With chart-topping hits, endorsements and accolades galore under her belt, megastar Beyonce Knowles could perhaps be mistaken for David Ogilvy, the advertising mastermind whose marketing prowess became a Midas touch for countless brands.
Affectionately referred to as "Queen Bey" by the hordes of fans known as the BeyHive — who are so ardent in their defense of Beyonce that it once spawned a hugely popular skit on "Saturday Night Live" — the multiplatinum selling singer has become a brand of her own.
That imprimatur has helped Beyonce reap millions in music sales, as well as lend a boost to other products. The NPD Group, a retail trade organization, recently found that Beyonce was second only to pop star Rihanna in her ability to translate her name into sales for big brands.
The singer "knows she can rely on her loyal following to spread natural word of mouth. Only Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' rival the BeyHive for their power to generate natural word of mouth that is more effective than a marketing campaign," David Deal, CEO of David J. Deal Consulting told CNBC in a recent interview.
Her business influence is felt in cosmetics, clothing and music. Just last month, a single mention of Red Lobster in her controversial new song, "Formation," boosted the American chain restaurant's sales dramatically over Super Bowl Weekend. Beyonce is also a spokesmodel for L'Oreal, which in 2015 had more than 24 billion euros ($27 billion) of cosmetic sales. The French cosmetics giant reportedly pays Beyonce a contract worth nearly $5 million for her services, according to reports, and she is currently under a multiyear agreement with Pepsi worth $50 million.
Marketing experts say that a big part of Beyonce's success is a marketing ace up her sleeve that few other artists can deploy to similar effect: The fierce allegiance of the BeyHive. Her fan base's aggressive loyalty to the star has helped redefine word-of-mouth in the age of digital media.
"Other artists do a better job at using social media to engage fans, but Beyonce creates a moment that attracts fans to her," said Deal. "The essence of the Beyonce brand is empowerment; I think that's why she's so popular, because fans feel like she empowers them."