Taylor Swift Marketing Guru?

Now whether you like her music or not, we all know that Taylor Swift is a mega star. But being a great singer and drop-dead gorgeous is only part of the battle. There are SO many marketing decisions that go into creating a brand of this scale and what fascinates me is that many of these decisions have been made by a girl who was about 15 when she started making them. She passed over recording deals because the big labels wouldn’t let her sing the music she was passionate about. She oversees all of her design and positioning decisions. She has even designed her latest tour around her favorite color, RED. Keds is a sponsor with RED shoes along with red and white, Diet Coke. Can you get more All-American sponsors than that? Really, who woulda thought of Keds? You can tell by every bit of branding from the red microphone to the red lipstick to the designs on the red shirts, Taylor Swift personally put her mark on every decision.

Here is the part I think is genius. Everyone wants to meet Taylor Swift but her team selects a small few of her most excited fans to meet with her after the concert. At the concert we attended two nights ago, the kids in attendance (and adults actually) had literally written in marker all over their face. Many were dressed in red from head to toe. Groups of kids were up all night coloring signs and posters and coming up with clever sayings. But, to get to meet Taylor Swift after the show, you must do something that outshines everyone in the entire 50,000 person arena. I mean come on. Which kids really get to be chosen from an entire stadium to meet their mega star idol? Well, during the very first song, our group of little girls literally got the tap. At first, I thought we did something wrong and were getting in trouble so I approached the very official woman to find out what we did. She then presented me with a pass that said our entire group had been invited to meet and hang out with TAYLOR SWIFT after the concert. Let me just say – there were some tears of joy by 6 overjoyed little girls and 3 shocked moms. Granted, my husband had stayed up late for 2 nights cutting out large letters and wiring them to be illuminated (see photo above) but we knew that we wanted Taylor to see our love all the way from the stage. And maybe, just maybe, marketing could go both ways.

Here is what is brilliant about Taylor’s strategy. Instead of standing in a 2-hour line signing autographs, she took the most motivated fans (literally, about 20 of us total) and gave us all her personal attention. She visited with each child, gave them a hug, signed the backs of their cell phones, shirts and hands and allowed everyone to snap photos. This cool room, constructed underneath the stage, passionately called CLUB RED, was stocked with drinks and snacks and a photo booth. When Taylor entered, it was like an old friend walked into the room. She hopped behind the counter and pulled out a birthday cake for one of her band-mates. She slowly worked her way around the room and when she spoke to each person, she gave them her undivided attention. What a great branding strategy…sharing major love with fewer people. We even visited with her mother who couldn’t have been more warm and genuine. She just walked right up to us and introduced herself. We even hung out with her dancers and opener, Ed Sheeran so wow, did we feel like part of the family or what?

My question to you is how can you apply what we can learn from this young woman and brilliant marketer to marketing your business? What are you doing to thrill your very best, most motivated clients? How are you treating them differently? In business, you don’t have to treat everyone the same. Taylor didn’t choose the people who paid over $1,000 to get front row seats because then her attention becomes something you can buy. She chose the fans who put their passion into giving her the love back that she delivers night after night. That is what passionate people in business do and I hope that this challenges you to take a look at who your best fans are and how you thrill them beyond belief. Or at least, get started making some giant signs for the next Taylor Swift Concert…

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

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