Chance the Rapper: Marketing Genius or No?

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.

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.

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.


Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.
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