What Taylor Swift Can Teach Creators About Launching New Products
Last Friday, Taylor Swift launched her 10th album, Midnights.
According to Spotify, “…before the clock could even strike midnight on October 22nd, Taylor Swift broke the record for the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history.”
Within three days, Midnights racked up more than 1.2 million equivalent album units in the US, half a million vinyl LP sales, and almost a million traditional album sales across all available formats.
Do you dream of launching products — your version of Midnights🕰 — with a resounding success?
Let’s break down a few of the tactics Taylor Swift implemented with her Midnights album launch, and how you can apply it to your next product or campaign launch!
1. Save the Date
Taylor dropped the launch date of Midnights in the 2022 VMAs. Since then, her fans have been counting down the days.
Of course, not all of us have access to prestigious award shows and millions of eyeballs. But you can replicate this tactic by letting your superconsumers in on your plans, getting their feedback, and letting them help spread the word about your launch.
2. Add Some Magic
The Instagram announcement of Midnights garnered 8M likes and have spread like wildfire via re-shares, re-grams, re-stories, and perhaps even via private messages.
Taylor wrote a beautiful and relatable messaging around the album.
1. Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.
2. Meet me at midnight.
Consistent and beautiful visuals:
From her outfits and social media posts to her posters and merch, Taylor artfully woven the vibe and message of Midnights.
Take the time to nail your value proposition and craft a compelling creative direction — it’s worth it!
3. Make Them Want More
Taylor unveiled her songs’ name through a TikTok series called Midnights Mayhem using a vintage bingo machine to draw the track numbers and announce each song title every midnight before the album launch date.
4. Give A Sneak Peek to Your Process
Anti-Hero is one of Taylor’s favorite tracks from Midnight (it’s my fave so far too!).
I know because she talks about it here. In a similar video, she talks about another track in collaboration with Lana del Rey. Here, she explains what inspired the song title Lavender Haze, while in another post she shows a highlight reel of Midnights in the making.
How can you make your audience feel included and strengthen their connection with your brand through behind-the-scenes content?
5. Collaborate. Collaborate. Collaborate.
Taylor has a packed schedule for promoting Midnights. (See here) She’ll be guesting on shows, hosting online events on her platforms, and she even designed TikTok challenges to engage her fans.
Before the album’s official launch, she also dropped a teaser trailer via Amazon Prime. One of the album tracks features Lana del Rey, another famous songwriter with music exploring themes such as tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia.
All these collaboration emphasizes the importance of community. Without connecting and collaborating with people and organizations that your target audience listens and looks up to, it’s hard to make waves. So go find your dream 100.
6. Create Delightful Products
If you buy all 4 versions of the Midnights album, you’ll surprisingly have your own Midnights-themed clock! Taylor also released special edition vinyls with hand signed photos and other merch items to complete the experience.
What’s more, 3 hours after she released Midnights, she released seven more unannounced songs she calls 3am tracks.
This goes to show that designing your customer journey and putting delight at every turn pays off. Beyond virality or sales, a launch is only successful if your customers truly have gotten value from your offer.
A note to small creators and business owners
While writing this, I found myself making excuses such as, “But she’s already famous!” and “It’s easy because she’s filthy rich.”
But many of her contemporaries have fame and money yet still fail to execute album launches with creativity and marketing savvy.
Taylor Swift’s superpower is her fan base and the secret language they share. Put your customers at the heart of what you do, and you’ll eventually win.
P.S. I may have missed a couple of other tactics so I’ll keep updating whenever I find out about a new one.
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