From small beginnings in Devonport, to international adoration, Lorde has become one of New Zealand’s most iconic musical assets.

Boasting a powerhouse vocal ability and a wisdom well beyond her years, there’s a lot to be learned from Lorde’s effortless navigation through the treacherous music industry.

  1. Be transparent

Lorde is infectiously honest. She has placed herself on the world stage, inviting audiences to take her or leave her. She is unashamed. As a result, her fiercely loyal fans clamber to engage with each of her social media updates, religiously hanging on every word she utters. It comes as no surprise that crazed fans eagerly snap up any merchandise product that leaves her empire.

To truly make your business stand above the others, you have to show your value beyond being a money making machine. Your company has to appeal to people emotionally, not simply by telling them that a product has unique specifications and features, or that the technology is the most advanced. Leverage your brand personality and show punters how your product will influence their lives.

  1. Push boundaries

Lorde has reached out beyond her fandom to curate the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, opening up a wider audience to her music and talent. Pop music has a limited range, carrying all the politics and prejudice of not being considered genuine music or art, and by entering a new entertainment medium, Lorde has given her music another outlet for recognition and appreciation.

Regardless of industry and size, every company needs to diversify in order to improve its reach and cultural impact. For some this can be simply a matter of offering an upgrade or different version of a product they already have, others need to branch into unchartered territory. This can be simply the local bakery starting to sell coffee, or Facebook moving from being a social media platform to an advertising powerhouse.

  1. Staying at the top is as hard as getting there

With two Grammys, a US number one single, 75 award nominations and 23 wins, Lorde has experienced more success and acclaim before the age of 18 than most musicians will in their entire career. With such accolades and a widespread, devoted fan base, it’d be easy for Lorde to be complacent. Nonetheless, she continues to change the game, asserting her dominance. Her The Hunger Games soundtrack already shows a shift in style from Pure Heroine, and judging by her regular Tweets, she is soon to release new material, refusing to simply rehash the record that made her a household name.

Businesses that stop innovating and stop moving forward eventually stop functioning altogether. Consumers are always looking for a better phone, a faster car, a more delicious burger. In the early 90s it was impossible to imagine a time when Microsoft wouldn’t be the leading player in the computer software market. A series of bad decisions, lack of action, and slow reactions have brought Microsoft down to being just another option in the operating system market.

  1. Control your image

Lorde takes great care to ensure she is portrayed the way she wants to be seen. She takes ownership of her image and corrects people and publications who take liberty or make unfounded claims about who she is or what she represents. This has proved invaluable in maintaining her integrity and in gaining public respect, regardless of what they think of her music.

A business can have the best marketing machine in the world, but if it isn’t actively working to mitigate criticism and seek out and placate unhappy customers, it will struggle to shake a bad reputation. The internet has given every disgruntled customer, unhappy client and upset former employee a voice that can reach millions. Businesses need to seek out these reviews and confront them head on, answer their critics and use negativity as fuel for improvement.