What I learned about Branding from Beyoncé

It’s an early Monday morning market run. Gotta get in and out quickly ‘cause I have a gazillion things on my plate to get done!

Just need to get one thing… a coconut yogurt for breakfast.

OK, this will be easy. So I think.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, this frantic soccer mom pulls in front of me at the checkout. She’s got three overflowing shopping carts of food and is flanked by five kids.

I roll my eyes in disbelief and turn away just in time to spot Beyoncé.

Confident and proud, she’s looking right at me smiling.

That girl is hot…. She is my Dream Girl.

Beyoncé is Powerful and always Feminine (that’s her brand).

And she knows how to take a PR (personal relationship) disaster…A big fat freakin’ lemon and turn that Bad Boy into LEMONADE.

Beyoncé is unique and we can all learn from her business moves.

  1. Own Your Narrative, Your Story

We all have had disasters in our lives, catastrophic failures, personally and professionally. The reality is… that is what people want to know. It makes you human and someone people can relate to.

You can change your story like Beyoncé did. She took what could have been gawking gossip and brought her fans into her struggles: They were no longer outside observers, they became emotionally invested.

  1. Create a Movement

To stand out you must have a Point of View and take a Stand for things you believe in. Beyoncé has always been a strong voice for Female Empowerment but generally has avoided controversy and political topics. Up until now…

At the Super Bowl appearing with her dancers in Black Panther inspired garb forming a giant X and raising their fists— Black Power Style. And she dove into deeper waters with the Black Lives Matter movement. The Mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner appear in the video for “Freedom” the galvanizing modern-day Negro spiritual from her album Lemonade.

For sure there was a backlash. She alienated some fans. But she also gained some. And more importantly she made a deeper bond and created even more loyal fans.

  1. Marketing is a Product and a Product is Marketing

For Lemonade Beyoncé created a theme she developed a storyline and a concept. Which made it possible to string together the HBO special, surprise album release and conversation-sparking videos as a cohesive string of smaller parts adding up to something much bigger.

As a result Lemonade’s imagery, ideas and sensibility have developed into its own brand. Lemonade is bigger than a mere product: It’s become a Cultural Space.

  1. Create Urgency, Surprise and Delight

Beyoncé changed the music industry with one word “Surprise”. With no prerelease and no hype she posted on her Instagram account at midnight that she had just secretly dropped her fifth album on iTunes. In the 12 hours after the album came out, it was the subject of roughly 1.2 million tweets, and it became iTunes’ fastest selling album of all time.

We all need to create urgency to get people to take action. Steve Jobs proved the best way to keep your brand relevant is to continually intrigue your clients and customers.

You can do this on a small scale too. Doesn’t have to be super-sized. One of the things I do to surprise and delight clients and prospective client is to send unexpected gifts, cards, movie tickets or books to them, out of the blue.

Start to think about how you can use what Beyoncé is doing with her brand and her business and apply it to yours. Share with me what you’re doing or thinking about applying. We are all in this together so share it… I would love to hear about it.


Liberate Your Rebel Spirit!


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