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Taylor Swift: The best storytelling marketeer of all time

Or, at the very least, of this decade.

But the question is…

How can you use the Swift Strategy to market your sustainable business?

If you have landed on this blog, we’re going to assume that it’s for one of the following reasons:

  1. You love Miss Swift and will read anything that includes her name 
  2. You just don’t get it and are trying to (no judgement here)
  3. You happened to notice that she has now been relevant for the last two decades (what?!) and want to know how she stays on top of her game

Either way, stick around because we’ve done some digging and think we’ve cracked the Swiftie marketing code.

But first, let’s discuss how she is the master of storytelling, something we’re simply obsessed with here at Claddagh Creative.

1) She creates an experience with her brand

She is always at the forefront of her fans' minds by creating niche experiences. It is never a case of simply releasing an album; she crafts a detailed campaign so that you’re thinking about it months before and months after.

For example, since the release of her first album, she has been leaving easter eggs for her fans to give them even more insight into her experiences.

It started with the little lyric book that comes inside a CD. For her debut album, she capitalised some words to encode secret messages for her fans.

Little did she know, this would spark an Easter egg hunt that would span over two decades (if you’ve ever met an extreme swiftie, they will probably give you a detailed rundown on exactly why she went to a particular place at a certain time with a specific person… and sure enough, two months later, it will come out as a teaser)

Fans are waiting for clues that will allude to something bigger. Some theories seem a little far-fetched, but most have some truth to them. 

The fans know Tay-Tay. And she knows her fans.

2) Speaking of experience, she channels her personal experiences

Now, if you’re here because of point two - allow us to explain why people love Taylor Swift so much.

It’s not just that she is a musician…

She is a writer.  

She encapsulates an entire situation, feeling, interaction - anything really - into one niche line.

That’s what makes her so relatable. Despite who you are and what you have, heartbreak, betrayal, vengeance, regret, and joy unite us. We all feel it, and sometimes, when we are caught up in our feelings, we don’t know how to describe them.

But Taylor Swift?

She gets it to the point where it feels like she uses binoculars to pierce through the complications of situations that we try very hard to hide. And for a moment, you remember that it isn’t just you who feels that way. You feel seen, heard, and understood.

And once you feel like that, you want to stick around. It’s just human nature.

3) It isn’t always pretty, but such is life

She is raw and moving with her words. She is honest with stories and feelings.

Likewise, she isn’t releasing lyrics that she thinks are trending with the times. She’s releasing lyrics that mean something to her.

She is still Taylor Swift, a billionaire and arguably the biggest artist in the world, yet she also gets her heart broken. That is what it comes down to; underneath it all, Taylor is hurt. But rather than going on a run or taking up a new hobby, she puts it into words… and streams it to her millions of fans. 

These are words that, as fans, we hear and feel so deeply in our core that you don’t just hear her music; you feel her music.

This comes down to the one premise we always say: people buy from people. Through her intricate storytelling, she allows fans to experience some of her trickiest times with her. 

Because at some point, you’ve probably been there.

4) She doesn’t stop with a single story. She tells an ongoing narrative.

This, right here, is precisely what keeps her relevant.

Yes, she tells detailed stories in each of her songs.

But she draws the story out with everything else.

She doesn’t just release an album; she plants easter eggs, creates a build-up, and encourages speculation. She is always at the forefront of her fans' minds. 

If it isn’t a tour, it’s a new album. If it’s not a new album, she is rerecording an old album. If she’s not doing any of the above, then she is getting all her celeb friends to change the colour of their Instagram profiles to hint that something is coming (can you imagine having that kind of influence?) 

The point is that in today’s digital era, you can’t stop if you want to stay on top. You need to always have something up your brand's sleeve.

What other marketing secrets can we learn from her?

She is always overdelivering: She announced she was releasing a new Album called The Tortured Poets Department, and we got two albums. She announced a tour without mentioning that it was three hours long. She announced that she was rerecording one of her older albums, Red, and we got a 10-minute rerecord of ‘All Too Well’ alongside a short film. With all her other rerecords, we get songs ‘from the vault’ (songs that didn’t make the cut the first time around). 

The point is that she exceeds expectations. Fans get what they pay for and more. They know that whatever is coming next is always spectacular.

Not everybody likes her, and she doesn’t care: Repeat after us; if you try and speak to everybody, you speak to nobody. Taylor knows her swifties, and she stopped trying to adapt to everybody’s taste. It’s evident how she has found herself over the last six or seven years, and in doing so, she has found her people.

And her career? Well, it’s never been better.

The lesson here is not to let the noise of what everybody else is saying stop you from doing your thing. Your community is out there; stick with them.

FOMO: People who haven’t been lifelong swifties are boarding the Taylor Train purely because they don’t want to miss out on the latest and greatest of what she has been up to. Seeing people around you getting excited about something naturally sparks your curiosity, and you want to see what the hype is about. 

It’s like when the World Cup is on, and football suddenly feels somewhat exciting for everyone because the sun is shining, we’re going to the pub, and we’re painting flags on our cheeks. Football suddenly becomes an event for all of us, whether interested or not.

Honestly, we could talk about her all day. But we have stuff to do (and a double album to listen to), so we will leave it here.

So, what’s the lesson here? 

Easy. Getting to the core of your story and making it the centre of your brand strategy is essential for growth in today’s digital landscape.

Well, it’s not that easy, but it’s kinda our expertise.

If you want to find out exactly how to do this for your sustainable business, book a discovery call today… bonus points if you’re a swiftie.

Image Credits: Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

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