Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

Hannah Montana Won’t Leave it to Beaver

I believe she might have said that she didn’t mean to do it. Or she may have apologized for a misinterpreted Annie Leibovitz artistic shoot of Girls Gone Wild. But clearly her deft handlers, publicists and other spinmeisters have shifted to overdrive to protect and maximize the equity value of Miley Cyrus Incorporated.

This is a classic study of taking a calculated risk and managing its effects. There is no damage control here. Ms. Cyrus and her management team made a calculated assessment and decided it was time to reposition the Miley Cyrus brand.At 15 years of age, Ms. Cyrus had a limited shelf life as the much beloved Hannah Montana. As she grew and matured into young adulthood her ability and believability of portraying a challenged 8th grader was straining credulity and the character was living on borrowed time. So her managers made the decision to begin transitioning the product to parallel the maturation of her target demographic market. Yes her fans will soon be putting away their Hannah Montana lunch boxes and dress up dolls. As they grow and require trainer bras, tampons and Clearasil she might as well continue as chief pitchman for these products as well.

In TV news coverage of this shocking incident, photos of Ms. Cyrus sitting on the lap of her strong protective father Billy Ray preceded the Annie Leibovitz shots. I felt the pain of his achy breaky heart as he symbolically gave his daughter away to an adoring public. Clearly Ms. Cyrus has fully entered the public domain of commoditization and she is now wedded to the fickle fancy of consumer markets. I believe Puff Daddy, Tommy Hilfiger and The Rockstar Formally Known as Prince also sold their names as a consumer market brand and have ever since continue a quest to discover who they truly are.

Unlike Jerry Mathers who was unable to transition his career from childhood star, the management team at Miley Cyrus Incorporated has no intention of mismanaging this valuable corporate brand. They see an opportunity. Ms. Cyrus has established a large brand following within a market demographic of young girls who will be consumers of products for the next 70 years. Miley Cyrus Incorporated (MCI) is moving with her market and her product life cycle is staggering.  When MCI goes public, her market cap will be impressive. As Ms. Cyrus’s target market enters retirement she’ll be well positioned to sell them an extensive line of rocking chairs to lull her fan’s to a well deserved sleep.

Risk: Reputational, Market, Demographics, Brand Marketing, Family Values, Art, Product Life Cycle

April 29, 2008 Posted by | branding, commodities, marketing, media, psychology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment