Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Mindy Kaling have all become household names in recent years — and that’s no accident. Meticulous personal branding has rocketed each of these women to Red Carpet status. Their fame stems not only from their individual talents but also the ideals and attributes each one of them represents. So, what can we learn about branding from these three truly unique celebs?
TAYLOR SWIFT ~
1.Don’t Be Afraid of Reinvention
Brands can’t stagnate if they want to stay top of mind and extend their reach. Rebranding or retelling your brand’s story can help keep your audience interested. And brand evolution is vitally important in today’s society, where it’s survival of the fittest and adapting to changing environments is absolutely critical.
That’s exactly what T Swift has done in the past few years. As her country songs grew old and started to be perceived as whiny by the public, she flipped the script by crossing over to pop. Taylor started to exude the confidence of a girl who dumps guys rather the girl who gets dumped by guys. She revamped her look, her story and her sound just enough to pick up new fans while not alienating her long-time supporters too much. Say what you want about her boy-craziness or the Kardashian scandal, but the girl has 10 Grammys, a hundred million+ followers on social media and enough money to buy the moon at the ripe old age of 27. I’d say Swift is a marketing savant.
TAKEAWAY: Embrace positive change! It helped Tay add massive amounts of new Swifties to her preexisting fan base.
MILEY CYRUS ~
2.Build Upon Your Niche
Appealing to everyone won’t work. Find what your brand does best and build on that. It’s imperative that your brand be so well-crafted that you can become, in consumers’ minds, the leading choice in your specialized area. Only when you can completely dominate that niche should you begin looking to expand elsewhere.
Though Miley Cyrus doesn’t really care who likes her or not, she is a prime example of what not to do when it comes to building your niche. Cyrus’s all-over-the-place career has seen her jump from genre to genre with flair. She went from belting out girly country songs to twerking on Robin Thicke, then to touring with her psychedelic hip-hop band of “Dead Petz” and then back to singing pop with her new song “Malibu.” While this may have been a liberating a musical experiment for Miley, it has only confused and alienated many of her fans.
TAKEAWAY: Kudos to Miley for doing her own thing unapologetically, but from a marketing standpoint, you should stick to your brand’s niche and build upon what makes it special.
MINDY KALING ~
3.Authenticity is Key
A wise man named Kendrick once rapped, “I’m so sick and tired of the Photoshop… .” This aggravation really resonates with me because fake people are my pet peeve. (That goes for fake brands, too.) Social media is a breeding ground for fakeness — everyone’s photos look better after going through FaceTune and a couple Insta filters. The irony of the adoration so prevalent on social media is that the more virtual our lives get, the more we hunger for honest and genuine experiences. People notice when brands are disingenuous and it is a huge turn off. Humanize your brand and build it with integrity and honesty. The consumers buying into your business will also be buying into a belief, which in turn garners loyalty.
Take Mindy Kaling, for example. She is one celebrity who keeps it 100% real on social media. Her Instagram is a Mecca of positivity, unedited pics and memes of herself. And her fans LOVE it. She isn’t afraid to let her freak flag fly, give props to a fellow actor or even post a selfie wearing zit cream.
TAKEAWAY: Keep it candid; people respect that.