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Got Lemons

This title should bring a few things to mind like either a bad new car, a milk ad campaign, or of course Lemonade.

The difference is now Lemonade has an entirely new meaning. It was simply a phrase, a metaphor that reminded people to turn something bad into something positive: lemons into lemonade. But all because of Beyoncé-now that phrase will forever have a new meaning and a place in the marketing lexicon.

Beyoncé release her new album in monumental fashion with a video version on HBO. The point of this thought is not to review if the story is about her relationship or her dad, if it is real or not, and of course the all-important who Becky with the good hair is.

The point is about the perception; the perception is that it was a real outpouring of emotion and of course that got full attention of not just the Bee Hive (loyal Beyoncé fans), but casual fans alike.

In fact, coverage of the topic even made the national news. This isn’t an album that caused political outcry like Purple Rain by Prince, this is just an album that is possibly about a famous person’s relationship. And because of the power of that window opening, Beyoncé was able to cause a marketing coup.

She only released her album in one place, a streaming source called Tidal (partially owned by Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z and coincidentally the suspected topic of the album). The streaming platform has experienced a major surge in downloads of the app since the release of the album.

So what can we learn from the Queen B herself. It’s very similar to the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. So when your business or product experience negativity, bad press, or turns out to be a lemon, then you should always make lemonade.

Find a way to put a spin on the topic or item and release the information in a very creative way. I do think Beyoncé found the magic mix between message and platform, but that is usually available to all marketers. All that is required is some simple research of the listener/customer as well as the marketplace.

Companies like Volkswagen should take a page from Lemonade when they finally address the cheating on emissions tests in the US. It would be interesting to see if the follow the pattern of being open and transparent while also placing the message in the right medium for their customers.

A lot of companies can follow the leader and let Queen Beyoncé be the director of a platform that rebrands a product or a company. Soon there will be lemonade flowing every where you turn!