martes, 26 de abril de 2016

Reading between the lines: Business Lessons from Beyonce!

When building an empire, nothing is random. You have to know how to build up a good story for each of your projects. How to set a statement.

Beyoncé está en las portadas de Elle y Elle Fashion de USA para el mes de Mayo

Recently, I was reading an interview with Beyonce at Elle magazine. For some people, fashion magazines are vain, but they miss great business lessons from great interviews with insiders of an industry that rules the world. Like this one.

Beyonce recently launched her own athletic apparel line in collaboration with Topshop. And here are some lessons I would keep from her confessions on how she developed this project and sealed the deal.

1. Associate your brand with an emotional story

The name of this new clothing line is Ivy Park. But it’s not just a tribute to her very young daughter, but a whole statement. “I called it Ivy Park because a park is our commonality. We can all go there; we're all welcomed. It's anywhere we create for ourselves. For me, it's the place that my drive comes from. I think we all have that place we go to when we need to fight through something, set our goals and accomplish them” –says Queen B.

But wait! There’s more… The journalist recalls: “The singer's lucky number 4—the date of her birthday, Jay Z's birthday, and their wedding anniversary—appears subtly throughout; the name Ivy, too—shared, of course, by her four-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy—is inspired by the Roman numeral IV”.

A lot of thinking through it, right? Again, like I said, nothing is random. You gotta put a lot of meaning into it.

2. Be prepared and convincing

This was Beyonce’s inititative, not the other way around. Not a move from the brand to use her image. Beyonce had everything already figured out. The way she wanted it. When she wanted it. All her vision perfectly stated in her business plan for Ivy Park.

“I thought of Ivy Park as an idyllic place for women like us. I reached out to Topshop and met with Sir Philip Green [chief executive of its parent company, Arcadia]. I think he was originally thinking I wanted to do an endorsement deal like they'd done with other celebrities, but I wanted a joint venture. I presented him with the idea, the mission statement, the purpose, the marketing strategy—all in the first meeting. I think he was pretty blown away, and he agreed to the 50-50 partnership.”

It’s like the key all teachers gave us in school, the more prepared you are, the more convincing. (Although I bet anything ‘Beyonce’ is convincing enough).

3. Know what you want. Feel what you want.

You might not know the business completely, but you have to know what you want and find the people to do it right. No need to rush things, or launch something that is not polished enough.

“I've learned that you have to be prepared. And when you visualize something, you have to commit and put in the work. We had countless meetings; we searched for and auditioned designers for months. I knew the engineering of the fabric and the fit had to be the first priority. We really took our time, developed custom technical fabrics, and tried to focus on pushing athletic wear further. And because I've spent my life training and rehearsing, I was very particular about what I wanted.”

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up your mind

Above all, your personality has to stand out. No matter how controversial your thoughts can be, you should always be you, it’s what’s going to set you apart from everyone else. Or like a popular quote says, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.

About speaking up her mind or presenting her political and social views in her latest video, Beyonce says: “I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.” 
Based on Beyonce’s recent interview for ELLE mag

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