Celebrity Brand Scorecards are based on the 5 P’s of Personal Branding: Positioning, Presentation, Passion, Purpose, and Profit. Today, we evaluate the personal brand of singer and actress Miley Cyrus.
Positioning is your story relative to your contemporaries. Miley Cyrus is the “good girl gone bad”, just wild enough to entice young fans but short of the total breakdown image of Lindsay Lohan. With her Disney background and country singer father, Miley comes from wholesome roots, but has “matured” into a provocative and dangerous young woman. Miley Cyrus score: A
Presentation is how you tell your story. The Miley Cyrus transformation from good girl to bad girl began in 2008 when pictures leaked on the internet of the underage star in her underwear, and later that year she appeared to be topless in a series of Annie Leibovitz shots for Vanity Fair. Over the next few years she took on more adult movie roles, and openly discussed her use of marijuana. In 2013 she left Hollywood Records (owned by Disney) and signed a new deal with RCA. She also hired Britney Spears former manager, cut her long hair extremely short, and appeared with Thicke on the MTV awards show. That was followed by the release of the controversial video for “Wrecking Ball” in which she appears naked. Miley Cyrus score: A
Passion is the process by which you maximize your strengths to build your personal brand. Cyrus has absolutely done this. Using her wholesome good looks and southern charm, she built up a massive following around her “Hannah Montana” brand. As she matured, she transformed those looks into a more mature and suggestive brand. She has done a tremendous job of choosing songs that suit her voice and style as it has evolved. Her most recent song “Wrecking Ball” is a perfect example. On the other hand, her acting in the post-Disney era has suffered negative reviews and she has not maximized her profile on screen as we may have expected her to. Miley Cyrus score: B+
Purpose is the way in which you use your personal brand for greater good. Miley hasn’t been extremely high profile in philanthropic use of her celebrity status, but she hasn’t been altogether invisible either. Despite her baptism into the conservative Southern Baptist Church, she remains an outspoken and ardent supporter of gay rights. Her right hand ring finger has an equals sign tattoed on it, in recognition of her belief in equal rights for all. She has also taken part in Marc Jacobs campaign to raise awareness and funds for melanoma research. While her work has been noble, this is one area where Miley Cyrus could strengthen her personal brand and likely mitigate some of the negative backlash to her provocative image. Miley Cyrus score: B-
Profits measure how successful your personal brand is, either in terms of money, personal satisfaction, or any other metric. Measured purely on financial terms, there is no denying Miley’s strong personal brand. She has earned well over $120 million over the past five years, ranks as the richest teen performer in Hollywood, and has made the list of Hollywood’s most profitable and influential personalities. Miley Cyrus score: A+
OVERALL BRAND SCORE FOR MILEY CYRUS: A
The Miley Cyrus personal brand is a well-calculated brand that has evolved and matured wisely. While her actions have offended many people, the offended people are quite likely not her fans. She has brilliantly stolen the public’s attention at precisely the right time in order to create buzz around her album release. The Miley Cyrus brand can be even stronger if she is able to find acting roles that capitalize on her maturing personality and more attention is paid to using her celebrity status for positive purposes and causes.
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