The Branding of a Star

Situation/Background:
Have you tuned into American Idol this season?  If so then you have witnessed the brilliant marketing of an up-and-coming star.  More importantly you have witnessed American Idol sit in the wings watching as this 18-year-old dominants the competition, blows away the judges and personally builds her brands.

I am talking about Angie Miller.

Disclaimer: I haven’t watch “Idol” in a few seasons so there could very well be another who has done something similar.  This is the first time I have witnessed this and it is brilliant!

Strategy:
angie miller twitterIdol is now in its 12th season, spewing out many stars in its reign on reality TV.  You don’t even have to win the season to make it big (Jennifer Hudson); you just have to have the look, talent and connections to make it to the top 10.  If it is meant to be, it will be.  However, besides these top 3 qualities a star needs, there is one more.  That is their unique selling proposition (USP).  We often hear about USPs in marketing – the selling feature that sets your product or service apart from the rest.

As American Idol has become more popular and attracts a larger audience of singers, an artist needs to find that balance between, having the look, skills, personality and ability to “pop” (USP) out from the competition.

The top 10 were announced this past week and there is some serious talent on the stage.  My prediction for top 5 is Amber Holcome, Angie Miller, Candice Glover, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos.  The reason I choose these 5 is because they each have a USP(s) that makes them stand out from the other contestants.  These are qualities that the audience and judges can identify with.

  • Amber Holcome could be the next Whitney Housten; she even sings Whitney’s songs flawlessly.
  • Candice Glover is similar to Mary J Blige with an outstanding vocal range.
  • Devin is very personable, has the diversity factor and a strong voice.
  • Lazaro has the underdog component.  He suffers from a stuttering problem so intense that he cannot speak in complete sentences.  However when he sings it’s like someone has taken over his body.

Implementation /Communication:
You may have noticed I skipped over Angie and there is a reason.  She is the only one with the most unique selling proposition and that is she the complete package.  She writes her own music, plays the piano and doesn’t have an issue deconstructing others’ songs and puts her own spin on them.

angie miller boston globe

In her audition round, Angie sang Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best” with a soulful twist.  As she has progressed through the competition Angie has taken her soulful style, sit-down-at-the-piano-approach and applies it to modern songs that her audience (judges and viewers) will know.

During Hollywood week Angie had a trick up her sleeve.  She made a ballsy move during the knockout rounds.  Right after Angie was picked from the group auditions, Angie sat down at the piano for her solo performance and sang an original song that she had written and composed.

This resulted in a standing ovation from the judges and fellow contestants.  Now, aspiring artists are covering her song and it hasn’t even been recorded yet.  A Google search for “Angie Miller You Set Me Free” comes back with 2,730,000 results, just weeks after it aired on television.

Keith Urban said it this past week, Angie has the complete package; she just needs the contract to put her on her way.  This past week, she sang “Never Gone,” a song written and performed by American Idol Alum, Colton Dixon.  What is ironic about this song is that Dixon performed his original song live on the American Idol tour, something that has been undone up to this point. (Billboard.com)  Looks like Angie is taking a page out of Colton’s book.  By choosing Colton’s song, she pays homage to an Alum who has laid the path to be successful.  An intelligent move on her part by choosing a song and artist that helps her audience visualize her success.

Evaluation:
There are many reasons why Angie is so successful and is going to take this competition.  Here are my top 5.

  1. She is making big moves early and blowing the competition away.
  2. She has her own style; she looks like a pop star, acts like a pop star and her voice is uniquely different from the rest.
  3. She is confident and isn’t afraid to take a risk.
  4. She knows her audience.  Angie consistently presents something different to the judges and the viewing audience.  On numerous occasions the four judges said they would go out and buy that song right now if it were available.
  5. She is a combination of the top 5 I listed above; she doesn’t need to imitate a pop star because she has established her own USP and already is one.  She isn’t as diverse as the other contestants, however she would bring diversity to the last slew of winner to come through – the last female to win Idol was Jordin Sparks in season 6 and the last white female was Carrie Underwood in season 4.  Finally, she could rally Lazaro’s speech impediment with her own hearing loss; she has 40% hearing loss in her left year and 20% in her right ear. (Wikipedia.org, YouTube.com)

There is no doubt Angie will have a music career after this season, winner or not.  She has done a magnificent job laying the groundwork to becoming a star.  Tune into American Idol to watch Angie soar!

File Under:  “A star is born”

Sources:
AmericanIdol.com
American Idol YouTube Audition
American Idol YouTube You Set Me Free
Billboard.com
Wetpaint.com
Wikipedia.org

Image Sources:
Bostonglobe.com
Twitter- AngieAI12

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18 thoughts on “The Branding of a Star

  1. Pingback: Angie Miller is the new Justin Bieber for hairstyles

  2. I believe something else has added some fuel to her rise as well. Her angelic voice and faith go hand-in-hand during at a time of grieving over a slumping economy, weather-related tragedies and mass shootings. I believe there is a growth in faith and church taking place right now and she showed her faith to the world. I think she could actually help lead a charge back into growing congregations. In times of trouble and peril, people return to faith. That’s why it’s disappointing at the same time to see her stylists “sex her up in outfits” so the guys and even judge Niki notices that more than her voice. For crying out loud, she’s 18. Nice story you did on her though. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the comment Brad. I respect your opinion, but I don’t think her stylist is doing a horrible job with her outfits. What is important is that she stays humble and you see that every week. She is so happy to be there and is living her dream.

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  4. I am so proud of Angie. She is so talented and such a lady. She has beauty, style and class. She is the real thing. She doesn’t flaunt it. Congratulations Sweetie. You will go far, you made this all on your own… Sweet, Beautiful, Angie..

  5. Jermaine O: Agree to a certain point. She obviously has remained humble and I’m thankful for that. But why should she have to say “thanks” to the way she walks in heels? She is the complete package and I enjoy her voice and stage presence without caring about her looks, although she is striking. But that’s my point. What’s wrong with being strikingly BUT NATURALLY gorgeous without having to doll up like she was out for the evening on a night on the town? I would enjoy seeing her dress as she normally would, unless she was in concert or on an awards show or something of the sort. Regardless, nice article on what seems to be a beautiful person!!!!!!

  6. Love your article…..much wisdom here. Angela Miller is the real deal….I know her personally, and what you see is what you get. Nothing more to say then that.

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  8. I like this article you wrote about Angie Miller specifically. I used to be a musician and has followed AI since season 1. What transpired me to write in this blog is that I want to share with everyone on my thoughts on Angie. I think the music world is going to witness a truly genuine talented artist in the making. She will be bigger than Taylor Swift or Miley Cirus. If she keeps on writting great material like that mind blowing song ‘You set me free’ than we will definitely witness a great artist coming from AI. She will win more Grammys than Taylor Swift & Kelly Clarkson put together. I can’t wait to get her 1st CD in store. I’m from Singapore.

      • I see your side Brad. Unfortunately for Angie all these comments are being made around her, she isn’t the one talking about her hair, clothes, etc. Seeing images of her before the top 10, she was always a stylish girl. Now she has a stylist at her fingertips, any teenage girls dream. The solution I see to this is if we all stop buying into the media hype about her style and start talking about her voice. And replacing Nicki Minaj as a judge of course.

      • LOL!!! Exactly. “Your legs are giving me all I need tonight.” WHAT? Any way, nice job and I hope she doesn’t get overhyped. I already have 10 of her songs downloaded and made on a home CD. I’d listen to anything she wants to sing!!!!!!

  9. Pingback: Follow Up: Branding of a Star – The Angie Miller Story | PR-defied

  10. Pingback: Angie Miller – In Your Words | PR-defied

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