It is cycle 17 for America’s Next Top Model. This season has a new twist, fan favorites from past seasons will compete for a second time for the coveted title “America’s Next Top Model All-Star”.
Bringing back former contestants is not the only new element to this season. Cycle 17 is more than being a good model; it is about creating a personal brand. In fact, in episode two, Martin Lindstom, author of Brandwashed came and gave the girls a crash lesson on branding.
He told the girls that you want to be associated with one word and gave each girl a word for their brand based on his audience analysis on each of the girls. Like when you hear the word cowboy, you mind goes to a particular cigarette brand. Or when you hear safety, you may think of a car brand. He choose words like daring, lovable, candid and free to represent the girls’ brands.
Lindstom gave some good advice, and it is interesting to see a reality TV show care about branding. I liked that their brand words were based on the perception of their personalities; however, the girls were not given much say in it at all. For example, one candidate felt that she wanted to represent a minority group she belonged too, but Lindstom basically told her that being who she was is not in style anymore.
We can learn a couple of things through this episode:
- Always research what others think of your brand because perception is reality. “It is what people love you for, and you have a duty to give it to them.”
- Simplify your brand message to one or two words. “If we confuse our fans too much, we will loose them because they don’t know how to follow us.”
- Your overall brand affects every decision you make. “You are going to think about this everyday–every step you take, every piece of clothing you put on.”