It’s 1997 and I’m watching music videos from Spice Girls, Usher, and Mariah Carey. All of a sudden, I see a group called Destiny’s Child appear on the screen. The song? No, No, No. Like the rest of the world, I was blown away by the harmony, the style, the confidence of these four teenage girls from Houston, TX. YouTube wasn’t around yet, so I had to wait until the music video came on again on either MTV, BET, The Box, or CMC (Local Bay Area R&B-Hip-Hop Channel). And believe me, the wait was torture. Finally, after a few days of waiting, the music video appeared again.
It was a YES, YES, YES for me.
26 years later and Beyoncé is still gracing our lives with her presence musically, but it’s important that we acknowledge her incredible and effective marketing skills when it comes to her artistry as well. Most artists are lucky if they manage to stay relevant for 2 years, much less 26—even when they’re talented. So what sets Beyoncé apart and has us all clamoring for tickets to the new Renaissance tour movie?
Diving into her entire career would take too long, so let’s look at her most recent era to determine why amongst everything else, Beyoncé is also the queen of marketing (sorry Swifties).
No one quite understands the power of social media like Beyoncé. Sure, the Kardashians made careers out of it, but we all know they’re trying way too hard—the exact opposite of Beyoncé’s tactic.
To start, she doesn’t follow anyone on her social media platforms (exception? Jay-Z). She also rarely has captions on her pictures unless she’s shouting someone out (i.e. Megan Thee Stallion, Kendrick Lamar, Diana Ross, etc.) or casually marketing her upcoming film or perfume. And honestly, why would she? What more does she need to say other than being herself? The sheer thought that Beyoncé is even posting this photo (which, let’s be real, someone is doing that for her) is enough to send fans into a frenzy. She expertly keeps us waiting and guessing for what’s next, and she looks classy doing it.
Most recently this elusiveness was deployed to build anticipation for the Renaissance album. Cryptic hints started dropping well before the album’s release that fans would recognize from the 2016 Lemonade Era, like deleting her profile picture on all social platforms. A few days later, the album was announced.
She knows what we want and by feeding it to us in bits and pieces, we’ll get excited for anything she produces.
Any brand knows the importance of community. They’re your supporters, your cheerleaders, and sometimes your north star. In the case of Beyoncé, she has the BeyHive, her ride or die fans. Why? Because she treats them like her #1 priority. Investing in them, listening to their needs, acknowledging them, and perhaps most importantly, being authentic with them.
For example, when her Renaissance album leaked before the official release, fans didn’t partake in listening to it until it officially dropped for the public. For that, she posted a handwritten, heartfelt message to them in thanks. She took time out of her busy day to acknowledge her fans for that sweet gesture, which meant a lot to her. Her fans felt seen and for Beyoncé, she felt appreciated and respected. It’s a nice reminder that even someone as royal as the Queen herself is still human.
Furthermore, if you ever attend a Beyoncé concert, she invites participation from the audience. She makes you feel like you’re part of her entire production. During the Renaissance tour, she had every show partake in the “mute challenge,” in which thousands of concert goers went quiet for a few seconds during the song Energy. It became a big trend and last I checked, Atlanta was deemed the winner. Through this challenge, she engaged with thousands of people for just a few seconds, but still gave them a memory to cherish for the rest of their lives.
These are only a few examples of how Beyoncé has built her hive, but it’s evident that the more you invest into your community, the bigger your community gets, which in turn strengthens the loyalty they have for you.
Quality Over Quantity
As a big fan of Beyoncé, I appreciate that she drops new projects every few years—even when some take longer than others. Good things take time. If you’re only going to take one tip from Beyoncé’s strategy, let it be this: don’t rush. Make sure you are producing quality at all times.
In Beyoncé’s case, she worked on Renaissance during COVID, her album dropped 2022, and she began touring in 2023. Based on the time she spent on this masterpiece (can you tell I’m biased?), you can see, hear, and feel the quality of her work. Every part of her Renaissance Era was done with precision and meticulous detail, and don’t even get me started on her extravagant concert design. It was truly a culture-defining event that was well worth the 8 year wait
And now that the 56-show Renaissance World Tour is over with limited visuals for her songs, she’s releasing Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé on December 1st. This is a brilliant money-making move because Beyoncé understands the value of her talent, and after a successful world tour, she knows her fans will want to relive the experience. It also gives those who couldn’t attend in-person a chance to live it for the first time. Going back to community, Beyoncé excludes no one.
But she’s also still a businesswoman trying to get her payout, and this will certainly do it. I know I’ll be in the theaters because the quality of her work has left a lasting impression on me. I’m not only willing to put more money in Beyoncé’s already-full pockets, but happy to do so to relive that memorable night.
I can go on for days about Beyoncé’s marketing skills throughout her career, but these are the top three most successful tactics I’ve witnessed during her Renaissance Era. Just when you thought Beyoncé did it all, she sure does know how to take things to the next level. She is the queen of marketing herself, her music, her projects, and her brand.