Beyonce the Brand

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Few single words can capture an empire like the name “Beyoncé. From her start with Destiny’s Child to slaying Superbowl halftime shows and dropping some of the most iconic pop albums of the past decade, she’s officially gone from “icon” to “inspiration.” Everything she does has a unique halo, and her golden touch would give Midas a run for his money. She’s an artist. She’s a monolith. She’s a brand—and she rules her brand like nobody else.

You can too! Just take these five great personal branding lessons from the career of Queen Bey. (Long may she reign.)

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR NAME IS YOUR BRAND.

Beyoncé’s name is a solid gold seal of awesomeness—and yours should be too, because it’s stamped on everything you broadcast. Whether you’re singing at the Grammys or just updating Instagram, it’s important to keep your standards high when it comes to what you put your name on. This is especially true because employers, investors, or your fellow game-changers are only a few clicks away from finding you on a social media platform with a single Google search.

Use it: Be like Bey—choose projects, partners, and messages you believe in, and surround yourself with peers who you are proud to associate with.

2. USE YOUR STRUGGLES AS LESSONS.

One word: Lemonade. By now, it’s public knowledge that this iconic album was inspired by Jay Z’s cheating on Queen Bey. Making the most of a bad situation, she turned the experience into music so great, we’re still shook two years later. She also left us with a great lesson—no struggle, no success.

Use it: Remember that failure or difficulty are not a dead end. You can learn a lot from them, and use the tough stuff to inform future decisions. Take a tactical look at what went wrong, and harness your frustrations into something better. In other words, get in formation.

3. BE UNEXPECTED.

Remember in 2013 when Bey dropped her self-titled album in the middle of the night with ZERO promotion beforehand? The world had no warning, and the shockwaves basically broke the internet. While it's a marketing tactic we don't advise for just ANYONE, it shows us a couple of things: A) she’s confident in her art B) she’s playing by her own rules.

Use it: Whether you’re starting a business, finessing your next big idea, or honing your skillset,  don't be afraid to try new things. This could be reaching out to a potential mentor, or taking a class for something you’ve never tried before. You might surprise yourself—and everyone else—with the results!


4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE ASSERTIVE.

When Beyoncé joined the #banbossy campaign, she dropped a life-changing phrase: "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss." There’s a difference between steam-rolling people to execute your vision, and leading them towards it—one of those differences is the ability to be confident and assertive.

Use it: Everyone had to start somewhere (yeah, even Bey), and learn things along the way. Still, while it’s important to stay humble, you know your end goal. Trust your gut, and don’t be afraid to speak up when it says you’re off course.

5. COLLABORATE!

Find people with a similar vision and connect with them to learn new skills and create amazing projects. Working with others will diversify your network and open up your mind to new ideas. It could even result in hits like “Telephone”, “Feelin' Myself”, “Crazy in Love” or… this would be an amazing playlist. You get the picture, right? Team up and dream up.

Use it: Contact others not just for advice, but also for potential collaboration. Look at other entrepreneurs, startups, or organizations in your city that interest you and brainstorm how to come together to create something unique and mutually beneficial. You might just change the world, or be like Beyonce and run it.

Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber