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Maddonna-marqueem Miami, FL – Ok, so I love Madonna. I bought three copies of her new CD, Hard Candy, last night. Why, you ask? So I can have one in the car, one at home and one to take on the road. That’s called being a fan.

A month ago when I found out she would be in Miami I decided I had to go see her. I went online and looked for tickets – which, frankly, I found just as annoying as purchasing airline tickets online. So I called my travel agent who found me good cheap tickets and off I went to see Madonna on her "Sticky and Sweet" tour.

Madonna-guitar When I first saw Madonna years ago, I said I didn’t like her. Secretly, however, I loved her and her music. She was over the edge and it seemed like she made a lot of people nervous.

And then something happened. I came out of the Madonna closet. I followed her career, her children, and even investigated Kabbalah. Whatever you think of her, Madonna is certainly a very complicated  and interesting human being.

The show was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. but didn’t get going until 10 p.m. It was doubtful that it could have started early — the roads were jammed up and some people told me it took two hours to move 10 miles! She arrived by helicopter promptly at 10 p.m. and left at 12:05 a.m. The trucks were parked outside and the stage was torn down in about 45 minutes.

Madonna-friends The show was amazing! I hope I can swing my legs up as high as she can when I’m 50…!  She never seemed out of breath even when her dancers were. Madonna danced for almost two hours straight with a couple of 10 minute breaks, jump-roped and did some complicated dance moves with Justin Timberlake.

They love her in Miami! She’s the hometown girl and she worked it – “I love you Miami, you’re my people." She sang a couple of songs in Spanish and the audience went crazy. The audience was crying and screaming in response to her connection with them. The costumes were beautiful, and so was she. According to Brand Madonna, she has been on more magazine covers than any other star – living or dead!

Madonna is no doubt sexy and outrageous.

Madonna-M The show was fun. It ended with the song Tick Tock, which alludes to environmental issues as well as a tribute to Kabbalah. After the show there were groups of people in the parking lot handing out literature on the organization.

So what does Madonna have to do with your business?

It’s building the brand. It doesn’t matter how you build it you just need to do it—now.

People need to love you, your showroom and your salespeople. Work on it, make it fresh, keep motivating your salespeople and do something fun with your customers. Don't be afraid to be the Chucky Cheese of the industry, no matter how cheesy it sounds.

Keep reinventing yourself; ask your customers what they like. Remember your customers are the keepers of your brand. Are you asking them what they think?

Build your brand by building strong partnerships. The event was sponsored by Blackberry and they handed out blinking blue circular necklaces. The necklaces were great; if you turned around to the audience you could see all the little flashing lights in the bleachers.

Update your brand, don’t let it get stale.

I was interested in the coordination of the event;  unfortunately there were no CDs for sale. I couldn’t believe it! Plenty of high-priced jackets and t-shirts — but only one area to get this stuff. You couldn’t get near it. By the way, beer was $8 and water $6. Oh well.

I also noticed that the bleachers in front of Madonna were empty; I would have filled them first so if Madonna looked out she would think the place was filled. Maybe it was by design.

The next morning I was so stiff I could barely get out of bed and I was hoarse. Dancing and screaming for two hours used to agree with me but I think I got stepped on too many times. Time to get out the tapes and get on the treadmill.

When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it." – Madonna Ciccone

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