Gangnam Style: What Entrepreneurs can Learn from PSY

Gangnam Style: What Entrepreneurs can Learn from PSY

Two days ago my sister in law told me about a hot new music video; she loves to follow the trends in music, so I’ll just check it out. It’s called “Gangnam Style” by PSY. To say the least, the music video is phenomenal for a different reason: It’s kinda silly, but for some reasons, the music is so catchy. Then I just realized…

…that the video now has 87 million views (!) – was 83 million a couple of days ago, I think. With 865,000 likes, you just can’t go wrong. Goodbye Bieber, hello PSY!

gangnam style
Image from Wikipedia

Then I browse the web to learn about Gangnam Style and who is PSY behind the catchy music and hilarious video. You see, I browse the web quite extensively on daily basis, but for some reasons, I overlooked PSY’s worldwide popularity.

Check out this music video for your Sunday entertainment :)

I just learned that: Gangnam Style has its own Wikipedia page, Britney Spears love Gangnam Style, PSY is on CNN, and not only Britney, other A-list celebrities (such as Robbie Williams and Justin Bieber) love the music and the music video. Then it struck me – how on earth this PSY guy rules the WWW, get top media coverage and get kudos from celebrities?

5 lessons learned from PSY and his Gangnam Style

Many enjoy PSY’s music; but I think there are some lessons we can learn, business-wise. Indeed, entrepreneurs can learn aplenty from PSY oppa and his Gangnam Style!

Here are 5 business lessons from PSY:

1. Be funny, be silly

Most people live a challenging life these days – the economic slowdown is not showing any good signs of recovery, and many other personal challenges. People need something inspiring, something that can makes their day. Gangnam Style is fun and hilarious music that can make your day (especially if you are in your 20s and 30s) – people love it, even if you didn’t understand a word from the music (it’s in Korean, just in case you are wondering…)

Your business should breathe fresh air, offering solutions – even “remedies” – to people’s problems. Be funny, be interesting and be an inspiration to others. THEN you will start seeing results.

2. Make people want to learn more about you and your products

The title itself is a big question mark, especially to those living outside Korea; what is Gangnam? Why Gangnam Style? (PSY says that Gangnam is like the capital of Seoul, the capital of Korea – got it
?) More on this up next… but the lesson learned from this is for you to create marketing messages that can make people stop on their track and start thinking about your product; when people are starting to do so, your marketing is successful; your brand is now on top of their mind.

3. Deliver message via your products

Gangnam Style is a silly music with serious message inside. As PSY explained to CNN, “…Gangnam is the Beverly Hills of Korea… People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are… it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are Gangnam Style… this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they’re not.”

Whenever you create an ad, deliver the right message; that’s all that matter.

4. Collaborate

Justin Bieber’s producer indicated that he overlooked PSY’s music; then they have a talk that will result in a promising collaboration in the near future. Celebrities show what they think of PSY and some invite him to perform. In the original music video, Kim Hyun-a (Hyuna,)a member of a popular Korean girl band 4Minute, made her appearance; the popularity of the video lead to a development of yet another music and music video, with PSY collaborating with Hyuna, penetrating to another market (Hyuna’s and 4Minute’s fan base.)

You just can’t do it all alone; win-win partnership can get your business far.

5. Get free publicity and endorsement

The level of publicity and endorsement PSY get is phenomenal. With the big media and celebrities are talking about Gangnam Style, PSY gets a great amount of free publicity and endorsement most can only dream about.

Entrepreneurs should strategically partner with someone and use the right medium in getting their products exposed to as many eyeballs as possible. When you launch a business or product, send press releases; contact influential people in your industries about your product; get people talk about you and your product. Free publicity and endorsement should be your focus.

So, there you go – 5 lessons we can learn from PSY oppa and his Gangnam Style. How about you – what lessons you can learn from Gangnam Style?

Ivan Widjaya
Apologise – I just can’t dance PSY’s “horse dance”!

Ivan Widjaya

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.