Taylor Swift: Branding Marketeer

Bad Blood (music video: Kahn, Swift)

Many have and will continue to have opinions about Taylor Swift’s latest video off her 1989 CD (we love the CD, by the way), “Bad Blood.” We’d like to look at it from a perspective different from song, performance, video style, or celebrity feud. We think it’s an interesting bit of marketing, a further repositioning of Swift’s branding, from country girl, to sophisticate (reflected in her fashion transformation), to fiercely empowered woman, in this case something of a warrior princess.

“Bad Blood,” in our view, sends two related messages. It portrays women competing in the same realm as men. In fact, the women compete with each after they dispose of the men. Like men, they are comfortable and fully competent in a violent world, as well as a world packed with technology. It’s a message of empowerment, which Swift’s franchise should respond well to.

It’s a brand extension message, too. Men and boys like action. They like technology. They like the fantastical future. They love attractive woman. And then there is the whole women fighting fantasy. If men and boys have never watched a Swift video or listened, voluntarily, to one of her songs, “Bad Blood” might nudge them into her camp. It’s almost (excuse us) tailor-made for them. Thus, it may garner Swift an even larger audience.

Perhaps we’re just blowing smoke, or smoking something, but Taylor Swift isn’t just a good singer-songwriter. She’s a terrific brand marketer. Which, in today’s world, you need to succeed and keep succeeding in the music business, or most any other business. c/w


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