The following case study covers the foundation of Madonna’s business success and her continued global popularity over the past 20 years. Madonna has influenced people all over the world. Her quest for Superstardom is evident in her wide range of endeavors such as her records, concerts, movies, books, and charity events. She has the skill to market herself as a product while maintaining an edge, yet it is her experiences and sense of the world, art, fashion, drama and most importantly her intellect that make Madonna a global superstar. In examining Madonna’s career from a strategic analysis it is important to recognize her global and industrial impact as well as look into her brand name from a business perspective. Regarding her brand name there is competition, strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.
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Madonna has had a great impact on the global environment through her countless charity efforts. Specifically, in 2006 she started an organization called Raising Malawi, a non-profit organization supporting community based organizations that provide vulnerable children and caregivers with nutritious food, proper clothing, secure shelter, formal education, targeted medical care, emotional care and psychosocial support. In addition, Raising Malawi supports non-government organizations that offer impoverished families with innovative opportunities for sustainability such as Millennium Promise and International Medical Corps.
Millennium Promise is a non-profit organization which works towards the halving extreme poverty in Africa by 2015, working with impoverished communities, national and local governments, and partner organizations to implement high-impact programs aimed at transforming lives on the continent and engaging donor nations, corporations, and the general public in the effort. Also, on corporate, community, and academic levels, Madonna matches every dollar donated to Raising Malawi. In addition to her own organization she still donates to several other causes, many relating to children, and is a patron of Children of Peace, a foundation that is dedicated to supporting programs that serve traumatized children regardless of race, religion or cultural background.
The music industry can be a difficult place to achieve long-term success. This is has been proved hundreds of times in cases of the infamous “one hit wonders”. It is an industry where an entertainer can literally go from being star to being a has-been overnight. Music fans like to hear something new and fresh, which can be difficult for many musicians accomplish. Madonna has kept reinventing herself and her music, and thus has had a tremendous impact on the music industry. Her kind of talent comes along very rarely. In terms of industry success, she is the female Elvis Presley.
Madonna is the clear leader of her corporation and is the ultimate businesswoman. From her legendary work ethic to her moves as a businesswoman, Madonna is a resounding corporate success. Her career was further enhanced by film appearances despite mixed reviews. She won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh criticism for other film roles. Madonna's other business ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer. In 2007, she signed an unprecedented $120 million contract with Live Nation.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the Billboard chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Current Problems
As with most things in life, tastes change. Madonna will have to continue producing music to meet the changing tastes of her fan base. She has been successful at this in the past, but distractions exist now that didn’t exist before, and this may cause her to lose focus on the music. An ongoing problem that hurts Madonna directly in the purse is the ease in which music can be downloaded for free from the internet. Most consumers want music at the best possible price, and don’t really consider how this hurts the artist who produced it.
Strengths: The Madonna name, all by itself, makes people stand up and take notice. Madonna’s work ethic and drive to succeed are major strengths as well. The constant reinvention of herself and her music make Madonna a force to be reckoned with. Her involvement with charitable causes adds to the overall strength of the Madonna brand name. Her live shows are perennial sell-outs because her music appeals to a worldwide audience.
Weaknesses: Madonna’s charitable work can also be a weakness because time spent with charitable causes takes time away from writing and performing her music. Madonna is getting older, and aging does take its toll on a person’s energy level. Getting actively involved with music, movies, charitable causes, and family might create a situation where Madonna is spread too thin. One or more areas of her career might suffer as a consequence.
Opportunities: The music-loving world seems to get bored with “old” and craves “new”. With her endless talent, Madonna can provide the “new” that the public wants. In fact in January 2008 she was named the world's wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine, with estimated earnings of more than $72 million in the last year alone. Madonna has had a unique way of reinventing herself and evolving as a person and musician. Her constant evolvement has kept her highly respected and sought after.
Her name by itself creates opportunity. Anywhere she wants to put her name it will generate profit. Her opportunities are endless. This is evident in her endeavors such as her records, concerts, movies, books, and charity events. Threats: Fans of motion pictures love young, new talent. The same is true for the music industry. Up and coming musicians are a direct threat to Madonna’s reign at the top of the charts. Also, throughout Madonna’s career she has been a lightning rod for religious and sexual controversy.
If the past repeats itself, Madonna will be a success in any venture she undertakes. If she decides to be more involved in her charitable causes, Madonna’s focus must be on these charities and not on starring in a movie. As Madonna gets older, the ability to perform live night after night will diminish. This issue might have a solution if venues with a large seating capacity are used, and some smaller cities are left off the tour schedule.
Recommendations and Rationale
I think it is safe to say that Madonna can accomplish anything she wants. She will be mentioned historically in the same context as Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney. Her concerts consistently sell out globally. Wherever her name brand is it is generating revenue. At this point in her life she has assumed iconic status and her opportunities are endless. At this point it’s up to her to indicate what she wants to do next.
Conclusion Considered to be one of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a fresh and hip standard within the recording industry. She is recognized as an inspiration among numerous music artists and her humanitarian work touches thousands, if not millions of lives.
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