Saturday, May 16, 2020

Harry Styles Might Just Be A Freakin' Marketing Genius

When my wife, Jessica, started talking to me about this all-boy Pop band of the past called, One Direction, I did what I usually do: pretended to listen.  Don't take me wrong.  I listen to my wife very often.  It's just that she's always going from one infatuation to another, and I have to be conservative with my attention or I'll never remember anything she says.

Is Harry Styles' 'Watermelon Sugar' Video Finally on Its Way ...

Anyway, the initial introduction to this remarkably good lookin' group of young men took place like four months ago.  Jessica claimed to have fallen down a rabbit hole online, discovering all sorts of genius about One Direction, regretting not having known of them when they were actually together.  I didn't get it.  In my defense, I'm a dude that never liked boy bands.  My aversion to them began in the mid-eighties when all the young ladies at my middle school started jockin' New Kids On The Block.  God I hated their merch.  Now I understand I was an insecure and immature little kid.

My African-American Wife Loves A Young White Man From England

Let's not get too racial up in this piece, but...

my soon to be 40-year-old wife liking a white, young man from England speaks volumes about the reach this, "Harry Styles," has worldwide.  I was a little jealous at first.  Jessica kept going off about him and some other member of the group, Zayn Malik.  She gave me the rundown on the theories about this pair in particular.  Theories she'd picked up from watching countless hours of YouTube.

And so some of the hype that is Harry Styles is brilliantly and creatively generated by the tension between him and other group members.  Tension that is never allowed to rest or come to a head.  From what I've learned myself, studying the guy, Harry is a master at stoking insinuation.  Whether it be through his lyrics or the art on his body, the kid has got the hang of sly.  If looks were enough, then every pretty boy in the world would be big shit.  Clearly, it takes more than looks to make it huge. calls H.S. (Can I call him, H.S.? Don't want to offend anyone) a fashion icon of a generation and apparently they can prove it.

A Marketing Genius?

Jessica loves Styles' music.  She listens to him when she showers, drives around, cooks, and exercises.  At first I thought his music was okay.  Not the strongest vocals.  But you don't have to be Whitney Houston to be successful as a singer in the music industry these days.  A couple of his songs are quite catchy: Fine Line and Watermelon Sugar.  The lyrics of some of his songs are, let's just say, interesting.  Nonetheless, songwriting is where Harry Styles elevates himself into a marketing powerhouse.

Lyrics that are raw AND at the same time cryptic, can be frustrating to listen to.  Harry makes a sport of it, and his fans obsess like scientists trying to make sense of data.  The easy to decipher, yet clever, titles of his songs, and the fantasy ecosystems he creates in his videos, are pure fire.  Digital and content marketers need to start paying attention to what this dude is doing!  But even the small time side-hustler could learn a thing or two.  I'm going to break down some of Harry Styles' marketing strategies next.

Personal Brand, Engagement, and Product Launch

1.  Song titles become products.  One of his songs: Treat People With Kindness or "TPWK" is on beanies, hoodies, and shirts at Harry Styles' merchandise store.  Other songs have been stamped on various merch as well.

2.  Engagement with Fans.  H.S. is known for his gratitude.  He consistently thanks fans, and gives them all the credit for his personal fame.  You might be thinking, Well, that's what every good artist should do.  Except that H.S. is better at it.  He throws up websites like DYKWYA to engage his fan base.  No strings attached (no email capture, funnels, products being sold, etc.).  Just fun.

3.  Song Lyrics, More Websites and Fun Engagement.  At we get a glimpse of the marketing prowess behind the H.S. brand.  So this is a one page website like DYKWYA with domain relating back to a song's lyrics.  However, what's different is that it is updated every so often with something new added to the table.  The original image was the table.  Then came the items on top one at a time.  Why?  It's H.S. and company hinting when the Watermelon Sugar video will drop!  Brilliant.  This is essentially how a great marketer would build anticipation for a product launch.  With so much buildup, the video will surely get millions of views.

How Can I Use This?

First, you don't need to have 27.5 million followers on Instagram to effectively utilize some of H.S.'s marketing strategies.  

If you're an author, you can create buildup for your book with a one page website.  Don't over complicate it.  Engage your following by placing an instant thank-you card message like Harry does at DYKWYA.

If you're an influencer or creative, consider using your most liked content to make merch.

If you're a small business owner, use social media, especially Instagram, to unveil a new, "coming soon" product a section at a time. 

Everyone can improve on engagement.  Too often we focus on selling.  "Always Be Closing," right?  Not so fast!  Sometimes just conversing with your following or target customer is what's needed.  Reply to every posted comment on your social media pages in a friendly and professional manner, no matter what.  Be thankful!

 I'm definitely thankful that you took the time to read this post.  I'm extremely thankful that you're here.  I also hope you enjoyed the reading.  If you did, and want to make sure you get my latest, please subscribe before you go.  You can also follow me on my Instagram: Cosvaldogomez.   

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