From Oprah to the Kardashians: 6 Celebrity-Inspired Business Lessons
Today's celebrities aren't just entertainers, they are brands and businesses. Here are six lessons that you can learn from some of the hottest celebrities around:
Lana Del Rey: If It’s Not Working, Reinvent Your Brand
Before she found fame as a 1960s-inspired sultry throwback singer, Lana Del Rey was a prep-school graduate from upstate New York named Elizabeth “Lizzy” Grant. She started her career with her given name, blonde hair, no shtick and an acoustic, folksy vibe. But, that wasn’t working. So, she reinvented her career under the stage name Lana Del Rey, dyed her hair, adopted the 1960s makeup and deep voice and had a breakthrough.
If your business isn’t standing out, consider going from Lizzy to Lana -- give your location, products or services a makeover and use a bold, high-styled appeal to set yourself apart in a crowded marketplace.
Related: Your Ideas Have No Value
Miley Cyrus: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You
Miley Cyrus loves her fans so much that she has nicknamed them “Smilers” and makes sure to acknowledge them often, whether on tour or on social media. This is a great strategy for your business -- it is much easier to market more products and services to your existing customers that are already raving fans than to try to find new ones.
So, make sure your customers know that they are loved and keep telling them. Doing this will create customers who will buy more from you and advocate for you -- loyalty is the way to go.
Justin Bieber: Go Niche
Many of us don't understand the appeal of Justin Bieber (make that really don’t understand the appeal…), but it doesn’t matter because we aren't his niche. He appeals to tween and teen girls. They love him and he knows how to leverage that, without worrying what everyone else thinks of him.
Your business can borrow from the Biebs by focusing on a very distinct target market and knowing what that market cares about. I remember a very successful shoe store in Chicago that employed a similar strategy. They had only really attractive young men working there, who flattered every female customer incessantly as they tried on shoes. That store did very well. Once you are solid in knowing your target market, find a hook that has a strong appeal to them.
The Kardashians: Strike While the Iron Is Hot
To say that the Kardashians have not been shy about exploiting their brands is like saying that fire is kind of hot. The Kardashian girls endorse clothing, makeup, perfume and more. What they know is that no business cycle lasts forever, so they are not shy about maximizing their potential while they can.
The same goes for your company. Business cycles are shortening, so don't be afraid to make the most of your opportunities while you are hot.
Oprah: It Takes Time
When Oprah Winfrey started her own network (named the “OWN” network), it had the perfect foundation for success. Oprah had an enormous fan base, lots of experience, a tremendous network of contacts and a substantial bank account to help finance the endeavor. But, it took several years for OWN to find its way.
Remember that as you launch a new business or even a new product or service. If it took Oprah a few years to get her business on solid footing with all of the resources at her disposal, prepare for it to take you at least that long as well. Perseverance and patience will help you to hang in long enough for your business to gain traction.
Lindsay Lohan (And Some Other New Celebrity Just About Every Day): Even a Good Brand Can Become Tarnished
Even if you have something valuable to offer, if you are a jerk, eventually folks won't want to do business with you. Alec Baldwin, Tiger Woods and Lindsay Lohan are just some of the celebrities that have learned this the hard way.
You can't get complacent in your business -- you need to continually work to earn the trust and respect of your vendors, clients and employees. If you don’t, you may find opportunities drying up, or altogether disappearing.
Who are other celebrities that have inspired a lesson for your business? Share below.
Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, a “recovering” investment banker, business advisor, entrepreneur and best-selling author. She is also a reality TV show judge, media contributor and host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. A small business expert, Roth has worked with companies of all sizes on everything from strategy to content creation and marketing to raising capital. She’s been a public company director and invests in mid-stage companies, as well.