Beyonce, Texas & The Value Of Brand Building

Beyonce, Texas & The Value Of Brand Building
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

In this op-ed, Emilia Chambers, head of strategy at The Pistol, unpacks Beyonce’s pivot into country music and what she can teach us about brand building.

Beyonce. Bey. Queen Bey. Whatever you call her, Beyonce is up there with one of the greatest female artists of all time. And unless you have been hiding away recently, you will be aware that she has pivoted into the world of country music with her latest song, Texas Hold ‘Em. But not only have we been gifted with another hit, we’ve also been gifted with a perfect example of how to build a brand that can evolve authentically.

When we talk about the importance of brand marketing, we talk about authenticity, consistency, positioning and reach. The Beyonce brand is ticking all these boxes. Since the beginning, Beyonce has maintained a consistent and memorable image. She has a distinctive style, voice, and personality that make her stand out from the crowd and make her recognisable. She also drives interest and talkability by dropping albums and documentaries without warning, creating a sense of urgency and excitement, both amongst her fans and beyond.

And speaking of fans, Beyonce knows her audience and what they want. She delivers her music, videos, and performances in a way that appeals to her fans and attracts new ones. This leads me back to Texas Hold ‘Em, and a significant pivot that was welcomed in such a way that I’m sure more than one marketer questioned what they could do to pivot their brand equally as flawlessly.

So what made Beyonce’s pivot into country music so successful? The success is less about the now but about her career to date. If you look at Beyonce as a brand it’s iconic, authentic and bold. Every song, album cover, interview and collaboration has all been about building the brand. Not everything she has done would have had a direct impact on album sales, but done with the bigger picture in mind. And that bigger picture is being able to go from a pop star to a country star overnight and maintain, if not grow, the same level of excitement and support of her fans.

So, how can brands adopt a Beyonce-like approach to brand building? Firstly, understand your brand narrative and be consistent with your message. Two-thirds of businesses say brand consistency has contributed to revenue growth of at least 10 per cent, according to Lucidpress. This is likely due to increased consistency driving improved recall, and also building trust. If customers can easily identify your brand amongst competitors and understand what you stand for, they’re more likely to align with your brand long-term.

Secondly, invest. The amount a brand should invest depends on various factors, including budget, industry and business maturity. Marketing experts Les Binet and Peter Fields recommend a range of splits depending on maturity from 57 per cent investment into a brand for early growth stage brands through to 72 per cent for leader brands. Testing spend levels can be a great way to find the sweet spot, ensuring that your message is discoverable and building deeper consumer connections.

Lastly, don’t expect an impact overnight. Beyone’s first solo album was released in 2003, so we’re taking over a decade between this and the strength of her brand now. Brand building takes time, and marketers won’t likely see an impact on their brand from the start. With a clear brand direction, proportionate investment, and measurement to validate, brand building can drive growth and aid in unlocking future opportunities and mitigating potential threats. And as Beyonce sings in Texas Hold ‘Em “Stick around, ’round, ’round, ’round, ’round.”

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