These are the trendsetters. The ones we follow. Four bright lights who go where their instincts and passions take them—fearlessly. All possess a burning desire stoked by ambition and the courage to do, say and build what others only dream of.
These days, celebrities are set apart by their branding. It takes an authentic point of view and ferocious tenacity to reach that elusive superstar status.
The Quote: I'm a singer, a songwriter, a musician and a performer. And an actress, and all the other things that I do. When you add it all together, some might call it a brand, but that’s not my focus.
Who Said It: Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, a.k.a. Sasha Fierce
Who Are They: Legendary artist, fierce supporter of female empowerment, shrewd businesswoman. Oh, and the first female artist to have more than 12 songs in the U.S. Top 100 at once (every song on Lemonade). Beyonce co-owns Tidal, the streaming music service, and fashion brand House of Deréon. She's also reinventing how we buy music, dropping albums overnight with no promotion.
Our Perspective: The most powerful brands PERFORM. They embrace their best attributes and stand for something meaningful, all while making it look effortless on the biggest stage possible. Behind the scenes they work diligently to construct and cultivate a personality that reflects the unmet desires of our times — be it freedom of expression, equal opportunities, justice for all, and peace and love.
The Quote: I had this idea of this brand where people could really outsource their trust.
Who Said It: Jessica Alba
Who Are They: A Dark Angel unicorn. Actress and co-founder of The Honest Company, a product and beauty line focused on removing toxins from our bodies and homes. In 2015, her company raised $100 million at a $1.7 billion valuation. She's also lobbied Congress to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act.
Our Perspective: It’s disconcerting to think that we might outsource our trust to a brand. Yet that’s what caregiver-reformer brands do, they reassure and problem solve through both their product and customer education. They work to change both the individual and the system, proving that it is possible for corporations to look out for our best interests.
The Quote: A lot of brands, you can't touch them. When you're dealing with Snoop Dogg, he brings you closer to the brand and it feels like it's a part of you.
Who Said It: Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr.
Who Are They: Rapper, actor, director, talk show host, investor and entrepreneur. Snoop has sold 35 million albums worldwide, invested in various startups, started a non-profit youth football league, anchored a talk show and launched his own marijuana lifestyle brand.
Our Perspective: Brands gain superpowers when they connect through both the mind and body. Music, weed, coffee, clothing, software...whatever the product is, the sincerity of highly functioning brands is felt deep in the bones. An unapologetic acceptance of who they are—that's what believers want to follow.
The Quote: I didn't want to just be another girl singer. I wanted there to be something that set me apart.
Who Said It: Taylor Swift
Who Are They: Moved to Nashville at 14 to start her career in country music (writing her own songs). Crossed over into pop (still writing her own songs) and became one of the best-selling artists of all time. Founder of her own management company. Liberator of songwriters from Apple's restrictive royalty policies. And master of using social media to connect with fans. No wonder she's the youngest woman ever to be included on Forbes' "100 Most Powerful Women" list.
Our Perspective: Brands control their destiny by first finding their niche and then relentlessly pursuing that vision. The second you compete on similarities you are a commodity. And you can never stop pushing the boundaries of what makes you unique. Find new ways to package your gifts for your fans, and have the courage to anticipate what your customers need from you.
Continue reading: Branding Definitions #17-20
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