Brilliant self-promotion … or egotism?

I find this whole personal branding thing that’s hot right now very interesting.  With all the social media and visibility outlets available, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, etc., one came spend so time branding, that there’s no time for anything else.  It’s not uncommon for twenty-five year old kids to have 500 Facebook friends and 5000 Twitter followers.  And aside from time, this exposure costs them nothing.  Now whether they do anything with it … another story.

Back when I was twenty-five, twenty-five years ago (interesting how that calculated), there wasn’t any social media.  What are you going to get your name out there … put a poster of your mug on a telephone pole on the way to the local party destination?  The best you could hope for is your friends wrote your number down on a piece of paper and hung next to the their home phone on the wall.  Now a wall is a Facebook homepage.

This brings me to the point of this post. The last year, I’ve been delving into the current music scene.  Through Alex, my daughter (age twenty), I’ve received a crash course.

Eminem

One thing I’ve noticed is a lot of the current top performers say their name in their songs; Lady Gaga, Jason Deroa, Soulja Boy, Ludacris and so on.  Now what’s prompting this recent trend.  This never happened back in my day.  In fact I don’t even remember it happening even five years ago.  You had Eminem and his alter-ego Slim Shady.  But that was a character – not so much an exercise in self-promotion.

Alex’s friend, Jason, attributes it to egotism.  Jason, do I sense a bit of jealousy … maybe just a bit.? Maybe he’s right.  There’s been a ton of articles written recently on this age group, Generation Y.  They’re lazy, they feel they’re entitled, etc.  Funny how the authors of these articles are all Baby Boomers, go figure!

Now it brings us to the question … “Brilliant self-promotion or egotism?”

In this day and age, we are bombarded with stimuli.  There’s more information than we know what to do with.  To try to get yourself into line to be heard is … well, enough said.

But there’s another thing I noticed different in the music industry these days – specifically on radio.  Now with the iPod, you know what song is playing, who’s playing it, what album it’s on and in lot of case what the album cover looks like.  Recognition isn’t an issue … or is it?

Take my situation.  I have an iPod, but it’s a Shuffle.  It has no screen, only buttons.  I don’t know who’s playing what.  I downloaded songs from my daughter and my memory isn’t quite what was :-(.  But I’m in the vast minority here.  Virtually nobody has the iPod Shuffle, just me.

But here’s the kicker, back to the radio. I listen to the radio … and whole lot of other people do too.  This is where we are exposed to music that we will ultimately buy and put on our computers and iPods.  These days they don’t tell you who playing the song anymore! I can’t count the number of time I’ve called a radio station to find out who played a song I liked that I heard.

Maybe Lady Gaga, Ludacris and a lot of the other mega-stars realized this too?  If they don’t promote their brand in their product … who’s going to know it’s them (especially in the early stages of their careers)?

Brilliant self-promotion … or egotism?  I’d say the former.

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If you like this … please Tweet it and follow me on Twitter @clayforsberg

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One thought on “Brilliant self-promotion … or egotism?

  1. I understand the need to promote your brand. And could maybe even appreciate the value of informing us of who the artist is…but if I hear “Jason DeRulo (sp?)” one more time I am going to scream!!!!! Then again maybe it is not the artists’ fault – it’s the poor rotation on the major stations that plays the same songs every hour. These days if I like something I hear and don’t know the artist I am more likely to google the lyrics and find it.

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