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Barbie & Taylor Swift: A Marketing Masterclass

In a recent haze of marketing (where everything seems fifty shades of played out) there emerges this:

  • An audacious shade of pink

  • A guitar tune so infectious it has you humming: “Best believe I’m still bejeweled when I walk in the room…”

To your right, Barbie.

Transcending her plastic form, she takes you back to your favorite childhood memories.

You step outside, and it’s a pink-hued Barbie marketing world.


Barbie Marketing

To your left, Taylor Swift.

Each song? A page torn right from your diary.

Each lyric? A whisper: “I’ve walked this path, too.”

Two giants. Two distinct brands. One common theme.

(and oh, what a marketing masterclass!)

Story & Experience: The Crown Jewel

With the new Barbie movie, Mattel isn’t pushing a toy or a mere movie ticket.

They’re taking you back to those special moments.

Those summer afternoons in your childhood bedroom where your imagination ran wild.

Where the world was boundless.

What they’re selling isn’t “entertainment” per se, but a promise.

A return ticket to the moments that made you.

And T-Swift?

Beyond the harmonies and strums of the guitar, she narrates shared experiences of love, loss, and everything in between.

The stories we’ve lived. The heartbreaks we’ve patched. The moments we’ve held (too) close.

Now, here’s the point:

Leveraging story and experience isn’t exclusive to brands with deep pockets.

In a world of new trends, platforms, and tactics-

These age-old marketing principles (story & experience) deepen their roots.

New tactics come and go.

Algorithms shift.

But authentic stories? Genuine experiences?

That stays.

That resonates.

That’s your anchor.

Here are my takeaways from these two iconic brands:

  1. Tune into your audience - understand their hopes, challenges, dreams, and desires

  2. Share your origin story - people love a genuine story of passion, struggle, and triumph.

  3. Engage in story “listening” - Listen to your customers’ stories as much as you share your own.

  4. Host immersive experiences - small gatherings, workshops, webinars

  5. Create touchpoints - Every interaction a customer has with your brand is an opportunity to elevate their experience

  6. Go behind the scenes - give your audience a peek behind the curtain. Show them the process, the people, and the passion behind what you do to make your stories more relatable

  7. Educate with stories - wrap your lessons in stories to make the information more digestible and memorable

  8. Use authentic photos - avoid generic stock photos and capture real moments in your business

  9. Stay consistent - your brand story should permeate every aspect of your business, from your website copy to your social media presence

  10. The goal: to create experiences and share stories that leave a lasting impact

So, as the curtain falls on this week’s newsletter, a parting note:

May your brand be the song that lingers, the tune hummed in quiet moments.

Own the stage.

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