Lessons Learned from Rihanna: How to Rebuild Your Brand After a Crisis. Part1


After holding her silence for nearly a year Rihanna, in an interview with Diane Sawyer, revealed intimate details of the domestic violence incident that left her physically and emotionally wounded. She spoke openly about how she felt, after the abuse and emotional breakup from ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.

Rihanna told her story, and put her vulnerability on the line, to help other females realize that they, too, can leave unhealthy relationships, begin the healing process and rebuild their lives. With the bruises behind her, she’s back in the spotlight with the beauty, strength, talent and determination to keep building the multimillion-dollar, Rihanna brand empire. Her well-received comeback is evidence of a strategic brand management plan at work behind the scenes.

Here are 10 branding lessons you can learn from Rihanna’s successful return:

1. Get the right people around you. Rihanna had a good team in place to support and counsel her during the difficult times.

2. Don’t rush to speak. She didn’t talk about the incident until she was absolutely ready and prepared to discuss details.

3. Step off the scene. Rihanna took time away from the spotlight to focus on rebuilding her personal brand and getting ready for her comeback.

4. Don’t attack your attacker. She didn’t speak negatively about Chris Brown, or try to get public revenge on him.

5. Show that you’re not broken. Rihanna made a few cameo appearances to slowly reintroduce herself and let her fans know that she’s still the Rihanna that they came to know and love.

6. Pick the best outlet for your story. She chose to tell her complete story in one major interview, instead of leaking sound bites to several different sources.

7. Respond only when you’re ready. Rihanna timed her interview to coincide with the release of her upcoming album, so she could immediately shift the public’s attention to more positive things.

8. Shape your message carefully. She knew exactly what she wanted to say, and used the interview to share her message with the world.

9. Don’t look for sympathy. Rihanna refused to look like a victim, and instead exhibited strength, beauty, glamour and other characteristics that are true to the Rihanna brand.

10. Share the lesson behind your pain. She showed how much she valued her fans, by being transparent enough to help them learn from her experience.

The way Rihanna reemerged on the scene proves just how much she understands her personal brand. Her survival strategy and stunning ability to quickly re-establish herself, is an example we can all learn from.

In Part 2 of this special report, BrandMakerNews.com explores the Chris Brown brand, and outlines the critical steps he can take to rebuild his brand and reemerge successfully.

See Part Two of this Special Report: Lessons Learned from Chris Brown

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Style Lessons Learned from Rihanna: How to Rebuild Your Brand After a Crisis. Part1 Winning the Fight for More [...]

  2. By How do you rebuild a brand? « Mad World on November 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    [...] you deal with it. Someone that has successfully rebuilt their brand after a disaster is pop star Rihanna. After her much publicized domestic violence dispute with fellow star Chris Brown, Rihanna is back [...]

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