(This post is based on advice shared with DailyWorth for their article "5 Ways to Rebrand Yourself Like Taylor Swift" This article also appeared on The Muse. While this article is geared towards women their are nuggets o wisdom for all of us.)
Below are three ways to take your brand to the next level whether that means improving your value proposition or heading in a different direction with your career or business this year.
1. Taylor Swift has notably evolved from being a country singer to a full blown pop star, with significantly broader appeal. What should business owners look for in terms of reassessing and pivoting in their company? What are the risks of pivoting, and how can a company/person rebrand in a way that grows their audience, as opposed to losing existing consumers?
The most important thing when reassessing your business strategy is to listen to your customers. Are they calling for a change? If not, use social media to share new ideas and to ask for input and feedback. People love to be asked for their advice and it makes your customer feel like their opinions are important. If there is a resounding "one voice" from your customer base, tweak your approach accordingly. To retain your customers you can't risk doing something that will make them feel indifferent, or worse alienate them. Taylor said when she switched over from country to pop the one thing her fans were worried about was that her new lyrics wouldn't be smart, honest and emotional. Your audience doesn't want you to change who you are at your core, that is what drew them to your brand in the first place. And that is why as Taylor has transitioned from country to pop her fan base has exploded; she's authentic and vulnerable.
2. Is there a business/branding benefit or risk to publicly espousing personal values?
Being transparent and "real" is important. Sharing personal values will attract the right customers to you if done correctly. Taylor has done well in part due to unapologetically sharing her values. The risk comes when your values don't align with those of your customer base. There is also a risk when personal values don't align with business values or if it is a value that wasn't shared from the beginning. In our society, personal values focused on religion and politics are very polarizing and in general not the best business strategy unless shared by your get target audience or you accept that it may change your audience.
3. Do you have any tips for businesswomen who are looking to find a mutually supportive and helpful network that goes beyond the exchange of cards at a work event?
Taylor is a great example of that! When her new record was launching, she invited some of her fans over to her house for a party. But she did her homework and checked them out on social media to make sure they were super fans and people she would enjoy (and vice versa). That is key- its about finding your people!
Consider starting a networking group. Invite friends and acquaintances to join you for breakfast or lunch on a regular basis; whether weekly, biweekly or monthly just ensure you are meeting frequently enough to build relationships. Not sure you want to go it alone? Reach out to a like-minded acquaintance, decide what you wanted from the group and look at your network to consider who to invite. This way, it is a mix of friends and acquaintances to get the broadest group together and introduce as many ladies who don't know each other. When you meet, you can focus on supporting each other, providing encouragement, building relationships in the hopes of future referrals to focus on the ultimate goal- growing your business.
Other ideas include going to a Meetup on a topic you are passionate about, joining a volunteer group or starting a new group on Linkedin to connect and discuss those things that are most important to you. If it takes off, you could even coordinate an in person networking event to grow the relationships.
Clearly Taylor is doing something right in her career.
2015 is great time to pivot in your career or business. How are you evolving this year? I'd love to hear from you below!