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Case Study Gaga

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1. How is strategic management illustrated by this case story? There is a lot at stake when a label decides to invest in a new star. In today’s highly competitive music industry, there is a great deal of planning that goes on behind the scenes – just like a company that launches a new product. According to the case, “Gaga’s persona has been a calculated strategy.” It would be risky for any record label to put in the time and energy into a new star without planning for competitive advantage or strategic planning.

2. How might SWOT analysis be helpful to Lady Gaga as she and her advisors manage her career? A SWOT can be used for many purposes. In this case, a SWOT analysis could help point the singer into the best type of music, considering her singing ability, and point toward new technological opportunities that might be under utilized by other artist.

3. What competitive advantage do you think Lady Gaga is pursuing? How is she exploiting that competitive advantage? From the case, Lady Gaga has “savvy awareness of the power of digital media and her exceptional ability to exploit it.” and “Her persona is built for the online generation.” This is important as fans often download songs from the internet for free and in the process deny record labels revenue for record sales. Gaga has also taken advantage of new contract formats, such as the 360-degree deal, where a label invests more money upfront—on marketing, for example—but in return, gets a piece of merchandise sales, touring revenue, and other earnings artists usually kept for themselves. And last but not least, Gaga’s persona is one that “cuts across disparate subcultures” which results in the potential to attract a diversified fan base.

4. Do you think Lady Gaga’s success is due to external or internal factors or both? Explain. Students may have a strong opinion on Gaga’s talent. However, it is possible that Gaga could be in the right place at the right time – taking advantage of an opportunity that exists in the record industry. Remember Vanilla Ice? Whether she has the pipe’s to stay in the music biz will show in the long term.

5. What strategic implications does the suggestion that her ability to remain a music industry mainstay depends on her ability to evolve have? For companies to remain on top for any length of time, they must be flexible and continually innovate. On the other hand, it is difficult to radically change a product without losing the image the company has worked so hard to build. As Lady Gaga is currently riding the fashion ‘wave,’ she and her team will
have to tread carefully the line between totally re-inventing herself to stay relevant or staying true to what made her a success to begin with.

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