pop music. Much like we are creating apartments that sell to the 25-34 demographic. 

2. The old marketing campaign has to go. Just like many of us are tossing print in lots of markets (and no, this isn't a discussion of print -vs- online), Miley has to create a campaign that makes people TALK. She's gone totally social with her marketing. And her latest performance garnered 4.5 MILLION Twitter mentions, at a rate of 306,100 TWP (Tweets Per Minute). I'd say that's successful, wouldn't you?

3. She's got other people talking about her 'product'. Much like our beloved Resident Referral, Miley's got people talking. I just typed "Miley Cyrus VMA" into Google and received 449,000,000 results. Yes, that's 449 MILLION results.  Sheri Shepherd of ABC's "The View" says that Miley is "going to he**" for her performance. Well, if she is, she's stopping by a lot of banks on her way there. 

4. She's staying true to her new brand. Just as an Equity Residential property has a different brand than a Mom and Pop type community, Miley is staying true to her professional brand. Let's face it - her new CD is entitled "Bangerz". Did we really expect her to come onstage and do something that wasn't pushing the envelope? She's been undergoing renovation in her look, her public appearances and her music, so she really did exactly what we should have expected. She was all for getting people to talk - and she succeeded. She perpetuated her brand and didn't stray.

5. She knows her audience. Would you market a senior property the same way you would market a student housing community? No way...the audiences are completely different. Miley gets this. So, why are so many of us shocked? She did this at the VMA's after all. The VMA's have seen Britney perform with a live snake; seen Gaga arrive in an egg; seen Kanye West completely steal Taylor Swift's "moment" - a video that has had over 21,000,000 views on YouTube. Basically, the VMA's are a great stage for bad behavior. Miley's is simply the latest in a long line of publicity seeking stunts. And the audience - while they may not have loved it - watched it. And has since watched it over and over again in the media. 

Love her, hate her, think she's going to you-know-where - whatever. She marketed herself exactly the way she wanted to. 

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"The quickest way to go out of business is to be romantic about how you make your money." - Gary Vaynerchuk

  Mark Juleen
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Interesting comment from Mr. Vaynerchuck. I'm definitely not romanticizing what she did. I think it's pretty creepy when you look at it strictly as a Mom to two teenagers. But I do stick by my five points. I think she stuck to her brand and...

Interesting comment from Mr. Vaynerchuck. I'm definitely not romanticizing what she did. I think it's pretty creepy when you look at it strictly as a Mom to two teenagers. But I do stick by my five points. I think she stuck to her brand and helped perpetuate who she is. With no disrespect to Mr. Vaynerchuck (and I know you're a big fan), I don't think this is romanticizing in the slightest. Thanks for commenting!

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  Lisa Trosien
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Through his comment I was not suggesting that you were romanticizing what she did. I should have added commentary to it as well. #fail I am supporting your point in saying that she's just rebranding so that she doesn't go out of business. She...

Through his comment I was not suggesting that you were romanticizing what she did. I should have added commentary to it as well. #fail I am supporting your point in saying that she's just rebranding so that she doesn't go out of business. She doesn't care how she makes her money and this proves it. Good for her for taking the risk. It's a must in pop music!

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  Mark Juleen
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Ah, thanks for the clarification!

  Lisa Trosien
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Approve or dis-approve of Miley's performance - the point here is that we are ALL talking about her just like we talked about Madonna and Janet Jackson (their careers were not hurt at all from their performances). That's the point - as Lisa as...

Approve or dis-approve of Miley's performance - the point here is that we are ALL talking about her just like we talked about Madonna and Janet Jackson (their careers were not hurt at all from their performances). That's the point - as Lisa as pointed out! What's the old line...."Any press is better than no press".

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  Tina Cavaco
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Tina, while I still think that there is some bad press out there, I really don't think she did anything that is going to hurt her in the least little bit. I think she's going to continue to raise eyebrows and create headlines...and sell music.

  Lisa Trosien
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Great point! I love your analogies to multi-family housing

  Brittany
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Great points! i love your analogies to the multi-family industry.

  brittany walsh
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Completely agree. Although she made me cringe, she got people talking and I don't think anyone will ever forget it (or look at that foam sports hand the same way).

  Pat Daly
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Yes, I think she's set the foam hand industry back a few years. At least with most adults.

  Lisa Trosien

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