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Seven things you can learn from Justin Bieber

While we were sifting through news stories this weekend, we stumbled across an interesting blog by Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, former “chief evangelist” of Apple and co-founder of

Guy’s just been to see Never Say Never, the Justin Bieber movie [with his young daughter, we might add].

The result” Guy’s been bitten by the Bieber bug. He says he not only enjoyed the movie, but gleaned a few marketing lessons from the teen pop idol.

Yes, we were suprised too.

Here’s what Guy learned from Justin Bieber:

  • YouTube made his career take off. It wasn’t a machine like Disney or Nickelodeon. It was Justin Bieber’s mom uploading videos to YouTube. No matter what you think of Justin Bieber’s music, you should pray that this is true and still possible, because it means that the little guy can still win.
  • Twitter helped too. Twitter, the fast, free and ubiquitous service that people laugh at, helps an unknown – @JustinBieber – become a phenomenon.
  • The Justin Bieber movie is excellent marketing. Call it “documarketing.” The storyline (humble Canadian boy gets discovered via YouTube and becomes a pop sensation) is as good as Walter Gretzky making a backyard rink for young Wayne. Compare this movie to the typical corporate video or annual report as an effective storytelling mechanism.
  • Justin Bieber works hard. I make 60 speeches a year, so I know what it’s like to perform all the time. Having gone to one of his concerts and seen his movie, I estimate that Bieber’s performance is 20 times harder than a keynote speech. And in the movie, he’s on an 86 concert tour traveling mostly by bus. I’d like to see the critics and naysayers do this.
  • He owns a market segment. Who among us would not like to own a segment the way he owns the teenage girl market” To use my favorite term, Justin Bieber has totally “enchanted” them. He brings tears to their eyes.
  • He reaches out to his customers. There’s a fascinating section of the movie where Justin Bieber’s manager goes out into the parking lot and gives tickets to a few fans—it’s Richard Branson-esque.
  • Justin Bieber has advisors who truly advise. My favourite character in the movie is his vocal coach. She’s smarter and tougher than most venture capitalists when it comes to truly adding value. Investors and advisors can learn a lot by watching how she coaches him. Another great character is Bieber’s manager. I love that he discovered Bieber on YouTube and captured his lightning in a bottle. This is like being the first investor in the next Google.

Guy reckons you’ll be a better marketer for having seen the movie. We’re off to the cinema…



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