Save 50% on your Social Media Week pass! Join leading brands and agencies in NYC this April 9–11 to learn about emerging trends, tools and strategies. Register now—savings expire Dec. 11.
Before “Traylor,” the Eras Tour showcased the economic powerhouse that is Taylor Swift. There seemed to be no recession in sight as millions went to Ticketmaster to grab their seat to see the one and only Taylor Swift. There were meltdowns, TikTok live videos of the tour and more. Now there is an upcoming concert movie that is powerful enough to make the gods of horror shift their premiere date in the middle of the spooky season.
In short, the world is now “Taylor’s Version.”
The NFL discovered this power recently, and the “Traylor” jokes about her putting Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs on the map began. Whether you are a diehard football fan or are just watching the Super Bowl for the commercials, there is an ounce of truth in this statement. For Taylor’s fans who aren’t football diehards, her latest relationship is a door to that world that many will enter for the first time, and it’s paying dividends. Here’s what brands can learn about passionate fandoms when it comes to Swifties and their massive buying power.
A bright spot in a bleak economy
The summer economy was a further testament to the power of Swifties and their ability to be a bright spot in what seemed like a bleak economy. Taylor’s Eras Tour proved that where there were women, there was money. A lot of it. Billions, to be exact.
For brands striving to capture new customers and market share, leaning into what women care about is a clear lever for revenue and growth. The challenge is to find where brands can create fandom collision points with Swifties. The NFL has been able to capitalize on this with their Super Bowl halftime shows, but the past two weekends have shown that a normal Sunday game can create the same level of attention and fervor of a halftime show without Taylor even taking the stage. In fact, her attendance at the Chiefs-Bears game quickly overshadowed the announcement of Usher as the Halftime Show performer.
Taylor is the bridge to a passionate fandom ready to engage and spend, but what’s behind the desire to purchase what Taylor’s involved with?
Swiftie Erica Finley shares, “My desire to spend money on anything in the Taylorverse is the perfect storm of a variety of factors: urgency/fear of missing out (that limited edition vinyl is a collector’s item), the joy that comes with being a part of something bigger than myself (my friendship bracelets quietly signal that I’m a Swiftie) and, ultimately, a dedication to supporting an artist who has been there for me throughout every season of my life.”
Taylor’s deep connection to her fanbase and a sense of belonging means that her legion of fans are at her side at a moment’s notice, ready to do what they can to be a part of that moment.
Fandom collision is essential in today’s world
Brands are realizing that you can’t expect money from people you exclude. If you want the revenue Swifties can bring, you need to find opportunities to make them a part of the journey by clearly catering to what matters to them, and for Swifties, it’s Taylor. How you respond to her matters. How you pay attention to her matters.
Aligning with Taylor becomes a way to entire the zeitgeist. Gritty (the Philadelphia Flyer’s mascot) and Jake from State Farm got the message and joined in the cultural moment. Not only does this show that the brands understand the power of Taylor Swift and her fans, but that they want to play along.
By playing along, brands have the chance to not only become a part of a cultural moment that millions are paying attention to, but it offers an opportunity not to take themselves too seriously and instead connect to a new audience where they are.
These moments highlight why brands can’t ignore what is happening outside of their industry and must be ready to engage with what is happening in the cultural landscape. You can no longer see the world through the lens of what seems aligned with your brand but, instead, should see it through the eyes of your target audience. Finding opportunities for brand and fandom collision is essential in a world where everything (and I mean everything) is fighting for the attention of your audience.
Pop culture, with its ever-changing trends, provides a unique avenue for brands to insert themselves into the conversation and capture the attention of their target audience, but you can’t insert your brand into the conversation if you don’t know what people are talking about. The brands with the most agile and culturally attuned teams have the greatest opportunity to lay claim to attention instead of being the 50th brand to make a Roman Empire joke.
If you can’t bring yourself to care about what your target audience cares about, how can you connect with them and their money?