Whether you love her music or hate it, it’s undeniable that Taylor Swift is a powerhouse, and that’s largely due to her branding and the way she utilizes social media to create her image. Taylor is definitely looking out for Number One with her branding and her image, but unlike some others who claim she’s a ruthless capitalist, I tend to think Tay is just a shrewd businesswoman with a heart of gold.
She’s also immensely powerful in the music world. Anyone who can call out a multi-billon-dollar company and get results is someone to marvel at. If you have not read that Open Letter to Apple, I encourage you to do so. The respect and sincerity with which it reads shows a lot about Taylor’s character and care for other artists. Contrived? I just don’t think so…
Taylor knows that her fans, friends, family, and the support of fellow artists make her success and career. Here are a few aspects that have made up the Personable Brand that is Taylor Swift:
Growth and Reinvention
Taylor is not afraid to put herself out there, to share the heartbreak along with the success. If only we were all so bold. The Taylor Swift generation of fans are tired of the “polished” personas. They crave real, even in their pop songs. People want to know they are not alone, and the “we’re in this together” underlying message of the Swift brand communicates that.
Taylor listens to her audience and is not afraid to change, develop, and grow—something that could be quite scary in the public eye. She’s also self-aware, acknowledging her past reputation as a man-eater (as seen in her fabulous coup of a song, “Blank Space”) and criticizing her former, ball-gown wearing, romance-obsessed self. We won’t name names, but while other stars of her age group are going for “shock value,” Taylor seems to stay true to herself, and has built her fame on that.
Social Media Optimization
Whether on her self-named website or her Instagram feed, you will find everything from photos of her cats to pictures with models and pop stars. It is a seemingly well-rounded presentation. Taylor knows social media is where it’s at and she goes straight to the heart of her fans rather than waiting around for the media to come to her. Brands could learn a thing or two from this girl’s marketing! The Swift brand uses social media as a tool of interaction, not just to spread news. Stars may not be “just like us,” but social media can certainly make it appear more so.
How many stars do you know that would take the time to give a fan a handwritten note? It is this personal touch of giving back, that so many “Swifties” appreciate. They feel noticed and valued. Swift treats her followers like friends, not just fans. It is this sense of humility that builds connection. From visiting fans in hospitals to crashing a photo shoot in workout clothes to private listening parties, Taylor supports those that support her.
It’s only the cynical who look at Taylor’s works of kindness and her #GalSquad and only see contrivance and manipulation. Taylor has proven her talent, moxie and staying power aside from her philanthropic works, and the fact that she’s surrounded herself with powerful women shows only how much she loves and respects her friends.
We could all stand to learn a thing or two from Tay. And we surely all will.