It’s not every day that you hear of a class being offered at your college for Beyoncé…
…but now a class about Queen Bey is being offered at Harvard University!
I heard about this a few days ago and thought: “HUH! That’s ridiculous!”, but now upon further review…I think I’m going to study for the ACTs & SATs again and go back to school! 😉
Beyoncé is a marketing genius and ever since her “secret album” dropped successfully (without anybody knowing until a few minutes after midnight on December 13, 2013) everyone has been trying to figure out how she did it!
Professor Anita Elberse at Harvard Business School and Harvard alumni Stacie Smith co-wrote a 27-page report titled “Beyoncé” and it will be featured and taught during Professor Elberse’s Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries course!
In a quote to the Harvard Gazette, Elberse said: “She’s clearly among the most powerful people in the music industry at the moment… so to understand the operation behind such a powerful figure is always very interesting. I think most people regard this release as a huge success artistically, and I am among them. But whether it was worth it from a business perspective is for the students to figure out.”
I think the students might agree that Bey’s efforts were fruitful since her self-titled album sold over 800,000 copies in the first 3 days of its release! I remember looking on Spotify and being upset that only 2 songs were available so I said oh goodness me, Bey! I’ll buy it from iTunes too! HAHA She was very serious about not streaming the album and I liked her approach from a business perspective!
Some hightlights from the class so far are that Yoncé has a only a 1 hour attention span for business! Professor Elberse interviewed Lee Anne Callahan-Longo (the GM of Beyoncé’s company Parkwood Entertainment) and she revealed to the class: “Beyonce doesn’t often sit in her office. She usually walks from one office to the other, speaking with the staff. She has got a really good sense of the business side, but she doesn’t like to live there always. We often laugh about how an hour into a business meeting she will get up and will start walking around. I can see it then—that I’ve lost her, and that I have satiated the amount of business that she wants to discuss that day….She knows herself, will laugh, and say ‘You are absolutely right, I am done.’”
I think that’s actually really sweet and endearing because most creative people are not built for business if you know what I mean. They are free-spirited and can’t deal with a regular old 9 to 5 🙂
What is most known about Beyoncé now is that she’s great at keeping secrets! Rumor is that her own record label didn’t even know! Jim Sabey (Parkwood’s Head of Worldwide Marketing) said: “The day the album came out, we had this whole Christmas spread—it was lovely. But some staffers were asking, ‘Why are we here?’ So we led them into a conference room that was set up theater-style and basically played the album visually from beginning to end.” They were allowed to leave work after that but they were strictly told not to talk to anyone about it or tweet it until the album was released late that night!
That must have been really hard not to say anything, but look at how much it has paid off! I’m so impressed by how not 1 song was leaked before the album was released! It’s almost like a miracle and I would love to be a fly on the wall in that Harvard class!
Best of luck to Harvard students this semester! Keep calm and study Beyoncé!