Marketing Lessons from Taylor Swift

MaryLeigh Bliss did this great post, 3 Marketing Lessons Brands Could Learn From Taylor Swift (Seriously), a little while back that I thought was, not only the right way to reach Gen Y, but is just good common sense. In general, this is what she shared:

Get Personal

In April, Taylor Swift surprised a super-fan at her bridal shower in Ohio, bearing multiple gifts and impressing the internet with her devotion to the Swifties. In September, she responded to another fan’s Instagram post with a heartfelt message about her experience with bullies. Last month, it was revealed that she invited hundreds of fans to her homes for secret listening sessions of her new album “1989” before its release. They baked cookies, listened to the album, and played with her cat. She has called these fan parties the “1989 Secret Sessions,” and they have garnered her tons of press.

We know that young Millennials are drawn to celebrities they feel could be, or even are, their friends. Swift’s intimate fan gatherings and sympathetic messages make everyone watching feel as if she has a personal relationship with her fans.

Lesson Learned:

Smart brands let their customers know that they are important they care about them. This is what personalized marketing is all about. Reach out to a smaller, focused group of your customers and you can make a big impact and create a compelling story.

Master the Tease

Taylor Swift might be the master of the social media tease. In August, before her new album had been announced, she posted a video on Instagram of an elevator button being pushed six times. The button was for the 18th floor, and the video was posted with the message, “So, here’s your first clue…” which led to a slew of speculation over what the video meant, and if a new album was forthcoming. Swift continued to post clues about the album’s release over the course of the summer, building buzz and anticipation with fans and earning healthy press about the potential album in the meantime.

Lesson Learned:

Surprising your customers! Use an anticipation-building approach for your next product launch or campaigns to potentially increase awareness and make the mundane feel more exciting.

Embrace Your Competitors

After teen singer/songwriter Lorde was quoted saying some negative things about Taylor Swift, the two went to great lengths to make it known that they had patched things up, and make the story of their friendship the focus in the media. Their relationship has become a well-publicized series of joint outings and messages of support on social media. Swift’s  “cool friend” roster also includes Lena Dunham, and pop stars like Demi Lovato.

These friendships, and the clear “we all get along” message that is broadcasted with every Instagram post of hangouts and sleepovers, have earned as much coverage as any starlet feud would have in the past, while establishing a reputation for Swift as someone who interesting people want to be around and work with.

Lesson Learned:

We like to see brands to work together to make our lives easier. Strategic partnerships can make things easier for the customer and extend the reach and new revenue for the brands.