Taylor Swift Seems to Win the Contest at Best at Branding


I’m not “with it” in the current music scene. My satellite radio music stations are set on Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Neil Diamond. My Pandora stations are pretty much all set on instrumental stations. So, if the best known Taylor Swift song crossed my ears, I would not recognize the song or the singer’s voice.

But, it’s pretty tough to miss her face and name. She truly seems omnipresent. And, I think that in the category of Best at Branding, it would be a pretty close contest between Apple and Taylor Swift for the top spot.

Taylor_Swift_-_1989I caught a few minutes of her interview last night on David Letterman. Her new album, which has done big, big business in sales, is 1989. In the interview, I learned that she held some secret listening parties. She invited 89 fans to each of her different houses (and to a hotel suite in London), to have dinner, and listen to her soon-to-be-released 1989 album, and generally visit and dance and enjoy the evening. The 89 fans at each party were folks she had never met. Apparently this was a pretty big moment in the lives of these fans!

To say it helped build the buzz about the upcoming album is probably a big understatement.

Here’s the definition of Branding, from BusinessDictionary.com:

The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

What I think I’ve learned is this – it takes “everything” to build a brand. Twitter, blogs, other social media sites. It takes some pretty consistent practices. The branding entity (person; company) is always being watched, and anything that is not in line with the brand expectations is a serious threat to the strength of and the credibility of the brand.

And, I think it takes continual, all-the-time effort to build and maintain and spread the brand.

Taylor Swift seems to have it down. That’s a pretty impressive business head on those young shoulders. I may have to actually check out her music.

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