With an estimated worth of over €90 million, it makes sense that Harvard Business School would be looking to the music industry machine that is Beyoncé Knowles Carter.
The singer is now a corporate case study on one of the graduate school’s courses with her surprise self-titled album that was released out of nowhere just before Christmas being held up as a masterclass in marketing – despite it having no marketing strategy. The release method has been placed under corporate scrutiny by authors Anita Elberse and Stacie Smith. They entitle the 27-page report simply ‘Beyoncé’ and spoke to Billboard about what they learned from Queen Bey and her record company.
Some lessons that a budding marketeer can learn from The Great One? As Bad Feminist writer Roxane Gay would say, ‘Praise Beyoncé’.
Don’t overstay your brain
In meetings Beyoncé will get up and walk around when she gets bored. She knows when she’s reached peak corporate talk and will not waste her time.
Trust in the team effort
Beyoncé rented a home in the Hamptons for the production process and in the evenings everyone would dine together before going off to nail those tracks. Bey would walk between rooms and work on single simultaneously. If working on different projects at once keeps you focused don’t be afraid to dip in and out of collaborations. As long as you know your end goal is an amazing chart topping album you’ll be fine.
Plan, Plan, Plan
We here at Image.ie still remember the album drop – chills in the air. With Beyoncé the unveiling was impeccable. Irish fans had the same access as LA music executives and 17 accompanying videos were ready to go. This unprecedented cultural moment didn’t just happen because a few people sat in front of a laptop uploading stuff to iTunes and Youtube. Months of discussions with social media networks proved instrumental in revealing the gamechanger record in just the right way. The takeaway? If you have a major vision keep focused. Start as you mean to go on and don’t be sloppily rushed into something you’re professionally uncomfortable with.
Meanwhile, if Harvard Business School is out of your price range then you can just play the Destiny’s Child classic Bills, Bills, Bills on loop. As Bey, Kelly and whoever was in their good books chimed at the time,
“Can you pay my bills
Can you pay my telephone bills
Can you pay my automo-bills
If you did then maybe we could chill
I don’t think you do
So, you and me are through”
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun