Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably very much aware that Taylor Swift released her sixth, most anticipated album yet (especially with her tactical social media strategy), Reputation, today and the world is buzzing. According to the Los Angeles Times, Reputation is “her most focused, most cohesive album yet” while The New York Times agreed that “no pop star of the modern era has communicated the contours of her disappointment with such emotional precision and melodic sophistication.”
So, being a part of a Los Angeles Public Relations agency, it made me think—how do brands pull a page from Taylor’s playbook and also take back the ownership of their reputation? How do brands go about branding themselves as a company to which people are so passionate about as Taylor’s fans are towards her? Fear not, below are five things we can all learn from the world’s coveted popstar in an effort to also reclaim the reputation we rightfully deserve…are you ready for it?
- Authenticity is Key
- Accepting your true self is always important and Taylor has really celebrated that with her new album. If brands embraced their genuine identities it would pave the way for a clear reputation that they would only be proud to tout. Fans are more likely to become devotees of brands that are honest and unapologetically themselves.
- Express gratitude through generosity
- Taylor is notorious for outdoing herself to reward fan loyalty. She continuously invites fans into her actual homes for top secret listening parties to give them the opportunity to celebrate with her. Brands should also give back to their fans by being imaginative and thoughtful, warranting actions of thankfulness that align with their mission and vision. People love being appreciated, especially when it’s paired with the element of surprise!
- Be relatable and Amiable
- It’s imperative to be relatable and approachable and Taylor is a prime example of that through her music, lyrics and actions. Relating to fans on a personal level by being friendly and kind sets you apart from other companies. This goes hand and hand with customer service. Recognizing customers and fans as important marks brands as relevant and sympathetic, which makes people want to support them.
- Stay reliable and consistent
- Although Taylor has seemingly shifted to the dark side, she’s always remained consistent in her personal values. Taylor has always been reliable for great music with incredible lyrics and with her newest album, it definitely didn’t disappoint. The most valued brands are those with integrity and once brand values and personality are determined, it’s important that products and content unfailingly follows that voice and communicates what they stand for. If companies became reliable with their services and products, it would only brand them with a positive reputation, cashing in with a solid fan base.
- Forget other’s opinions (but stay grounded)
- Taylor has taken back the narrative and is writing her own reputation in an epic way. She dropped the opinions of others and identified herself as who she really is—a whole, independent women. Instead of worrying what everyone else thinks, brands should direct their focus inwards. At the end of the day, they’re the expert and the only one who 100% knows the company. If the goal is to succeed, worrying about what other people think is going to water down the brand and ultimate message.
While much of Taylor’s new album suggests she’s breaking free from her messy past that has been transcribed by the media, Reputation also indicates the most substantial point—she’s realized her true identity. Hopefully, brands will be able to grasp their most genuine self too, but in the meantime, like Taylor said herself, “there will be no further explanation. There will be just reputation.”
-Kayla Hockman (aka K.Swift)