Perception becomes reality. The most successful people not only understand this, but they embrace it. The most recognized names in any industry spend time carefully crafting how others should see them.

Michael Jackson was not only the King of Pop but the king of controlling the perception of others and manipulating the media. Becoming known as the King of Pop was no accident.

Around the mid-point of his solo career Michael became aware that he didn’t have a clear brand identity in the marketplace. Franks Sinatra was Ol’ Blue Eyes. Elvis was the King. Madonna was The Material Girl. And Michael Jackson was just Michael, or even worse, one of the Jackson 5.

One day while lamenting to his friend and confidant, Elizabeth Taylor, she responded and said, “Well to me you’re the king of pop, rock, and soul.” Michael loved the idea of being known as the King of Pop, and it wouldn’t be long before he would make sure that is was what everyone called him.

MTV was scheduled to have a televised awards show, and they knew if they could get Michael to attend it would give a boost to their ratings. Michael, however, wasn’t interested. He was busy working on a new album.

Michael brilliantly negotiated with MTV that he would make an appearance, but only if their television DJ’s would only refer to him as the King of Pop in the future. And as they say…the rest is history.

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