I have to admit, I usually don’t have too much time to watch TV. But when I do, I usually watch shows that don’t require much focus and after a long day of work I often resort to reality shows or random celebrity news. However, I think I can justify this by saying that I have taken away a few “marketing” lessons from these shows or celebrities. Whether its reality TV, Food Network or watching E!, there are valuable lessons these “celebrities” can teach us marketing professionals.
Each successful celebrity truly excels at building their brand, and growing their fan base. But how they do this and what can we learn from them?
Here are 5 lessons that I have picked up while sinking into my comfy couch on (rare) lazy evenings.
1. Love What You Do – I think this is the most important item on this list. As a marketer, if you have passion for what you do your excitement will show through your work. By truly understanding your customer’s pain points you become a “trusted” adviser. Keep in mind that customers and sales leads can tell when you aren’t passionate about what you do. So if you really love your work, don’t just say it– let it show!
Example: Andrew Zimmern, from Bizarre Foods really LOVES what he does, and it shows! I mean you can’t just wake up one day and crave to eat crawling creatures or unknown body parts of animals that most of us haven’t even heard of. He connects with the locals and follows the rituals they do while eating, and genuinely creates that bond. He thrives on being different, and he enjoys every bit of his passion for “bizarre foods.”
2. Build Your Tribe – It’s no secret many celebrities (or even companies) have built some of the most hardcore fan bases of all time. And I think word of mouth is the best and most affordable marketing strategy out there. This can sometimes be easier said than done. But when you have a product that others believe has truly changed their lives, get these influencers to speak on behalf of your product and recruit others to join in on the experience. Your evangelists will do the talking for you and build a strong community. They will be invaluable to your marketing efforts, and you will see your “tribe” grow. This can go in the opposite direction too, so be careful and listen to the chatter that’s taking place in your market. Pay close attention to what people are saying. Sometimes even if it’s bad, turn it around and find a solution to resolve it in a professional way.
Example: Justin Beiber (I know I’m comparing this to JB, but this kid really made his mark with the help of his “team”). Before Beiber was famous, he was just a regular kid who enjoyed singing. Then one day someone found him on YouTube and the rest was pretty much history. He had people going from radio station to radio station to get him noticed so the rest of the world could catch on to the “Bieber Fever”, which they have!
3. Communicate in the Language of Your Audience – If your customers have no idea what you’re saying, your message becomes lost. So leave out the technical jargon. If your customers don’t understand what they’re getting, they are most likely just going to move on. Keep your messaging simple, and to the point. Remember, the art is in the copy and how you explain the true value to them.
Example: Steve Jobs, Apple – if you look at any of the Apple products online, most of the technical information is hidden behind the product. When you first pick up an iPhone at the store, the tech experts will tell you about all the cool features and their value. That’s exactly what Steve does in his presentations; he talks about the cool features (the look, feel, etc.) because he knows that will capture majority of the audiences’ attention. He has created very loyal followers because everything Apple creates is “top of the line” in many people’s eyes – nothing compares to their products feel. The look, the feel, the packaging of any Apple product creates a very “elite” experience. And they are able to do all of this by communicating to their customers in a language that they will understand.
4. Listen To Your Audience – listen to your customers, whether it’s good, bad or ugly. They know about your product or service because they use it on a daily basis. Ask about their experience, what the challenges have been, and how they could be fixed. The best thing about this process is hearing feedback is how new ideas are built! This is also a great way to learn about your competition and the exciting things that are going on in your marketplace.
Example: The Ellen Degeneres Show – She is a true genius at creative marketing ideas and she looks like a genuinely sweet, fun, and nice person. And the biggest lesson we could learn from her is that she’s real, and honest and outspoken about what she believes in – and she’s not afraid to try new things or put herself out there. And this is probably why her fans love her so much, because she’s just Ellen. She’s not trying to be somebody else or someone that everyone wants her to be. And she’s always asking her audience for feedback – whether it’s good, bad or ugly!
5. No Two Snowflakes Are Alike – there could be a lot of competition in your industry or very little, but regardless, make yourself stand apart from the rest. Think, “Does your messaging and brand point out what sets you apart from your competition?” Whether it’s your excellent customer service or a tool that leaves your competition in the dust– make it KNOWN! Brand your unique service or product and make it known to the world. Because if you truly have something unique, why shouldn’t everyone know about it?
Example: Rachel Ray – 30 Minute Meals– I absolutely LOVE her show because everything she makes is “30 minutes or less.” And with a busy lifestyle, who doesn’t want to make quick, healthy meals right at home? She thrives on making sure all her meals are not only quick, and easy but tasty too! She has capitalized on her tagline “30 minutes or less” and shares it with the world. Yes, there are other food network stars that do what she does, but she branded herself as “The 30 minute meal” queen and now most people associate 30 minutes meals with Rachel Ray.
There are probably a ton more of other marketing tactics we could learn from these celebrities, so enjoy your reality TV with a fresh new perspective! Of course we think there are celebrities that got to where they are because of their beauty, inheritance, or through a scandal, but that is only part of the story, and it’s not only how they got there that makes them marketing geniuses; it’s what they are doing to maintain their status.