Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Success of American Idol

American Idol continues to amaze me. Yes I enjoy the show, but I am always impressed by, and curious about how successful the show has been. In the start of their sixth season the show is breaking records with over 30 million people in the US watching each episode. Almost every TV show that has early success drops in viewers as the years go by and people get either tired of the show, too familiar with it, or excited about new shows. Not so with American Idol. So what is different - what has made the show so successful. Here are some thoughts:

1. American Idol only runs one season each year. You watch a full season of American Idol from January until May and then it is over. They don't try running two season during the year, like Survivor, or The Amazing Race. They also don't interrupt the season for a long Christmas break, or for reruns. They capture an audience right at the start and keep them until the show is over. In your business, this might relate to how you run special promotions. Create a short-term promotion that creates a sense of urgency for your customers or business partners. Don't be too repetitive. Create excitement for a focused period of time, and you can create momentum.

2. They let the audience have a role in the show. American Idol is truly the most audience focused show today. After the judges choose the top 24, the entire set of decisions is made by the audience. Fans have a vested interest, being able to cheer and support their favorites. They are able to vote and vote and vote some more. By allowing people to vote as much as anyone can in the two hour time period creates more passion in fans as the invest in supporting for their favorites. How can you get your customers more involved in what is happening? With the Internet and conference calls and message forums there are many ways of allow your customers to share their feelings, give advice and connect more with your product or service.

3. American Idol appeals to the whole family. While some may argue that the in the early episodes each season the judges comments need some filtering, for the most part the show is suitable for all ages. From children to seniors, everyone can enjoy watching American Idol. American Idol has filled a void that hasn't existed for some time - a show the family can truly gather together to watch. For your business, know who your target market is. Appeal to that group and allow that group to bring others to your business.

4. Good promotion. The American Idol team does a great job promoting their show. All of the judges, plus Ryan Seacrest the host, and even past winners have been all over the television circuit over the past few weeks significant excitement about the show. How can you do better at promoting your business? Are their more ways for you to get your name out? Look for ways to create massive promotion for your business.

Yes, I enjoy watching American Idol. The success of the show has been amazing to watch. I look forward to finding someone to cheer for as the current season evolves.


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