A master lesson on brand renewal and strategic marketing.

By Amber Hudson

Today is Justin Bieber’s 22nd birthday.  You can colour us surprised that he hasn’t been cast off into the hinterlands of irrelevance.  Back in 2012 we predicted the demise of Justin’s career (along with the Mayan’s predicting the end of the world.  We’re clearly in good company). 

We even had a chart.


We clearly got Lindsay right.  Britney and JT were pretty close.  Justin Bieber?  Completely wrong.  Not only is he still here, he’s at a new peak in his career.  He just won his first Grammy Award, his most recent album just went Platinum, he did his first GQ cover and the true sign that you’ve made it…he just got a new wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s.

After all the bad decisions and childish antics Brand Bieber is stronger than ever.  Here’s how he did it.  Marketers, take note:

  • He listened to consumer feedback, confronting his branding mistakes with a “Yup, I’m a jerk” apology on Ellen and a brilliant, if not painful to watch, Comedy Central Roast. He’s very self-aware of his screw ups and is clearly in on the joke.
  • He evolved his style to remain current while staying true to his DNA; staying authentic to why people, his Beliebers, loved him in the first place.
  • He’s surrounded himself with the right people, strategic industry experts like EDM gods Skrillex and Duplo, and master song writer Ed Sheeran.
  • And he’s delivering the quality goods and experience his customer expect, releasing quite possibly the best album of his career. As GQ said “As 2015 drew to a close, if you thought Justin Bieber’s music sucked, you were worse than snobbish—you were uninformed.”

Sorry folks, it’s no longer cool to hate on Justin Bieber. 

Many brands have weathered tough times:  Lululemon spent 2014 working hard to recover from disappointing their customers with the ‘sheer pants’ debacle.  Lego and Levi’s struggled for years against competitive brands providing more relevant offers to their customers only to (re)emerge as the “It” toy and denim brands of the year. So with focused, strategic work, a clear vision, belief in your brand mission and purpose, and a sprinkle of luck, some brands can come back from the edges. 

Haters will say what they want.  But their hate will never stop you from chasing your dream.”  

That’s right Justin. That’s right.


Ready to learn more? Download our Sklar Wilton BrandPrint™ for a template that will help you articulate the key elements of your brands on one page, delivering a clear and concise brand expression. Or, learn how we helped Saint Elizabeth gain a stronger understanding of their target audience and launch a meaningful new brand for healthcare caregivers.