So, Marie Claire thinks Taylor Swift needs to answer for staying out of politics during the 2016 election to preserve her Reputation (also the title of Swift’s new album). I chuckled quite effusively while reading this since there are many times I wish I had stayed silent during the 2016 election, but I am getting off topic.
Taylor Swift is a brand that supports a business empire as well as a young lady with a beautiful voice. Let’s take a look at some other businesses that have decided to get political either before or during 2016 election and see how that worked for them.
Twitter and it’s prodigal CEO Jack Dorsey were clearly political before 2016 and continue the trend today. CEO Jack proudly posts pictures of himself with DeRay McKesson and other far left social justice warriors and appoints them to his Trust and Safety Council to set the rules that govern the behavior of other users. So how has reinstalling an unabashed SJW that lets that philosophy permeate the company worked out?
Probably enough said.
Next let's take a look at ESPN. Most recently they have had to deal with Jamele Hill's tweets regarding the president, but ESPN had earned a reputation as being left leaning outlet and injecting politics into their programming prior to that. While the company and some financial press attribute much of the ratings loss to streaming, most acknowledge the narrative is also impacting the network's health. And Jamele only made it worse. They have had multiple rounds of layoffs and its parent company Disney has been forthcoming with investors that ESPN will be a less important part of its overall portfolio.
How about we take a look at the NFL? Ever since the league caved to showboat social justice warriors taking a knee during the national anthem angering cops, veterans and other Americans across the country, the league has suffered. Lawsuits are flying, Thursday Night Football is being cut and despite official reporting, pictures of half empty stadiums are dominating the news of the sport. And if like me, you happen to be a patron of you local sports bar, you have a much harder time getting a seat on Saturday for the college games than last season. And getting a seat at the bar on Sunday is not that difficult.
So back to Taylor. In Marie Claire's eyes, the expectation is that Taylor should have come out as an unabashed Hillary supporter. Her reported nemesis (at least according to Marie Claire) Katy Perry did exactly that. In the release of her own new album Witness, Katy talked about how that experience affected her and acknowledged it had made her lyrics more political. While at 182,000 EPU's (album equivalents) in Week 1 gave her a Billboard #1 album, In Week 2, this happened.
By contrast, Taylor Swift, who remained silent about who she endorsed released her new album Reputation on November 10th. As of this writing it has already sold over a million copies in five days and is on target to be the number one selling album of the year, exceeding her previous top seller, 1989. Dry your eyes "Katycats".
So it would seem to me that Taylor Swift can look at Marie Claire laugh hysterically. She did the right thing by keeping politics out of her business and more of the folks in Silicon Valley and other areas prone to deep blue liberal groupthink might want to get a clue. It would seem the best way to maximize both your market performance and appeal is to not make any group of consumers feel "lesser than".
Do what you do best. Make a terrific product. Provide excellent service. Sing a song the masses can identify with. Keep politics out of consumer goods and entertainment and your market gets bigger. Pick a political side and it gets smaller. One has to wonder when CEO's, shareholders and entertainers are going to figure this out. And I surely hope Taylor knows she is under no obligation to endorse Kanye in 2020.