Where are your beliebers?

"Where are your beliebers?" by Greg Alder

One of the benefits enjoyed by a strong brand is that it is forgiven the odd mistake. Think New Coke. Think Tiger’s wanderings.

Few brands will ever enjoy the forgiveness that Justin Bieber receives from his fans.

Think about some recent activities. The alleged fisticuffs with a neighbour after racing his Ferrari in his gated community. Widespread anger when he denigrated Bill Clinton, a national icon, and showed disrespect for Anne Frank. Abandoning his pet monkey in a German Customs Office. Spitting on fans in Toronto. Urinating into a cleaner’s bucket in a New York restaurant.

These aren’t activities consistent with the brand that Team Bieber has been cultivating over the past few years – that of a wholesome pop star adored by tweenies.

By now, if Bieber were an ordinary brand, many of his loyal fans would have turned their backs in dismay, if not disgust.

But no.

As Bieber displays characteristics at odds with his good boy image, his fans have not only stuck by him, but actually jumped to his defense.

Why? He connects with his audience. They believe him – and in him – in a way few brand customers ever will. For this reason, fans will buy almost anything with his name on it. AND they will forgive – again and again and again.

THAT is one powerful brand.

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