Beyoncé’s musical career is one for the record books – no like seriously. Beyoncé is royalty in almost any category you can name, and it is evidenced by how she’s viewed, talked about and how effortlessly she bounces back from scandal (think “elevatorgate,” break-up rumors and 2016 Super Bowl backlash). She has been described as “the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century” by The New Yorker and named Artist of the Decade (almost a decade ago) by The Guardian.
Bey’s brand is tougher than Teflon, but how did this 35-year old Houston, Texas native build a brand so strong? A strong team with an exceptional strategy. Here are four tips from Beyoncé’s career to help you slay your brand like Bey.
Beyoncé’s team knew early on that she was a star and they were intentional about positioning her as a superstar.
As a member of Destiny’s Child she was doing big things – duets with legendary artists like Luther Vandross and staring in feature films. These intentional acts of positioning allowed people to see Beyoncé outside of the group. We got to know her as the star and start to see her as a group member, but also as a solo artist with talent in several areas.
This intention continues as she has made a name for herself as a solo artist by teaching us what to expect from her brand. Teaching brand promise through action is an intentional strategy.
Putting it in action: As you develop your brand (or evaluate your current brand), be sure to adopt an intentional and visionary approach by answering the following questions ::
How do you want people to describe your brand? What emotional feeling do you want people to have when they experience your brand?
How can you align your brand experience with the actions and execution of your brand?
Bey A Storyteller
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to build your brand, to give it life. Through engaging stories you can capture the essence of the brand experience and share a personal connection with your audience.
Beyoncé is the queen of storytelling and sharing personal experiences through her work as an artist.
Case and point – Lemonade.
Lemonade was a story made for every woman who has ever gone through anything. The fact that it was visual and played into the rumors about trouble in her marriage with Jay-Z just added more power to the story – and her brand.
She was honest, authentic, transparent, inspiring and creative in her storytelling. As a result, Lemonade went viral and was met with widespread acclaim.
Putting it in action: Once you’ve created the vision for your brand, you need to tell your story. Consider the following ::
What’s your story? How can I connect my story with authentic experiences that connect to the emotions and sensibilities of my target audience?
Tip: Think video, social media memes, personal style, language, colors, experiential events and revenue-generating opportunities. How can I leverage my story in other revenue-generating opportunities?
Bey Socially Conscious
In the 21st century it is increasingly important to connect your brand to a cause. Beyoncé understands this and has connected with a cause she believes in and authentically displays it throughout her brand.
Her cause? Feminism.
Bey shows us through her music and actions how passionate she is about female equality. She doesn’t just sing about it though; she has fully integrated the concept throughout her brand. She hired an all female band. She’s written numerous girl power songs and used her performance on of the biggest stages in America to showcase the power and beauty of black women. In partnership with her mother, Tina Knowledge, Beyoncé supports and empowers women to become economically self-sufficient through a partnership with Phoenix House, a drug treatment center in Brooklyn.
Putting it in action: Identify your passion and allow that to help you create your brand’s social good strategy. Then determine how you can authentically integrate your social good strategy into your business.
Consistency is the key to brand success. Having a consistent brand is not just about delivering products or services consistently; it is also about being consistent in the connection with consumers.
We know what to expect from Beyoncé – amazing music and live performances; surprises; honest and authentic storytelling; and true love for people through service – because she has consistently given that to us throughout her career.
Putting it in action :: Even as your brand develops, remember to continue to offer clients the same brand experience. Your products and services may change, but how you deliver the experience to your customers, the true essence of who you are shouldn’t change.
Brandi Williams, affectionately called Bea, is an award-winning and Accredited public relations professional who has worked nearly two decades in non-profit, government and entertainment. These experiences have taught her how to create large impact with small budgets, how to build strong brands to create business results and how to use engagement to support brand growth. She has turned this knowledge into a series of workshops to help solopreneurs and small business owners learn how to build strong, engaging brands that meet specified goals. You can find her at http://www.beawilliams.com.