Editor’s Letter: Learn From the Maestro of Marketers How to Blow Up Your Brand

Also, join CMOs and senior execs from the NFL to Goop at Challenger Brands Summit

DJ Khaled
Fresh off his wild Hard Rock Super Bowl spot, DJ Khaled spoke to Adweek about how he continues to evolve his brand. - Credit by Rose Marie Cromwell for Adweek
Headshot of Lisa Granatstein

When it comes to being an upstart challenger brand that’s broken rules and tapped tech to win over fans, there are few in the game that come close to DJ Khaled and his masterful marketing for … DJ Khaled.

Khaled first graced Adweek’s cover in 2016 when he was then known as the “King of Snapchat,” an ascendant hip-hop star who was leveraging social media in innovative ways to take his fame to the next level. We’re talking mega-endorsements, music and movies.

Back then, Khaled boasted 14.3 million followers on Snapchat. Today, on Instagram, he has over 18 million and nearly 5 million on Twitter.

Fresh off his wild Hard Rock Super Bowl spot with an all-star cast that included Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Pitbull (Khaled also DJ-ed the pre-game, a first for the NFL), the Grammy Award-winning star spoke to Adweek senior editor Nicole Ortiz for our cover about how he continues to evolve and energize his own brand.

“It was interesting to learn about how large a role Khaled’s intuition plays in his business decisions,” said Ortiz. “It’s all about his gut.” But what surprised Ortiz most was that as famous as he is—and wants to be—he also values his privacy, particularly those moments with his young family.

Meanwhile, a stellar group of 40-plus CMOs and senior marketers from the NFL, Goop, Uber and more will be on hand at our annual Challenger Brands Summit in New York. This extraordinary event, at this level, couldn’t have happened without the big ideas and tireless effort of Alexa Comeau, senior manager, programming, who curated speakers and worked closely with our edit team.

Our Challenger Brands Summit this year also will include celebrating our first Retail Awards winners, honoring best-in-class retail brands and retail tech. Read why Adweek’s brand marketing team selected best brands Champion, Harry’s and Ulta, and how Shopify, Square and Boxed.com platforms are killing it.

There’s lots more to check out in this issue. Publishing editor Sara Jerde explores the changing role and focus of publishers’ chief technology officers. “CTOs now have wide-ranging roles that include preparing for newsroom cyber attacks and addressing privacy legislation, in addition to building products,” Jerde said. “It’s gone way beyond overseeing office email and software.”

Interested in meeting up with Ortiz, Jerde and other members of the Adweek edit team? On March 4-5, they’ll all be at Convene on Liberty Street in New York, where we’ll be hosting the Challenger Brands Summit.

See you there!


Join the foremost brand marketers, such as Marc Pritchard, Brad Hiranaga, Kory Marchisotto and more, for Brandweek Masters Live on Sept. 14-17. Secure your pass and learn from the brand masters.
This story first appeared in the March 2, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@lgranatstein lisa.granatstein@adweek.com Lisa Granatstein is the editor, svp, programming at Adweek.
Publish date: March 1, 2020 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/editors-letter-learn-from-the-maestro-of-marketers-how-to-blow-up-your-brand/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT