If you like it then you should put a RIBBON on it

In a previous post, I talked about how being a public relations professional helps me think on my feet to work around threats.

In conducting and updating my SWOT analysis for this wedding, one of the opportunities for the bridal party turned into a serious threat:

The bridesmaid dresses didn’t fit 40% of the bridal party!

 

Now with less than 30 days to the wedding, I had to think fast to avoid raising the bride’s stress levels. Well it turns out my solution worked!

Here is how I turned an original opportunity that changed to a threat back to another opportunity…and technically into a strength.

 

My wonderful Etsy solution!

The bridesmaid dresses are one of the most expensive items to acquire for the wedding.  Normally this would entail the bridal party to go dress shopping and place the dress on order.  In this particular instance, we decided to go the least expensive route and find a dress on a website.  Pretty dress but to our disbelief, the FIT didn’t work out for our curvaceous features.  We took the risk and lost.

It’s now less than 30 days to the wedding.  There was no way we could order dress to have them arrive in time and even if they did, the fit out would not be favorable.  With two bridesmaids not being able to fasten the hooks, I decided to throw a ribbon on it and have all the bridesmaids wear a ribbon around their waist to cover the hooks.

It was my job to break the news to the bride but I had to make sure I present it in a way that would ease her worries.  The sandwich method helped (start good, drop the bad, top it off with good):

  1. Complimented the beauty of the dress
  2. State that the dress could not be secured for a couple of bridesmaids due to the tight fit
  3. Offered a solution that would solve any issues AND compliment the colors of the wedding

After having the bride check with her wedding planner, the ribbon worked and would not clash with any other decor. Whew, crisis averted.  I Pope’ed it!  This ribbon not only solves a problem but includes the bride’s favor color more in her wedding vision.

Anyone can complain and pout but the resilient figure out a way to make it happen.  Most entrepreneurs push and strive to see their vision come to life so get out there and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

The ONE Thing Every Brand Needs to be Successful

If you don’t know by now from some of my posts, I’m a huge Beyoncé fan.  Beyoncé made headlines soon after her 35th birthday for postponing one of her shows from her Formation world tour per doctor’s orders. Unfortunately, thousands of fans were affected in the process. The songstress just came off the first leg of her Formation world tour with little rest. In addition to her multi-city stops in her second leg, she schedule two award show performances: one at the 2016 BET Awards and her most recent at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Courtesy of Beyonce and Parkwood Entertainment via Billboard.com

As Beyoncé accepted her award for Video of the Year for her music video “Formation” which dropped back in February, she struggled to keep a steady tone as she spoke. She just gave the performance of her life and it is obvious during her acceptance speech that her vocal chords were exhausted. It sounded like she was beginning losing her voice. It shouldn’t have come as no surprise her singing abilities for the MetLife Stadium concert in New Jersey would have been deeply impacted as well as the remaining shows to soon follow after, had she now decided to postpone her show.

Touring for months on end can take its toll on a performer. Not being able to do your job really sucks and the songstress made sure she thanked her fans for their patience via her Instagram profile.

Janet Jackson is another artist who was ordered to postpone her recent tour per doctor’s orders. The singer is now pregnant with her first child, at the age of 49. Getting pregnant itself is a miracle, especially after a certain age. It was important for her and her husband to start a family and her body doesn’t need the added stress.

Sir Richard Branson takes a holiday every August to ensure health and happiness. The billionaire offers unlimited vacation to his employees and believes if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.

From a 2014 survey of over 1,000 employed people, 41% do not plan on using all of their vacation time. The top 5 reasons people leave vacation days unused:

  1. Fear of returning to a mountain of work (40%)
  2. The belief that nobody else can do the job (35%)
  3. Inability to afford taking time off (33%)
  4. Fear of being seen as replaceable (22%)
  5. To show greater dedication to the company and the job (28%)

America has fostered a workaholic culture; some to show their dedication while others feel that no one can adequately aid in their duties if an issue arise that they’re not there to solve themselves. Whether you feel pressured to “show commitment” or you can’t afford to take off, you must step away for your own sake. Stress can cause burnout and resentment towards your daily duties. Returning from even a brief leave of absence can make you feel refreshed with a new view of how to execute the things you need to do.

The “Beyoncé” of Basketball, For Now

StephCurry
Image Courtesy of Stephen Curry’s Twitter Profile Picture

 

My husband and I were shopping on vacation. Outside a shoe store were samples of the shoes they were selling inside the store. At almost every shoe store there was the blue/white/gold Under Armour® Men’s Curry shoe. After seeing this advertised at the tenth shoe store, we walked passed it only to see a huge wall ad of Steph Curry himself in uniform and a picture of the very same shoe. “In the second quarter of 2015, during the same time frame when Curry won MVP and the Warriors won the title, Under Armour’s basketball shoe sales went bonkers with sales growing by 754% in that category.” (Business Insider, August 2015).

I never took considerable notice before because I’m not a huge basketball fan however brands are willing to jump on the next “IT” player to make their own shoes/sports apparel. Now that I think about it there have been several predecessors before Curry to get their own shoe: Kevin Durant’s Nike KD’s, Penny Hardaway’s Foamposites, Shaquille O’Neal’s Reebok Shaq Attacks, Kobe Bryant’s Adidas KB8 and of course the many, many styles of Michael Jordan’s Nike Air Jordan’s; just to name a few.

All of these current/former players are, or were at some point, star players in the NBA. Some were even featured multiple times with several SKUs of shoes (i.e. Michael Jordan). They’ve set records and done it in their own style, leading shoe brands to take notice. Who wouldn’t want their shoe to be worn by the hottest/highest scoring MVP player in the league, on television?! Feet are a major ad space for a professional athlete, and rightfully so as these sponsorships are costing companies millions for a star player to be the face of a brand.

Brands will spend major dollars on other advertising avenues to make sure they make millions: billboards, TV, radio, magazines, blogs, etc. Everyone brand wants to top the Nike Air Jordan’s and Nike has to consistently stay relevant with their releases. Now that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers are the latest champions, we may be expecting a different shoe on the market from one of the stars on that team.

I must give credit to my husband for coming up with the title of this blog.  Thanks D 🙂

The Beyoncé Brand serves “Lemonade” as we’re about to DIE of Thirst!

Yes, another post about Beyoncé but who can blame me?! She is a marketing genius!

Lemonade
Photo courtesy of Genius.com

 

Everyone was tuned into HBO for the world premiere of Beyoncé’s expected album “Lemonade.” After she dropped her single and video for “Formation” right before her Super Bowl 50 performance with Cold Play and Bruno Mars, the “Beyhive” knew she had something special in the works. Who knew she would have a Formation tour but everyone knew then that she has an album ready to share with the world. What artist can sell out a world tour prior to even dropping the album?!

Due to her controversial performance paying homage to the Black Panther Party to emphasize freedom from oppression of any form, she instantly gained so much publicity that you had no choice but to try to go to her concert to see if you can get answers (or an apology depending on if you want to #boycottbeyonce)…but to go to a concert and not know any lyrics? That’s why when Beyoncé hinted at her next project, “Lemonade” she knew we’d drink it all up!

Beyoncé famously doesn’t give interviews any longer, with the exception much to my surprise with her recent Elle magazine cover feature. Her music conveys relationship infidelities and trust issues and many are speculating if they are based on fact or fiction.

What I love about Beyoncé’s music is that you’ll never get the true answer because her lyrics have depth, and can mean more than one thing. Not only does her lyrics have controversy, we all know so does her life. Everyone remembers the infamous elevator footage of her sister, Solange, attacking her husband, Jay-Z. The family has issued a bland statement asking the public to respect their privacy, without offering any answers. She has also had previous issues with her father and her father has had infidelity issues of his own….maybe some of the lyrics are written in a different perspective.

Either way, good or bad, you can’t go a week without seeing Beyoncé in the news. She keeps a publicist to work with creative ways to distribute her message rather than the traditional way we’re all use to. From surprise albums to surprise movies and world tours, the Beyoncé brand is never predictable. Maybe her next album will be a full-on Tony award-winning production on Broadway!

FYI as an active member of the Beyhive, I will be attending her Raleigh, NC show tonight!  What do you love about Beyoncé’s marketing tactics?

Red Lobster Fumbles their Publicity Opportunity

Once again I’m talking about Beyoncé (I promise this post will be shorter!) As you may have heard, Beyoncé released a new song and video titled “Formation.” The artist doesn’t hold back in her lyrics or her visual effects in her video.

One very surprising line that Beyoncé featured in the song had people’s mouths wide-open. The very shocking lyrics are “When he F^@K me good, I take his a$$ to Red Lobster.” Talk about keeping private life confidential!

Many were waiting to see how Red Lobster would respond. It took hours for their social media team to come up with this response:

Red Lobster screenshot

Even though their sales have increased 33% since the song was released 3 days ago, many truly believe that Red Lobster missed the opportunity to do more with this free publicity. If you recall back in 2013, when Beyoncé headlined the Pepsi half-time show, the stadium’s lights were blown after her performance. It took a few minutes for the game to resume but nowhere near long enough for Oreo’s social media team to use that moment with what I believe is the cleverest tweet they could have done in that moment:

oreo 2013.png

 

They won Twitter and the Super Bowl that night!

Key Takeaway: Make sure your social media and graphics team are quick on their feet, especially during major televised events. You never know when you will have the opportunity to capitalize off free publicity. Peyton Manning sure was ready to drink a lot of Budweiser after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50. Keep in mind a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl ran advertisers $5 million dollars and Budweiser scored big by having Manning mention it is TWO separate post-game interviews. According to Market Watch, “just one mention by Manning was worth about $1.6 million for Budweiser.”

Oh the joys of public relations!  Do you think Red Lobster fumbled their opportunity?

Beyonce Stands for Freedom, in ALL Forms

beyonce-dancers-superbowl-halftime-show-black-panthers-2016
Photo credit: Beyoncé.com

 

Post Michael Jackson, Beyoncé may very well be the greatest entertainer of our time. She is an amazing singer, actress, dancer, song writer, and entrepreneur.  Universities have taken to create entire semester-long courses surrounding Beyoncé’s business decisions.  There is little that she can’t do.  She validates this in her new song, “Formation” with the lyrics “I see it, I want itI stunt, yeah, little hornet. I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.”  She is the epitome of hard AND smart work.

History indicated that she has a knack for surprising her fans. Beyoncé announced the Mrs. Carter World tour after her Super Bowl performance back in 2013. While touring, she secretly recorded songs and music videos leading to her digital drop later that year in December.  Beyoncé’s self-titled album went platinum with no promotion, due in part to her loyal fan base.

She has been relatively quiet on social media since the New Year, which means that she is been either working, taking a break, or both possibly. On Saturday, February 6th she dropped a new song and video titled “Formation”, a day prior to her scheduled guest appearance during Cold Play’s Super Bowl 50 Half-time Performance, sponsored by Pepsi.

Going back to the surprise element, Beyoncé’s new song “Formation” featured lyrics regarding her past, up-bring, and how she is completely comfortable with her life and the decisions she has made. She consistently faces negative comments about her daughter’s hair styles as well as her speech.  Beyoncé is from Texas and if you pay attention to previous interviews, you can tell that she tries very hard to control her dialect due to societal and business pressures. She is also showing signs for taking a political stance against the poor treatment of the African American community from society.

The thing is…may none-African Americans don’t see it this way. Some, who can’t fathom the struggle of the African American community, see her as being “anti-police” because she sunk a police car in her “Formation” music video.  Being an artist gives her the ability to express her art and platform in deeper ways than face value.  Beyoncé’s video is about being a care-free person and being able to live your life like your neighboring counterparts, without fear of being placed in a category based on their outward appearance.  We also must confront and bring to light injustice as it happens which is what Beyoncé did in her “Formation” video.  Do you really think Kanye West’s remark about former President George Bush not caring about black people was a random, irrational statement…or a true belief within that man that New Orleans was not treated with the priority it deserved after Katrina.  Don’t get me wrong I’m sure many were surprised he actually made that statement on live TV, but it validated what many people thought about how the government handled the situation.  New Orleans, especially the districts populated mainly by African Americans, is forever changed and may not ever go back to what it was before Katrina struck.

She doesn’t advocate “anti-police” but she does certain promotion “pro-black”: meaning that it is ok for the African American community to be themselves, to accept themselves and to have others accept them without conformation. Unfortunately, the African American community deals with biased people, who are ignorant to reality, (good example: When the police were called, by white neighbors, because some teenagers, who were not white, were being “loud” playing basketball outside.)  The good outcome about this was that not only did the cop decided to brush off the complaint and join the game; he was able to bring NBA legend Shaq to play with the next time.

Other protesters against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance and new video have stated she promotes capitalism and materialism. Her lyrics in the “Formation” song at the end say, “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”  Beyoncé didn’t invent capitalism nor did she invent the rules of the game. Those who have historically have had powerful roles in charge of laws and businesses are now bashing her for trying to “play the game” and be economically stable, and that seems counter-productive as society as a whole is doing this.  We get influenced by our peers along with media and magazines of what is “popular.”

Beyoncé wants what most African Americans and other races want in America: to be on the level playing field with operators and enforcers who are open to different backgrounds and upbringings. She is what I like to call the “new feminist,” someone who supports her spouse and takes care of house and home but also knows when to put her foot down and knows how to demand the respect in the business world as how a man would normally require.

With her loyal fan base and her large platform, Beyoncé can finally speak her mind without hesitancy and let the world know: if now isn’t the time to address this issue, will there ever be a good time? It is extremely uncomfortable to deal with racial issues however the conversation must be had.  Otherwise, we would still see “whites only” signs in restaurants and movie theaters.  We are still a growing society with good and bad influences.  It is up to us to continue to allow the bad to happen of affect change so that others will not be afraid to change with us.

I encourage everyone to have an open mind when commenting on or discussing with others Bey’s “Formation” video and her performance at Super Bowl 50.

 

 

#Smartmarketing Beyonce’s Surprise to the World!

Image  #nomarketing = #smartmarketing

All year Beyonce had to listen to complaints from just about everyone because she has not debut new music.  Well in her words….”SURPRISE”!!! Beyonce shocked the world and drops a visual, self-titled album last night while everyone was sleeping.  No marketing or promotion beforehand from the “Flawless” singer, nor was it really required.  Already, Beyonce is number 1 in multiple countries (see my repost instagram pic from her stylist Ty Hunter @Johnson_Cassie).  This is just part 1 and it’s all because of her supportive fans, also known as the Beyhive.

I really loved the fact that Beyonce featured Ashley Everett, my favorite backup dancer, in her Heaven video not only as a dancer but as an actress.  Another favorite of mine, Todrick Hall, choreographed part of Beyonce’s Blow video and was also a featured guest star!  Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, even had credit as an artist!

#smartmarketing #genuismarketing

My favorite songs at the moment are Flawless, Drunk in Love, and Blow.  Ghost is visually my favorite video.

What is your favorite song and video from the new album?