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3 Small Business Branding Lessons from Taylor Swift

By: Jessica Urgiles-- 2015-07-13 2:07 pm --

When it comes to branding your small business, there’s a lot to learn from Taylor Swift. The 25-year-old music mogul is the youngest person to ever be included in Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list. There’s a clear correlation between Swift’s commercial success and her personal brand: 

1. Care

It pays off to be socially responsible — small businesses that are experience exponential growth. Do Something, a nonprofit that motivates young people to become social activists, has named Swift the most charitable celebrity for three consecutive years. Last week, Swift’s “1989” became the fastest-selling album in more than a decade. Every time someone buys a copy of “1989,” they know they’re supporting an artist who invests in social causes.

Swift’s philanthropic efforts don’t go unnoticed and neither will yours. Customers are more inclined to support businesses that believe in the same issues they care about. This is something we regularly practice at DollarDays by donating $5,000 in merchandise to charitable causes every month. Not only does this allow us to give back to our customers, but we’re able to learn what’s important to them.

2. Listen 

It’s not enough to have shared interests, customers also want to know you’re listening to them. Swift does this flawlessly by “Tay-lurking” — what she affectionately calls investigating the social media accounts of fans to learn more about them. Last year, this led to “Swiftmas” — a brilliantly executed social media campaign in which she personally purchased and wrapped holiday gifts for fans.

You can easily build trust within your community by listening to them on social media. You don’t have to shower your followers with gifts, but you do have to be receptive to their feedback. Many small businesses still aren’t on social media or have abandoned their accounts. This a missed opportunity for entrepreneurs — listening to your customers will only help you grow.

3. Speak

Swift isn’t one to shy away from using her platform to speak out about issues in the music industry. When Apple Music launched last month, it provided users a free three-month trial. Apple wasn’t going to pay artists for songs streamed during the trial period, but that quickly changed when Swift posted an open letter to them on Tumblr.

Fans are enchanted by Swift because, like her lyrics, her words are carefully crafted when she speaks. What are the issues in your industry? Establish yourself as a thought leader and cultivate solutions. Speaking up when it matters makes you stand out and will differentiate your business from the rest. 

Swift’s marketing prowess is undeniable. While you likely don’t have the 60 million Twitter followers that she does, her lessons are easy for businesses of any size to emulate.

One thing you can do to jumpstart your philanthropic endeavor is take advantage of our 5 percent Give Back Program. Each time you place an order at DollarDays, we will donate 5 percent of your order to your favorite nonprofit organization. During July, we have doubled the donation to 10 percent, as this is the time of year many nonprofits are preparing their back-to-school outreach.