Fearless One

A Lesson in Brand Loyalty

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As a PR practitioner, my mission is to help clients build awareness that will ultimately result in brand loyalty. Although the term is pretty self-explanatory, I’m going to take a moment to define it for you anyway just to drive home my point…

Brand loyalty is a person’s commitment to repurchase or continue to use a particular brand. This unwavering loyalty is demonstrated through repeated product purchases or other positive behaviors such as word of mouth advocacy. You know how it goes – you fall in love with that new Karen’s Body Beautiful conditioner you just bought and tell all your girls so they, too can experience luxuriously soft tresses. If you’re really feeling it, you may even Tweet and blog about it or update your Facebook status to sing the product’s praises.

Most women reading my blog are entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs with brands they’d like to create a never-ending love fest for. If you fall into this category pull out your pen and prepare to take copious notes. Today you’re going to receive a lesson in brand loyalty from none other than the “comeback kid” of the moment, Miss Helen Folasade Adu, better known by most as Sade.

While Sade may not be categorized as your traditional “Fly Female Entrepreneur,” this chic knows a thing or two about building brand loyalty. There aren’t many artists in the industry, or brands in the marketplace for that matter, that can pull off a successful comeback quite like this woman can.

The sultry British-Nigerian songstress was last seen in November of 2000 with her album, “Lovers Rock.” Reaching number eighteen on the UK charts and number three on the U.S. Billboard charts, the album was certified triple platinum and earned Sade a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year. This album quenched the thirst of Sade fans across the globe but then she mysteriously retreated back into her own little world, leaving us longing for the songstress we all know and love. Fast forward almost a decade later. Countless female artists have come and gone yet there remains an undeniable void in the music industry that only Sade can fill.

On December 8th “Soldier of Love,” the first single from Sade’s forthcoming album of the same name, premiered on her official website. Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are buzzing with men and women, young and old, expressing their uncontainable enthusiasm regarding Sade’s comeback. In the age of microwave artist development, instant gratification, and youth obsession, how does a 50-year-old artist like Sade stage such a highly anticipated return? It’s all about that brand loyalty, baby!

Over the years, Sade has (almost effortlessly) implemented the following loyalty-building tactics:

– She understands her fan’s preferences and listening habits while monitoring, reinforcing and rewarding desired behaviors

– She’s created a sound that resonates with music lovers across the globe of every age and ethnicity

– She never compromises her quality of music for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses (like seriously, we’ll never hear Sade singing in auto-tune)

– And lastly, by understanding the needs of her target audience, Sade has been able to maintain her classic style while delivering a new and refreshing musical experience with each and every release

So, whether you’re a music artist on the rise or preparing to launch a hot, new line of women’s accessories, there’s a hell of a lot to be learned from the mega-talented Sade. She’s created her own brand of music that will never, ever be duplicated. She’s carved her niche in a thankless industry that will chew you up and spit you out before you even realize it happened. She’s singlehandedly provided us with the blueprint for staying true to our personal styles while remaining relevant in a world that’s driven by fast-fleeting trends. All hail the queen!

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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