2017 is the year of Rihanna.
For badgalriri enthusiasts and superfans alike (there are no other options), 2017 has been a year marked by the mega-star’s accomplishments. From the launch of Fenty Beauty, two completely unique FentyxPuma lines and the biggest song of the summer, it’s safe to say Rihanna hasn’t spent much time relaxing by the pool this year.
Rihanna sat down with Vogue‘s Hamish Bowles to discuss her brand, fashion and the unique ways music and style intersect. We had a couple of key entrepreneurial takeaways.
1. It’s More Fun Being First
There are a lot of ways to market a product. Consumers in different life cycles purchase products in very different ways.
Some are early adopters, like my uncle, who is the reason I’ve had an Amazon Alexa for almost three years now. Others are the late majority, like my grandma, who still pays for wireless minutes.
If I had to guess, Rihanna is whatever exists before the curve begins.
“There’s hidden talent where the eyes are not…The thrill for me is being the first person to wear something.”
When you’re growing a business for yourself, it pays to always be looking to new ideas and strategies to test. A great place to see what’s bubbling on the surface is ProductHunt.
[bctt tweet=”The thrill for me is being the first person to wear something. – Rihanna”]
2. True Diversity Shines Through The Decision-Makers
One of the most dominating forces throughout the launch of Fenty Beauty was the 40 shade range. Unlike most major makeup brands, Fenty has a full line of shades for every skin tone. When Bowles asked her about the creation process, her answer was kind of absurdly obvious.
“When I first started creating the brand and making the foundation, it wasn’t even that deep for me. The first woman I ever saw put makeup on her face was a black woman, that’s my mom. So when I’m thinking of my customer, that is one of my customers and I wanted everyone to feel like they could come and be a part of the new Fenty moment. A new generation.”
The room filled with applause after her answer, and the testimonials from women who have been waiting for a brand like this speak for themselves.
Rihanna’s answer pointing to her mother proves: when it comes to true diversity and equality within our culture, it’s more than filling seats with women of color — it’s about making them decision-makers, thought leaders and, to be frank, putting the money where your mouth is.
[bctt tweet=”I wanted everyone to feel like they could come and be a part of the new Fenty moment. – Rihanna”]
3. Take Care Of Your Brand
Plenty of celebrities have makeup brands. Or, as they would better be referred to by, makeup co-signs. Perfumes, lip liners, eyeshadow palettes — whatever the product, there’s typically at least one with a celeb’s name attached to a version of it.
Rihanna’s lines, in every industry, always possess a different level of quality. That’s why there is so much hype around it. Rihanna fans can trust that her brand produces quality products, and that trust is what allows her to launch Fenty Beauty with a full line of products.
“Everyone should be accountable, especially the designer of the brand. What I love the most is when someone who is not a fan of mine walks into a store and loves a piece, loves the product, whether it’s makeup or clothes. That tells me a lot; it means that you genuinely love what I have to offer—I like when things are respected solely for how great they are.”
No gimmicks (or crashed websites) necessary.
[bctt tweet=”I like when things are respected solely for how great they are. – Rihanna”]
4. Who You Hire Matters
There are few things less frustrating in business than relying on someone who doesn’t know how to do their job. Probably the only thing more annoying is relying on someone who doesn’t care about their job. Rihanna touched on both.
“You want people who are better than you at their job. If I can do your job better than you, I can’t hire you; that’s a waste of my time and money. If you have something to offer, I know there is an expertise that I can respect, and I put people in place based on what their strengths are. Most important, I like people who want better for themselves—you could come and work with me for one day and flop at your job just out of spite. I want people who respect their jobs and the position.”
[bctt tweet=”If I can do your job better than you, I can’t hire you; that’s a waste of my time and money. – Rihanna”]
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5. If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Those of us who know her know Rihanna has always been a style legend, but even she is humble of her past fashion faux-pas. Nevertheless, she kept going — trying different looks, brands and aesthetics until she found her own niche.
“It started with bad style, but you’ve got to start somewhere. You live and you learn and you make mistakes. I’m always up for a challenge, and if I don’t get it right the first time or the first hundred thousand times, I keep going.”
Whatever your big idea is (or the 760 “big ideas” you’ve had since March), keep going. There will always be more time in the day to try again. The only real problem is in not trying at all.
[bctt tweet=”If I don’t get it right the first time or the first hundred thousand times, I keep going. – Rihanna”]
You can watch Rihanna’s 2017 Vogue Interview below:
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