Beyoncé’s Marketing Syllabus for Entrepreneurs: Lemonade
I've taken my share of marketing classes, but after watching an hour-long short movie, I learned even more about marketing than when I earned my Master's degree in Business Administration! When life gives you lemons, you learn to make lemonade. If you’re anything like me: you sell the lemonade for profit. Recently Beyoncé released a groundbreaking visual album that broke the Internet and HBO. The obvious talk was what her husband, Jay Z, allegedly did to her and the Beyhive hunting down “Becky with the good hair,” (Sorry Rachael Ray). There were also more subtle, yet prevalent undertones throughout the project illustrating girl power, feminism, Black girl magic, and most importantly, being an unapologetic woman in power.
Lemonade is an amazing blueprint for the entrepreneur teaching:
- Creativity Bliss
- Lemonade is Your Product
- Personable Pitch
- Taking Control
Baddie Bey is not afraid to have a naked conversation with her audience. Whether or not it’s her truth can be disputed, however, she was not shy about expressing these feelings through her art for business purposes. This is the time where you discover what works and what does not for your business. In an over saturated market, the critical acclaim Beyoncé received the first week of her project was stellar. Entrepreneurs, it’s okay to do something outside of the box in your industry. Bottom line: find what works for you in your area of expertise. That is your most profitable lane we call it the “sweet spot.” Besides, being like everyone else is boring! Here's the formula: Creativity + truth/experience = lemonade for your industry. Be unapologetic about your approach. Trailblazers always break away from the normal way to do business.
The most successful entrepreneurs like to live on the edge. We do “it” afraid. Many liken the experience to jumping off of a cliff and building an airplane on the way down. Taking a business risk reminds me of the pregnancy process: it’s exhilarating, taxes your body, drains your finances, it can be uncomfortable (please get used to being uncomfortable,) and you lose plenty of sleep. It has painful moments: moments of unsurety, it stretches you, makes you stronger, more flexible, and more fearless. The freedom an entrepreneur possesses is birthed through the experience that gives you your fearlessness: the birthing process. In the end, everything you experienced no matter how tumultuous, was worth it. Yes, we entrepreneurs take risks unlike any other, but what’s a normal journey look like anyway? Don’t fight it. Taking calculated risks in your can be one of the most freeing and rewarding experiences you will ever have.
In the words of entrepreneur, Ming Lee, “the best marketer wins.” And the award goes to... Mrs. Bootylicious Carter! Marketing talent is rare. She’s no Mary Kay Ash by creating network marketing, but all it takes is one post on social media and the BeyHive is spending tax money on Formation Tour tickets; paychecks on Ivy Park athletic gear; or fasting lunch to purchase the latest $20 album. How can this information help your business? Market your product/service in such a way that your customers praise your greatness without you having to tell them to do so! The best marketers know how to tell one hell of a page-turning story to grab your attention, keep your attention, and close the deal with the customer purchasing what’s been placed in the cart online. Geniuses close the deal!
"Lemonade" Is Your Product
It is a must you learn how to be a great storyteller as an entrepreneur. Authors typically sell their life experiences. Beyoncé took her alleged sour life experiences and turned them into a lucrative visual masterpiece. There’s no reason why you can’t sell your pain and profit from life’s misfortunes. Some take lemons and do nothing. Some are smart enough to make lemonade. Some make lemon drop martinis. But the entrepreneur distributes it as a product or service and makes a profit! Be like Beyoncé, profit from your life experiences.
Being relatable does wonders for you no matter what industry you are in and no matter where you are in life. I don’t care how big your team is. I don’t care how great your product is: people ultimately buy you! If you are mean, snobbish, unrelatable, you will not sell...period! Making more friends, becoming more likeable at work, and in social environments helps you to close the deal! Our pitch must be relatable to win over investors, securing the dream job/interview, or procuring new clients. In being relatable, your potential client resonates with your pitch and ultimately purchases the product/service you are providing. The short film, Lemonade, was 2016’s second quarter cash cow. The notoriously private Beyoncé tapped into topics and social issues that are prevalent to her fans today. Translation: she made herself relatable. Even if the alleged affair isn’t true, she knew it would resonate with the millions of people that have been on the rollercoaster we call love. She was able to communicate with a sense of authenticity. We entrepreneurs should be able to do the same. Warning: Please don’t be dishonest or manipulative. Fake tears damage your credibility. The personable pitch heavily depends on building strong relationships. You don’t want to damage the trust of your customer just to get a sale.
**Bonus - Taking Control
Boss Beyoncé took control of the media. All press is good press right? Well the pop empress legalized and trademarked (if she’s smart) phrases that people have recently used against her. Exhibit A: “Boycott Beyoncé” tees. She literally owned her naysayers. She made a strategic move that the infamous Olivia Pope would have publically endorsed. This is her Formation tour merchandise. Even Comcast purchases all unfavorable domain names like Comcast Sucks.com. Take notes entrepreneurs. Companies are no longer trying to defend themselves publically. Your primary concern as an entrepreneur is to provide the best products/services to your clientele ala lemonade. Bon appétit!
The CEO, published author, and servant leader, Ask TPJ, is a millennial M.B.A. graduate in love with helping others fulfill their purpose by walking in the areas of business, leadership, writing, personal development, and project management . Specializes in non-profit organizations, operations, project management, business administration, organizational strategy, social media, and small businesses. She's also a mom to a starting lineup of 5 little A's affectionately known as "The A-Team!" She loves to cook and is an active member of The Junior League of Birmingham Michigan!