Last Updated Jan 12, 2010 7:53 AM EST
What are they? Fortunately, neither black turtlenecks nor a strictly no pants wardrobe is required.
- Cultivate a Fanatical Fan Base: The Lady has a core of admirers she can always count on: the gay community. "I've got so many gay fans and they're loyal to me. They'll always stand by me and I'll always stand by them." Apple's loyal fans are those that started out with them making music on their first computers and the minority group that liked the Apple operating system over and above the mainstream Microsoft one.
- Be Technically Competent: You have to be technical to be a success. Gaga was playing by ear at the age of four, planning to go to Julliard at 13. She writes her own music and her voice was good enough to attract Akon to sign her. The companies that have had the highest returns are peopled by engineers and computer scientists with technical degrees.
- Got Vision? Gaga didn't try to be the world's #1 singer or its most profitable. But she had a vision to combine glam rock with simple melodies. The best performing companies, Apple or Cisco or Whole Foods, have a product that makes life better for their customers, and they aim to be the best at it, and stick to their knitting.
- Simplicity Sells: [Lady Gaga] has a simple product and a simple name. It's four letters and two syllables. And she combines simple movements, simple melodies, and simple rock rhythms in her songs. The price to weight ratio of Apple products is comparable to her own.
- Packaging Matters: The product must be packaged and designed with great care and verve. Gaga has a special team, the Haus of Gaga, that designs all her clothes and stage performances. "When I'm writing music I'm thinking about what I'm going to wear on stage." Apple's packaging, its vivid colors, its compactness, directness, ease of use is crucial to its success.