Legendary rapper and businessman Snoop Dogg sat down with CNBC to talk a bit about how he created his personal brand and how he differentiates himself from the competition. Although he is not what you would traditionally consider a business icon or mentor, Snoop is very successful in both the music and media industry and as a serial business owner and entrepreneur.
On differentiation Snoop says that you need to “create your own sound” in order to stand out from a crowd of competitors. Whether this is innovative features, clever marketing, industry leadership or any other differentiating factor you need something to set your offering apart so that you will be sought out. Always remember to involve your “fans”. While fans would not traditionally be used to refer to customers, look at companies like Apple and Nintendo. When a new product is released their fans/customers are camping out for days to be one of the first to have it. Involving your customers is a differentiator in itself. Finally, Snoop says to differentiate by being the best at what you do. Pick one thing and be the best at it. If you are the best, people will notice.
Snoop Dogg also had some comments on building a brand identity and spoke about how he has built his over the past twenty years. He stressed that mentors are a great way to learn new knowledge, build your network and create success for yourself. Whenever possible, ride the coattails of a successful mentor. Maximize your strengths – what does your organization do really well? Make this a central part of your brand and your offering. This ties back into being the best at what you do. Redefine what you do based on what you are best at.
If you experience hardship or failure, remember that failure is not without its benefits. Remember to learn from your failures to avoid them from the future. Failed enterprises are a part of your training. Use them to avoid pitfalls in the future.
When you are starting out, there will probably be no money, no big sales and no contracts. Do some soul searching. Ask yourself if what you are doing is what you want to be doing. If you are in the right space when the deals start rolling in, you will know you are committed and you will be passionate about your brand.
Finally, Snoop mentioned that social media is important in building your brand. Snoop “has his hands in everything that’s moving” as a way to stay connected to fans and the industry. Be open with your customers and keep them connected – this is a differentiator as much as it is a brand builder.
View the interview here.
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