Allow your mind to go back to a time much simpler than this. A time when Beanie Babies, Furbies, and Troll dolls roamed the Earth, when VHS tapes were still the dominant medium for movies, and the Olsen twins were still two adorable little girls making sing-a-long videos.
It’s no question that Mary-Kate and Ashley knew a thing or two about business at a very young age. They were billionaires before they were even out of elementary school! (Okay, maybe they weren’t solely responsible. That may have had something to do with their parents and/or agents.)
No matter who was in charge of their earnings, there’s still a lot we can learn about business and hard work from the Olsen twins. I’ve pulled a few examples from their earlier videos (Our First Video, You’re Invited, and The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley) and without further ado, let the ‘90s nostalgia and marketing tips begin!
Marketing – “Brother for Sale”
In Our First Video, the very young Mary-Kate and Ashley sing a song about putting their annoying older brother up for sale. They learned early on the importance of supply and demand, content marketing, and advertising. When the twins try to sell their brother by describing his best qualities, and still find that no one is interested they lower the price. They also go to great lengths to draw attention to their sale with everything from clowns, giant inflatable pandas, to airplane banners. In fact, they do such a good job marketing their big brother they discover he’s not all that bad after all!
You should aim to do the same with your business: not only should your advertising be attractive and believable, but your product should be good enough that you want it yourself. If you wouldn’t buy it, why would anyone else?
Practice makes perfect – “Practice”
“Practice, practice, practice/If at first you don’t succeed/Don’t give up just keep on trying/Til you get up to speed.”
As this song from You’re Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Ballet Party proclaims, it’s important to remember that you’re not always going to strike gold on your first try. For many start-ups, and even giant corporations, every little thing takes time and patience until a fool-proof system is discovered.
For new employees, keeping up with deadlines, learning new software, or simply getting the job done can seem overwhelming. Just remember that you are not going to be an expert right out of the gate, but everything will get easier with practice.
It’s OK to question authority – “It’s Not Logical”
Something that troubles many 5 and 6 year olds is…grown-ups. Those pesky grown-ups are always telling kids what to do. In this video from The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Logical I Ranch, Mary-Kate and Ashley show everyone that it’s okay to question authority.
Just because someone is higher up the corporate ladder than you, doesn’t mean they’re always right. Sometimes it’s okay to tell others when their thought processes just aren’t logical. You might even be doing your company a favor by saving them time and money!
Use your imagination for problem solving – “Let your Mind Meander”
“Run the problem backwards, turn the problem round,/ Tip the problem over, turn it upside down./Take another gander out into the yonder,/Let your mind meander, let your wonder wander.”
The Olsens learned how to use creativity for problem solving in The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the U.S. Space Camp Mission. Brainstorming is extremely important in business and marketing. If you want any shot at really pushing the envelope in your industry, you’ll have to engage your brain in new and exciting ways.
No matter how wrapped up in assignments and deadlines you get, never let your imagination lie dormant. Embrace and explore any new ideas that may come to mind, no matter how crazy they might seem. You never know what could turn into a highly profitable idea!
Be confident – “Bravery”
If two eight-year-olds can tackle their fears, surely you can do the same! Mary-Kate and Ashley teach a few valuable lessons in this song from The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley: The Case of Thorn Mansion. First, you’ll never get anywhere in any business or workplace situation if you don’t take a few risks. Be confident and don’t let anything new intimidate you.
Second, just like Mary-Kate and Ashley can depend on their mom and dad, if your new endeavors get a little too scary don’t hesitate to call on your co-workers or your boss for support.
There’s no denying that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen knew more about business than your average kid, and they’ve given us a few marketing tips to ponder! Most importantly, however, they taught us that you can put anything on a pizza.
What are your favorite marketing tips? Which old Mary-Kate and Ashley songs do you remember? Do you know of another Mary-Kate and Ashley song that could be helpful for businesses?
Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.