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 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?

Motherhood and PR Part 2: Collaboration is give and take

Before February 24, 2016 I was on my own time. I did things when I wanted to do them. Now that I have a baby girl, my personal time is limited after working 8 hours, after the house is clean and once my husband isn’t working on one of his multiple companies (having multiple streams of income definitely helps with a newborn). Some things are unavoidable such as when the baby has to eat and needs a diaper change. This can be at three in the afternoon AND three in the morning with several diaper changes and feedings in between.

Knowing newborns schedules are different than their parents, the parents can better prepare for these anticipated needs of the child, especially at night. One example: breastfeeding moms could, if they prefer, pump during the day and have a safety stock of milk ready to heat up in the middle of the night so that either mom or dad could bottle-feed baby.

Publicist can also anticipate and prepare for their clients such as capitalizing off of certain events. A good example of this can be if a publicist has a musician as a client attending an awards show. The publicist could work their magic and try to get their clients featured on radio before the show and line up interviews during the red carpet walk.

Happy fashion designer talking phone in office
Photo courtesy of careersinmusic.com

Unfortunately everything cannot be anticipated such as a client losing their cool. Publicists should always prepare for a crisis to be ready to respond accordingly. Take Chris Brown for example; the R&B singer has been in and out of trouble since he was convicted to assault against his former girlfriend Rihanna. Chris Brown likes to vent/share his opinions on his social media accounts about things that he feels he “knows” a lot about … just because he has been in a sticky situation or two before. His publicist, if he has one, will have to deal with the fallout.

Babies are just as unpredictable as their little immune systems make them vulnerable to getting sick very easily. It is important for parents to not only prepare to prevent this from happening, but stop it from getting worse. Keeping the child from having sick visitors or giving the child prescribed medicine from their pediatricians are examples of unplanned things parents must do for their child.

All-nighters are not limited to students of higher education. You can give babies and clients all the prep you may anticipate but they will take up a lot of your time with their unpredictability as well. Knowing about this give and take will help you get through the hard times…as it is not a matter of if they will happen, but when.

Generic Trademarks

bandaid

A close personal friend brought generic trademarks to my attention. Wikipedia defines generic trademarks as a trademark or brand name that has become the generic name for a general class of product or service.  This is usually against the intentions of the trade mark holder so essentially the trademark becomes non-existent. A court can determine these trademarks to have become generic.

I find it fascinating to know that one day someone can create a product or service to grow so huge that the mark can no longer be effective due to the general population using the brand name interchangeably with the generic name.  The thing that began making the trademark holder money initially can possibly stop.

Here is just a few brands that have now become generic and are no longer trade marked:

Brand: Escalator
Generic: moving stairs

Brand: Laundromat
Generic: coin laundry shop

Brand: Yo-Yo
Generic: spinning toy

Band-Aid is another trade mark example genericised in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia for adhesive bandage however it is still legally trade marked.  Others include Crockpot, Chapstick, Bubblewrap, Onesies, Post-it, Scotch tape, Taser and Xerox.

See the full list on Wikipedia.

Amazing!  Do you know of any others?

Differentiate

There is a ton of talent in the world. Many want their share of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry. The problem is most aspiring artists are blending in with what is current and trending instead of trying to set a new standard that many will never get discovered. Even if the artist gets discovered, it may take longer than it would have if the artist would have had their own image. Once they finally have some shine based on the current trend, the next “trend” has already begun to work it’s way through the industry and the artist will again have to adjust to stay relevant.

This can be avoided by differentiation. The artist with their branding team will need to understand what sets them a part from all of the other talent in their category. What works for Justin Bieber may not work for August Alsina, even though both artists are truly talented in the R&B music industry. Lets take a quick look into how August Alsina’s image differs from Justin Bieber’s:

August Alsina

August Alsina
Photo Credit: Allhiphop.com
  • Starting posting on YouTube and following grew
  • Got into drug dealing before being discovered
  • Released other mix tapes previous before his official first release
  • One released studio featured album
  • Newer to the entertainment industry compared to Justin Bieber
  • Preparing for this first official tour

Justin Bieber

justin bieber
Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter
  • Started posting on YouTube and following grew
  • No released mix tapes prior to first official album release
  • Four released studio albums to date
  • Has had a longevity in the music industry compared to August having finished a worldwide tour that lasted over a year
  • Got into legal trouble after speculation of drug and alcohol abuse

As you can see these two artists are very different in their careers.  August Alsina has opportunities coming his way so he can focus on to further his career.  Justin Bieber has to deal with the legal troubles from his DUI arrest in Florida and his infamous egg throwing incident to one of his California neighbors.

The media loves to report chaos and negativity for sales and website hits.  Until Bieber resolves all of his legal issues, he will continue to be followed by the paparazzi in hopes that they can catch the next chaotic thing Justin will do.  It’s unfortunate that rising talent will have to fight to get media attention for the good things that they’re trying to do but that is the way the media world works.

Outer appearance is a part of the image, along with the artist’s story.  For Justin Bieber he was a cute 15 year old with adorable hair and everyone wanted to interview him. All talk shows wanted to have Bieber perform on their shows.  An artist’s image should invite journalists and reporters to want to get to know you better.  For August Alsina you will usually see him in sunglasses.  This could prompt journalists and reporters to ask more questions as this can be seen to some people as “hiding” from the public.  Either way, it welcomes people to ask questions to get a better understanding.  Now August Alsina is more open either wearing fake glasses or not wearing any at all.

How can an artist get more media coverage about the GOOD things they are doing?  Consider hiring a publicist to help figure out how to not only set the artist a part but how to STAND OUT from the competition.  It is important to understand what image the artist will  want to portray with the media so the media can tell the artist’s story for them.

Side note: I’m doing freelance work for Elvie G PR out of Los Angeles, CA.  Are you a musician that needs public relations work? Please contact me at elviegprcassandra@aol.com to see what we can do for your brand/image!

 

Vehicle Wraps and Outdoor Advertising

My colleague and fellow fraternity brother, Frank Nichols, brought to my attention the advertising tactic called vehicle wraps.

vehicle wrap
photo credit: blog.imagesmith.com

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, in 2012 the Out of Home Advertising (OOH a.k.a outdoor advertising) accounted for 4.9% share of total media spending.  In a recent press release from OAAA in December 2013, “Out of home (OOH) advertising revenue rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, accounting for more than $1.6 billion, (OAAA, 2013).

To see a list of the Top Spenders in OOH advertising, click here.

Which categories (beer, fast food, retail, etc.) do you feel benefit the most using OOH advertising, specifically vehicle wraps?