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Was Kelly Clarkson's Tour 'Too Much Too Soon'?

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Poor Kelly Clarkson. First she fired her manager. Then she cancelled her summer tour due to poor ticket sales. Now, her new CD has been leaked before its launch date. So, what does this have to do with marketing?

Maybe Kelly's quick rise to the top means that she hasn't enough brand awareness to sell out a large concert venue. As she said, "touring is just too much too soon."
American Idol serves as an instant rise to fame for some singers, so much so, that they miss out on the slow build of fans and support that other performers gain during the years between starvation and fame and fortune. Plus, they're instantly thrown into the limelight with all the ensuing attention - it must be a huge life transition, almost overnight.
In the marketing world, products that rise to the top that quickly can often take a plummeting fall after peaking. But those that earn the consumers' trust over a period of time can gain customer and brand loyalty. A slow and steady build can mean long-term success.
Artists may likely dream of being an overnight sensation, but in reality, maybe it's not such a good thing. Keeping up with the hype without the history and fan base can be a good reason why Kelly has her setbacks today.
Where are the fad items like Tickle-Me-Elmo, pet rocks, Rubik's Cubes and the Hula Hoops today? Maybe you can still find them, but their peak came and went a long time ago.
What do you think? Do you think that brands need to be nurtured and built up over time, or can they succeed with an instant climb to popularity? Got any examples?

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A Canadian who relocated to the U.S., Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of SOLUTIONS Marketing & Consulting LLC, a boutique marketing and communications agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona. During her career, Elaine has worked for, and with, many organizations, associations, and businesses, across North America, on marketing strategy and communications tactics.

From her earlier agency career assignments freelance copywriting Procter & Gamble, Nestlé Carnation, and Kraft materials, to “inside” senior-level marketing positions, Elaine’s passion for marketing has evolved to helping clients reach new heights through strategic brand-building, integrated marketing communications, and customer orientation.

She has been a contributing writer for The Business Journal and her articles have appeared in many publications, including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Marketing News, The Arizona Republic, Advancing Philanthropy, and several association publications. She has been interviewed by CNN, Connect Magazine, and The Capitol Times, and her content was included in Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits by Jay Conrad Levinson, Frank Adkins, and Chris Forbes. Nonprofit Consulting Essentials by Penelope Cagney. and Share of Mind, Share of Heart by Sybil F. Stershic.

Elaine is a Faculty Associate at the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation and a professional member of the National Speakers Association – she does keynotes and presentations on business and nonprofit marketing, branding, customer orientation, and cause marketing at conferences and meetings.

Elaine’s career has also included stints as a cookbook author, teacher, singer, and television show host. A golf and tennis enthusiast, Elaine is enjoying life in the sunny Sonoran Desert while serving clients across North America.

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  • by Cam Beck Thu Jun 21, 2007 via blog

    Elaine - To my understanding of what defines a "brand," it is unlikely they will be established overnight. This doesn't mean startup companies can't do right by their customers, being remarkable, etc., IMMEDIATELY, but to really get the penetration necessary for the rest of the world to say "That company has a strong brand," it needs to show a longer track record of fulfilling its promises.

  • by Elaine Fogel Fri Jun 22, 2007 via blog

    Thanks, Cam. What do you make of fad products in the marketplace - the ones that become overnight sensations and then fizzle?

  • by Paul Barsch Mon Jun 25, 2007 via blog

    I think this debacle was an instance of "artist" vs "experts", er handlers. Seems like there was a lot of sniping and little give and take. A more collaborative relationship might have improved the final product. That said, I think it's too early to tell whether this particular album will be a flop. Let's revisit in a couple of years.

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