Taylor Swift has re-written the rulebook on being a successful pop star. Sure, she writes and performs hit music that is played by radio, bought by consumers and is popular all over the world – but all the good ones do that. Taylor transcends the ‘create music, sell music, play music live’ cycle; and makes it personal.
When artists offer ‘meet and greet’ events before live shows the experience for the fan is often less than memorable. You are muscled into a room for a quick photo with a compulsory no touch zone while the artist produces a disinterested smile. Then, there’s the awkward 4-second interaction before you are shuffled out of the room with such vigour you actually fear there has been a bomb scare and the building is being evacuated.
Taylor doesn’t do that. She spends time with fans, asks for names, talks with warmth and listens with interest, she takes countless selfies and leaves her followers believing they just spent time with a new BFF.
In her recent ‘1989’ tour, Taylor gave every concert goer a wristband that flashed and changed colour, creating part of the cool lighting experience of the show. But that’s not how she positioned it – she thanked the crowd for wearing them as it allowed her to see the faces of the people she was hanging out with that night.
That’s not just personal – that’s human.
Radio stations and morning shows spend so much time and energy perfecting their content and product offerings minute by minute they have forgotten the lost art of human touch. Shaking hands and kissing babies has many forms in 2016, from campaigns like ‘meet every listener’ to the simple power of personally replying to Facebook messages and texts. Human touch transforms your station and morning show from ‘big untouchable brand’ to ‘friend’.
People feel comfortable with friends, they love and trust their friends, and they are loyal to their friends. Make friends with your listeners and kick start a Taylor Swift style ‘love story’ – the relationship will be instantly and incredibly more powerful than it is today.