How does mega star Taylor Swift, a.k.a. T-Swizzle, #Swifties relate to your business?
How can a girl from Nashville, who debuted on the Country music scene a decade ago with a Romeo and Juliet themed love song, transform into one of the most respected brands in music history? Taylor might sing “Welcome to NY” but I am singing “Welcome to Marketing – It’s been waiting for you!”
Marketing is the art of creating awareness and establishing trust for the product or service you offer. As Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk suggests, we must start with the “Why.” Why should someone buy into you? It’s seldom about the bells and whistles of your product, rather what emotional connection does the prospect have with you or your product.
Fans around the world including 62 million followers on Twitter, are influenced by her every tweet, song lyric or personal stance on dating. How many moguls have the power to take on Apple’s new radio streaming service, threatening to not stream her 1989 album if they refuse to pay royalties to artists? In her blog she said, “This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.” This empathy for the well-being of her fellow artists is the very empathy you and I should display toward our colleagues, clients and prospects. Credibility is built when others “feel” you will not only go the extra mile but actually follow through. This is the foundation of a solid brand.
What tips can you and I apply to build our brand and advance our own businesses? Here are 5 ideas:
- Try Transparency –During the concert, Swift spoke in a controlled, yet friendly tone, “You know me and I feel like I know you because you write to me.” Swift masterfully uses Twitter and conversations during her concerts to be transparent with her fans. As humans, we build relationships by sharing information, sometimes, personal information. Share your hobbies, love of animals or favorite travel destination. The stronger the connection, the stronger the bond.
- Shake It off – Don’t dwell on prospects or clients that choose not to use your services. Find out why and move on to the next prospect. As Taylor Swift declared (although referring to the men she has dated!) There are two options in a relationship: Either “Leave or Stay.” If a client leaves, let go. Make sure you are always working on that pipe-line!
- Make Their Day – Before I even took my seat in the stadium, I was given a “gift from Taylor,” the stadium employee dutifully said as he handed me a white, rubber bracelet. “It will light up during the show!” I excitedly put on my bracelet waiting in anticipation for it to illuminate. It sure did! Each attendee received a white bracelet that used Infrared signals (like the signals of a remote control) to illuminate all 60,000 of us at precise moments during the show. This way, Swift can “see” all of us! A sea of blue, pops of hot pink and when surprise guests MKTO came out, the entire audience was a vibrant yellow! We all felt engaged and somehow connected with each other and Swift’s music too. To build your brand, connect with your audience, attend their events or host events, comment on their social media pages. Interaction is key.
- Audience Analysis – Who is your target audience? Too often, a business gets stuck focusing too much on product development and cool bells and whistles. They fall in love with their product or service but cannot figure out why it won’t sell. I have 2 words: Audience Analysis. What pain is your target audience feeling that your product will alleviate? Swift knows a strong majority of her fan base are Millennials. She is too. She caters her songs, sound and social media posts to reach this demographic. Take the time to ask questions. Find out specific needs, then modify your product or service to meet them.
- Re-Invent Your Business – With all of Swift’s costume changes (as an Image Consultant I surely took note!), not one look included cowboy boots! On the contrary! She went from sassy mini-skirts to edgy leather pants! She evolved her image and moved her brand from the Country scene to Pop-Star – to propel herself forward, to mega-stardom. Rule of thumb: Don’t stay stagnant. Businesses that are more nimble reap greater rewards than those resistant to change.
As the fireworks were exploding and Taylor Swift and her crew were taking their final bow, I stood in awe of a fantastic show and a new admiration for a woman who bravely moved to Nashville at 14 to build a career in country music. She was able to masterfully shift genres and her Image to the Pop world and most importantly bring much of her fan-base with her.
At this rate Taylor Swift will never go “Out of Style.” #Swifties