“Dear Reader.” Since starting in the music industry at the age of 16, Taylor Swift has transformed herself into a pop superstar and built her brand into a global powerhouse. Swift’s “Style” is known for meticulously planning her product launches and leaving Easter eggs within her music hinting at what she’s up to or releasing next. Taylor Swift fans across the globe, also known as “Swifties,” are infamous for decoding the singer’s cryptic riddles and messages to find clues for her upcoming launches.
As Swift’s career progressed, she has turned into a “Mastermind,” creating a new brand for herself as not only an incredible songwriter but also a master of trickery and surprise. She also has become a savvy businesswoman – so savvy that if she was a man, she’d be the man. Did you know that she has amassed an empire in the real estate world as well, assembling a portfolio of homes valued at $150 million?
At Aspen- and Fort Lauderdale-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we have been closely following Swift’s recent product launches, including the launch of her “Midnights” album, and are amazed by her ability to create a buzz around her new product and generate tremendous excitement among her fans. The launch of “Midnights” also shook up the cannabis industry with the debut of her song, “Lavender Haze.” The single, which features Swift blowing lavender smoke rings, left many to wonder if the song was a nod to cannabis.
We know “All Too Well” that Swift incorporates a well-balanced communications campaign for her strategic product launches. Known to “Shake it Off,” Taylor Swift has taught us important PR lessons that can be learned from her successful launches, including the following:
Lesson 1: Know Your Audience
Swift’s meteoric rise to stardom is a testament to her remarkable ability to connect with her audience on a deep and personal level. One of the key factors behind her phenomenal success is her innate understanding of her fans. She knows how to get inside her fans’ heads, understand their preferences, interests and expectations, and create a product that resonates with them. This profound insight into her fans’ needs and desires has enabled her to create music that speaks directly to their hearts and souls, forging a strong emotional connection that goes far beyond mere entertainment. Swift’s fans feel as though she understands them on a personal level, and this has cultivated a sense of trust and loyalty that is unparalleled in the industry.
As a result, when Swift launches a new album or product, her fans eagerly anticipate it, waiting with bated breath for the moment it becomes available. Having that James Dean daydream look in their eye, they know that whatever Swift creates will be of the highest quality and will speak directly to them, reflecting their own experiences, hopes and dreams. This has resulted in a strong and passionate fan base that is willing to support Swift through thick and thin, buying her products as soon as they are released and fiercely defending her against criticism. A group of 26 fans had some “Bad Blood” with Ticketmaster, suing them for a glitch-filled sale of tickets for her Eras Tour leaving thousands of eager fans empty-handed and unhappy.
Lesson 2: Build Anticipation
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” are the wise words of Taylor Swift. Swift’s product launches have become highly anticipated events for her fans, with each one generating a level of excitement and buzz that is hard to match. One of the key reasons for this is the way Swift expertly teases her fans in the lead-up to the launch, dropping cryptic hints like a “Mad Woman” and sharing sneak peeks on social media. This build-up of anticipation is carefully orchestrated by Swift and her team, who use every available tool at their disposal to create a sense of excitement and intrigue around the upcoming launch. By the time Swift finally announces the launch date, her fans are already primed and “Ready For It,” eagerly waiting for the moment they can get their hands on the new product. The result is a highly engaged and enthusiastic fan base that is eager to show their support for Swift and her music. She expertly builds anticipation and generates excitement around her product launches.
Lesson 3: Create an Experience
Swift’s product launches are much more than just the release of a new album or merchandise – they are immersive experiences that her fans eagerly anticipate. To create these experiences, Swift and her team attentively curate every aspect of the product launch, from the design of the product itself to the packaging, marketing campaign, and even the release strategy. Every detail is thoughtfully considered to ensure that the launch is not just a transactional exchange but a memorable and emotionally resonant experience for her fans. For example, the song “Cardigan” was purely for metaphorical purposes, however, Taylor Swift sent the actual cardigan from her music video to celebrities and influencers, drumming up excitement surrounding her “Folklore” album, and the cardigan was for sale on her website. These campaigns create a sense of community and belonging among her fans, as they share their experiences with each other and feel like they are a part of something special.
Lesson 4: Leverage Social Media
Swift’s social media savviness is one of the key reasons for her success in the music industry. With millions of followers on various social media platforms, she is able to connect with her fans on a personal level, share updates on her life and music, and build excitement around her product launches. Swift’s social media strategy is both authentic and strategic. She shares glimpses of her personal life, from her cats to her travels, and uses her platforms to communicate directly with her fans. She also uses her social media accounts to share sneak peeks and teasers of her upcoming releases, creating anticipation and buzz around her product. Another way Swift uses social media to her advantage is by creating interactive experiences for her fans. For example, she has hosted live Q&A sessions on Instagram and Tumblr, allowing fans to ask her questions directly and engage with her in real-time. This creates a sense of community among her fans and strengthens their emotional connection to her and her music. Her fans also have found a way to connect with her directly on social media, using clips from her popular songs, including “Bejeweled” and “Anti-Hero,” to create dances and voiceovers on TikTok. Sometimes Swift will even like and comment on their videos.
Lesson 5: Engage with Fans
Swift has always been known for her close relationship with her fans, and her ability to engage with them is a key factor in her success. The “Happiness” of Swift’s fans is something that she has always valued as she knows they are the reason for her success. In addition to engaging with her fans through social media, she has been known to surprise fans with secret sessions, gifts, handwritten notes, and even private performances. She normally hosts meet-and-greets before her concerts, giving fans the opportunity to meet her in person and create unforgettable memories. This level of engagement helps create a strong emotional connection between Swift and her fans. By making her fans feel valued and appreciated, she creates a loyal following that is eager to support her in everything she does. Swift has ensured that her fans, both “The Girl at Home” and the concertgoers, get to experience her music, making her concerts available on streaming platforms or the 10-minute “All Too Well” film featuring Sadie Sink and actor Dylan O’Brien available on YouTube. This, in turn, helps generate buzz and anticipation around her product launches, as her fans are eager to see what she has in store.
“Long Story Short,” we can learn a lot from Taylor Swift’s approach and apply these lessons to our own campaigns. Taylor Swift’s thought-provoking product launches are masterclasses in public relations and marketing. By understanding her audience, building anticipation, creating an experience, leveraging social media and engaging with her fans, she is able to create a thrill around her product and generate tremendous excitement among her fans.
Now, can I ask you a “Question…?” Are you ready to create your own thoughtful public relations campaign? As a leading PR and marketing agency, contact us at D&Co at 954-723-9350.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national, and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and hemp, psychedelics, technology and cryptocurrency, marine and yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.