Brand Like Beyonce
Did you happen to catch Beyonce’s performance at the 2014 Grammys? Even if you didn’t stay tuned in, just the first 10 minutes are still stirring controversy across the internet, in blogs, throughout social media and in just about every newspaper and tabloid available. Beyonce’s newest release, Drunk In Love which features her husband rapper Jay-Z, features a woman we’re not used to seeing her portray. While few would debate her sex appeal and femininity, in this performance Beyonce overtly displays her sexuality, even cursing a few times. Many of her fans are displeased and those who were never fans are quick to suggest she’s become or always has been just a loose chick now showing us who she really is. The one thing few will debate is her voice. The woman can sing, in Spanish, French and Italian as well! The one thing few will debate is Beyonce’s voice. The woman can sing, in Spanish, French and Italian as well! The reason this won’t hurt her branding is because she’s done everything right, and in the right order.The reason this won’t hurt her branding is because she’s done everything right, and in the right order.
When Beyonce first sprang onto the scene I didn’t like many of her songs but being somewhat modest myself, I was impressed by what she did not reveal. When other singers and entertainers in her age group were regularly scantily clad, showing us everything and could barely sing without a lot of studio help, Beyonce revealed little and belted out crisp vocals on pop tracks. I wondered how long she’d keep that up. Well, she kept it up for quite some time and won award after award, almost never talked about her relationship with rapper Jay-Z and gave us little else to focus on except her music. Fans craved more but she didn’t budge. She forced us to focus on her most important asset – her voice.
Now in her 30s and married with a new baby, Beyonce has decided to shock her fans with an image we can’t stop talking about. Had she started her career undressed, cursing and singing about how “shit happened” (her words) and then came out singing in Spanish, French and Italian we would have quickly debated she was just trying to clean up her image, prove herself, make us notice her. But now as a fully grown woman who has nothing to prove to her devoted fan base and avid followers, if she wants to march across a stage with her husband singing about “grinding on that wood” and then go home and rock her baby to sleep she can do so without concern about marring her reputation. She is media and airtime gold!
So how can you brand like Beyonce?
- Sing. We need to hear your voice consistently in as many places as possible. There are always outlets you can use to your advantage. Guest post, leave comments on posts that rival or echo your business position, research and contact online radio stations that might like you as a guest (or even call in just to comment on what you’ve heard and mention your company name). We live in the digital age – someone is always listening. Use that!
- Dance. Shimmy over to LinkedIn and let us see your latest accomplishment. Shake it over on your Facebook page and let us see your thoughtful posts. Give us something to talk about.
- Keep your personal life personal. It’s unlikely you have paparazzi following you around so this should be easy for commoners like ourselves. A little mystery is good for all business. Be open, but have boundaries. Does your client really need to know Aunt Margie has medical problems and you’re not sleeping well and finding it hard to concentrate? Probably not a good look for your business even temporarily.
- Be good first! Take that winning talent and stand on that. Learn everything about it, practice, do it better than anyone else. Position yourself as a learner and a leader in your field.
Three or four years ago I would never have posted about Beyonce or The Grammys. It wasn’t time. I was busy. I was proving myself to the clients I collaborate with and work hard for. They needed to know I could write good copy, design great sites, meet deadlines, follow through. If the first or second post in my blog had the audacity to reference an entertainer who might be too risque to mention in professional circles prospects might not have taken me seriously. It wasn’t worth experimentation. Was I hiding my sense of humor, my take on popular topics and how they may related to business practices? Not at all. I was always me, always injected my personality into everything I did and still do. Once I’d proven I could meet and exceed expectations only then was I free to let my hair down.
You can, too. Brand like Beyonce.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen the performance that’s got everyone talking, just click the image at the top of this post. I’ll reserve my own comments…until I hear yours.