Chance the Rapper has taken 2016 by storm, from his new album "Coloring Book" to launching his line of Chicago White Sox hats that sold out much to fans' dismay.
Hannah Abrams, senior content editor for Promotional Marketing — a sister brand to Target Marketing — took to her blog, Hannah's Misguided Musings, to look at his marketing strategy, and declared him to be a marketing genius based on the strides he's made in each of his business ventures.
Target Marketing's Quick Take: While some of Chance's strategies might be a great fit for small- to medium-businesses, they might not always be in line with what Fortune 500 marketers are looking for. What do you think? Read on as she walks you through some ideas to consider for your brand.
1. Use Old-School Marketing
These days, when a movie is set to premiere, most marketing dollars are spent on social media marketing and hoping for Internet viral sensations. Leading up to the release of "Coloring Book," Chance the Rapper gave fans the chance to print posters online and hang them in their own cities. It was a massive hit as posters began appearing everywhere, including in Philadelphia. The posters cost $20 for a three pack, and he encouraged fans to post the photos on social media.
— Kyrellos (@KyrellosKaldas) May 4, 2016
So basically, Chance the Rapper brought in a ton of revenue from selling these posters, and benefited from the subsequent guerrilla marketing. He didn't have to spend a dime on this free exposure, and there were advertisements for his new album everywhere.
2. Make Merchandise Customizable
Chance the Rapper also took a different approach to his promotional apparel. He allowed users to customize their T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats on his website. It didn't require in-depth personalization on the back-end, but prospective buyers could choose the shirt colors, design colors and the sizes they wanted for their gear.
Delivering this more "custom" experience left fans feeling like they had one-of-a-kind apparel that they were able to contribute to. Plus, it was in keeping with his "Coloring Book" theme.
3. Make Limited Edition Merchandise
In a marketing move that had nothing to do with his new album, Chance the Rapper developed his own line of limited edition White Sox hats.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) April 6, 2016
The hats were available in three unique designs and were released in very limited quantities. Unfortunately, the hats sold out in minutes with so much hype being generated that the hats were eventually going for hundreds on eBay.
4. Follow Your Gut
Chance the Rapper is one of the few popular artists that has strayed away from signing to a major label. He does everything independently, and therefore is able to basically do whatever he wants, in terms of his artistry. Without constantly needing to please an overbearing label, Chance the Rapper can follow his own marketing plan as well as his own album roll-out tactics.
Now, in terms of the promotional products business, being label-free doesn't really apply. However, you should follow your gut when it comes to new products and giving your clients what they really want. Don't be scared to suggest something different that might set the client out of their comfort zones.
5. Host Surprise Events
They say all press is good press. Well, good press is the best press, and Chance the Rapper has only been getting good press. Hosting free, surprise events for the community definitely contributes to this good press.
— Jos (@queen_1924_) May 21, 2016
At the last minute, Chance the Rapper informed fans that he would host a "Coloring Book" event in the city of Chicago. Nobody knew what to expect, and the event named, Magnificent Coloring World, was free to the public. The event received massive amounts of good press and it helped generate more buzz.