Say what you will about Sean “Diddy” Combs, there is one fact that is undeniable: The man is the baron of brand building. Want proof? Witness the recently reported 552 % brand growth of Cîroc vodka. (Yes, you read correctly: 552%.) The brand’s exponential surge is attributed directly to Diddy’s involvement. After Diageo—the parent company for the liquor—partnered with him, featured him in several commercials and named him current brand manager and chief marketing officer in 2007, the company saw an extensive jump in sales. Now Ciroc is the second-ranked “ultra-premium” vodka, knocking Belvedere from its place, and was recently named one of America’s Hottest Brands by Advertising Age.
Blackenterprise.com talked with branding expert and reinvention strategist Marshawn Evans to see what small business owners may be able to learn from the hip-hop mogul’s promotional prowess and what techniques can be used to propel your company’s growth significantly. Here are Evans’s need-to-know tips:
Be the face of the brand: Diddy has been the spokesperson and sole face of Cîroc. Doing this, Evans assures, will grow one’s business. “If a small business owner can be the face of their brand, then it helps consumers connect with them and then they’re more apt to learn about their product and services,” says the entrepreneur. (Think Oprah and Martha Stewart. One small warning: when you’re the face of the brand, everything you do, good or bad, may affect the brand as well. Think Oprah and Martha Stewart.)
Cross-promote with lifestyle integration: Cîroc-everything is how Diddy plays the game. He inserts Cîroc messaging in his music and videos (does Chester French’s “Ciroc Star” video featuring Diddy, Jadakiss, and Clinton Sparks ring a bell?), television, commercials, nightlife promotions, live event appearances, and, of course, social media sites such as Twitter. It is not uncommon to see consecutive tweets from Diddy about the latest liquor flavor and retweets of drink concoctions made with his beverage of choice. Evans, an alumni of The Apprentice season 4, says if you know how to talk about your product or service, you don’t have to be at a networking event to spark a conversation about them. You could be anywhere.
Source: Black Enterprise