Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group
+ 1 917-705-6301
Washington, DC 20008
Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group

Can We All Sell Tickets Like Taylor Swift?

Hey! Don’t you all wish we could sell tickets to anything like Taylor Swift seems to sell tickets to everything? CNBC reports that after 24 hours of putting her film of the Eras tour on sale, that the theatrical release is already one of the Top 10 pre-sales of all time. That’s great!She’s Taylor Swift, but what can we learn from Taylor’s take on a blockbuster movie release? Here are a few things: 1. Know your customers: Everything begins and ends with the customer. You need to know what they want, the value they desire, and what they look to you for. In Taylor Swift’s case, throughout the run of shows for the Eras Tour, we’ve heard her fans say:

  • They value the community. Then they’ve shown it by the groups they’ve created to help each other find tickets. We’ve also seen how Taylor Swift’s fans have expressed a desire for “destination” and “events” with their travel plans, outfit chooses, and the party atmosphere that her shows have brought.Plus, we’ve seen that they will spend money to bring these two things together. 

The key

  • Don’t assume you know what customers value.What you might think is valuable may not be what is valuable to someone else. 

2. It is a buzzword, but think about the “ecosystem”: At Cambridge, I learned about ecosystem thinking and how different businesses or pieces innovate to create value around the core. In Taylor Swift’s case, she’s the hub and the innovations and other forms of value flow around her:

  • First, there’s the Taylor Swift economy and the boom her shows have brought to towns around the United States. I believe these numbers because I’ve seen academic studies about the impact of Pearl Jam’s touring schedule on cities as well. Second, a cinematic release of the concert film is another way to innovate value in the Taylor Swift ecosystem. Want other examples? Look at Jimmy Buffet and the Margaritaville resorts

Can you use this thinking? Certainly…

  • Identify your hub. I’m the hub of an ecosystem of activities and value that includes this newsletter, my consulting work, my teaching at business school, my workshops, the podcast, and more. Get the core value right at the start. Using me again, everything flows out of my expertise in strategy and branding. Another example is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and how a whole economy pops up for a short period each year around the festival. Or, it could be your team like Tottenham Hotspur have done with their club in North London, building a new stadium and working to rejuvenate the entire neighborhood around the stadium. Be willing to embrace innovation. Change large and small can create new value. In ecosystem theory, the key is to embrace change and not just try and stick to the way that things have always been. 

3. Not everyone can break the rules: Taylor Swift dropped the announcement of her film and ticket sales went bananas. Everyone can’t do that. For most of us, we need to spend time building the anticipation of our product release. Shock drops only work for Taylor Swift and certain Air Jordan colorways. The key here is to know your audience, know your product, and know the value you deliver. Taylor Swift can drop the announcement of a theatrical release of her concert movie and sell millions of dollars of tickets because she has excess demand from her community that couldn’t get tickets to the show, want to relive the show, or want to get a taste of the community that happens at the show. Nike and “shock drop” some camo Jordans because certain styles and colors of the Jordans are always in demand. Like, I really want those White/Red Jordan 4s in an 11. For you to put this to work, you need to understand how to drop your product. What is going to get you the buzz, anticipation, and demand that will make your event/game/show a success? For example, I’m on the soccer club’s board in DC. We did a 30 day “launch” to tryouts for our travel teams. What’s this mean?Every day for 30 days, we delivered some new content, new ideas, and new STUFF to generate demand and excitement to get kids into our tryouts. After 30 days, tryouts started. Our results:

  • About 33% more kids tried out in 2023.We added teams. The final numbers aren’t in, but we are looking likely to add about 50% more teams. We help more kids learn the game. Again, I’m waiting on the final numbers, but we are going to add 25% to our totals from the previous years. 

For you: 

  • Can you break the rules? Do you want to break the rules?Do you even know the rules? 

Know a Swiftie that’s going on about her business success? Share this with them.

Share Talking Tickets! My marketing class at Kelley was filled with great questions. Do you have a marketing question that you can’t get answered in your organization? Send it to me via email, text, carrier pigeon, and I’ll take some of the best ones and answer them in a future episode of ‘The Business of Fun’.

Tell me what you think about Taylor Swift’s movie release endeavor in the ‘Talking Tickets’ Slack Channel.