Beyonce rules all! What we learnt about marketing from this first class innovator

Beyonce – one of the biggest selling musicians in history, global brand, powerful feminist icon, entrepreneur and money-making machine. There’s no question that we can all learn from this lady’s supreme marketing ability. So if you’re looking for ways to up your marketing game for 2018, look no further. Here’s how to smash it, Queen Bey style.

Beyonce bucks the trend

Musicians usually announce an album in advance and work up to its release with a marketing campaign. With the release of her two visual albums, Beyonce and Lemonade, Beyonce turned this approach on its head by dropping both albums out of the blue. The result of this was to create a huge buzz and social media conversation, so that Beyonce’s audience were essentially doing her marketing for her. What we can learn from this for our own marketing is that it can be useful to take a tried and tested approach and spin it around. For example can you launch a new product using the element of surprise? It is also about not conforming to expectations, which helps drive engagement with your audience so that they are inspired to talk about your product on social media. What can you do differently from competitors in your industry so that you’re changing the conversation?

Beyonce innovates

Beyonce didn’t only challenge expectations with the way her albums were released. The actual albums themselves were game changers – visual concept albums, accompanied by films, which allowed Beyonce to express herself in a multidimensional way and forge a new path to creative freedom. Beyonce looked at the way albums are produced, released and promoted and asked herself how she could set the bar higher, how she could innovate, how she could do something new. What you can learn for your own business is that you need to put innovation at the heart of your marketing strategy. There are heaps of examples of companies who failed to innovate getting left behind. Kodak were at the forefront of the photography industry for decades, until they failed to innovate with the advent of digital photography – they have never recovered their former glory. Another obvious example is Blockbuster, everyone’s favourite video rental service in the nineties, who failed to innovate and got completely left standing by Netflix. So take heed! Make sure you’re a Beyonce not a Blockbuster.

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Photo credit: Nicole for Hey Tuesday

Beyonce embraces new technology

For a long time, the music industry as a whole has tried to fight the advance of digital music and online streaming services. YouTube has been a massive headache for record labels for years, and many artists did not want people to be able to listen to and share their music for free – something today’s teenagers take for granted. Beyonce didn’t take that approach. By releasing her albums on an online streaming platform before they were available anywhere else, she instead embraced the new technology and used it to her advantage, by promoting her own streaming service, Tidal. What we can learn from this is that we need to work with, not against the tide when it comes to new trends and new technology. There is no point sticking your head in the sand and pretending that Snapchat or Instagram aren’t happening, for example. Instead, you need to seize the opportunity and see how you can make these new platforms work for your business.

Words by Lauren

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