By now most adults are sick of hearing about the shenanigans of teen star Justin Bieber, who’s managed to stay in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. From wild visits to strip clubs to recklessly driving his Ferrari to egging his neighbors house to police raids on his mansion, the Biebs has been front and center on the gossip pages of tabloids and blog sites everywhere.
While Bieber might consider his behavior as a simple ascension into manhood (most adult males have had their share of teenage “events” that they would rather forget), it seems that he’s failed to consider what it’s doing to his career along the way. Yes, he’s doing a great job of crushing it into tiny pieces, as the putrid box office take of around $6 million of his recent film Believe shows. Considering that his last film Never Say Never grossed about $73 million in the US alone just two years ago, and he’s released a series of recent songs that never even charted, it looks like his career has hit the skids seemingly overnight.
Maybe he thinks that morphing into a bad boy will keep his maturing audience interested. Maybe he’s rebelling against the wishes of his family and management (and what kid doesn’t rail against authority). Maybe he’s just totally unaware that his actions have consequences. None of that matters. What he’s managed to do is take an enormous following and make them indifferent at best and disgusted at worst. Before too long, he’ll be a has-been trying to make a buck playing the oldies club circuit.
And that’s the cautionary tale here. Fans are hard to come by. They, of course, have to love your music first and foremost, but they also have to identify with you in some way, which is one of the basic pillars of branding. You or your actions (or both) also have to be likeable, which few of his once legion of fans find these days. Once you’ve broken your brand, it’s a huge uphill battle to build it back up, as Bieber will soon find out. Read more on Forbes.
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