How did Jay Z and Kanye West do their branding?

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Jay Zand Kanye West, the two of Hip Hop’s hottest start, released their lasted album, Watch The Throne, on August 8, 2011. The album was sold nearly 500,000 pieces during the first week and hit No. 1 in 23 countries on iTunes. Let’s see how Island Def Jam, the record label, interacted with the fans and created the buzz among the public.


Step 1: Fully understand your customers’ purchasing habits

Making your product exclusive on one channel sometimes will be a double-edged sword unless you are pretty much sure that your targeted audience are willing to use the specific channel to get your offer. Thus, a fully understanding of your customers’ purchasing habits will be a guide leading you to the right channel your customers prefer. That was the reason why iTunes and Best Buy were the only two retail partners Island Def Jam picked.


Step 2: Connect the digital and physical experience with your customers

If your products are primarily sold online, try to add some physical experience with your customers. From the date of the release, Island Def Jam used social media to announce great excitement for a pop-up store in Manhattan, which built the physical connection with customers. However, a pop-up store or any other physical event that leverages your online marketing strategy does consume you lots of time and money. Be sure that your physical events are well-organized in advance.


Step 3: Boost your connection with customers via huge excitement

Figure out what kind of activities which will really cheer your audience up and make your brand more relevant to their lives. Island Def Jam make the fans in New York City able to see Maybach featured in the music video of Otis, a song tile from the album. Such a huge excitement will definitely bond you and your customers deeply.


Step 4: Build a strong relationship with your retail partners

In addition to fully understanding your targeted audience’s purchasing habits, make sure the retail partners you pick have the ability to reach and satisfy your audience. Accordingly, Island Def Jam only partnered with iTunes and Best Buy as its retail channels.  There is no need for you also to pick big-name partnerships. All you need to do is to strengthen your current network with your partners.


Step 5: Create buzz on the social media and spread the buzz via your targeted audience

Make your every effort to create buzz via the popular social media. The buzz could be spread much faster and wider than you expect. Island Def Jam used social media to make announcement and bulit its relationship with online editors, bloggers, and the fans. Besides, its partnership with Vevo helped the album to hit 5,000,000 views on YouTube. Try to provide valuable content and your fans will be very willing to spread the good ones.


Step 6: Track what your customers said about you on the public thoroughly

Do not ignore the power of word of mouth. Keep following the conversation about your stuff on the Internet and make modification for your brand/product/service accordingly. Once the album was released, seven of the top trending topics on Twitter were song titles from the album. Do not try to add something to the conversation unless you are adding something valuable and meaningful. Carefully managing them will benefit you a lot.






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