Sunday, November 18, 2007

(The MBA process is so passe...Nowadays 2nd rate rappers are getting brand management gigs)

He's Gone by Puffy, Diddy and Now ... Brand Manager (AdAge, 10/27)

Meet Diddy, brand marketer.

The multimedia mogul and CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment added another position to his resume today with his announcement to take on all brand-management decisions for Diageo’s Ciroc vodka, including marketing, advertising, public relations, product placement and events. The role is “too big for one title,” he told Ad Age, but, he added, “I’ll be taking the lead on all the things traditionally a CMO or a brand manager would do, just doing them my way. Marketing in a way that is truly unique.”



Diddy’s goal is to turn Ciroc into the top luxury vodka brand, much in the same way that he has indirectly helped put Courvoisier, Patron and Cristal at the top of their respective categories through mentions in hip-hop songs and product placement in music videos. Part of this strategy: declaring Ciroc the “official” vodka for New Year’s Eve.

“When the ball drops, if you’re not drinking Ciroc vodka, you’re not drinking New Year’s Eve the right way,” he told reporters at a press conference today in New York.

It’s a lofty goal to essentially take a luxury vodka from scratch and build it up to become the top beverage in its category by year’s end, but one worth pursuing for Diddy, given his previous endeavors. His music label, Bad Boy, has issued recent No. 1 Billboard albums for both himself (2006’s “Press Play”) and “Making the Band” contestants Danity Kane, while his clothing line Sean John has surpassed Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm as the top-selling brand in urban clothing. And his dual line of men’s and women’s fragrances for women, Unforgivable, recently outsold other celebrity scents from Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“I’d just like to take a moment to apologize to those ladies and hope they still speak to me on the red carpet,” he joked during the press conference.

Diddy’s announcement represents the latest in rappers trying their hand at brand building in the beverage category. 50 Cent was an early investor in Glaceau’s Vitamin Water before it was acquired by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in May, leaving the rapper with as much as $400 million to cash out. Jay-Z, meanwhile, took an even more hands-on approach to spirits marketing as co-brand director of Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Select, helping the brand reach the urban market and endorsing the beer in its ad campaigns. But even his efforts couldn’t help the brand gain market share, as sales fell 20% from 2006 earlier this year.

Diddy and Diageo project Ciroc’s potential value to be worth $100 million for Diddy. But, he was quick to point out to reporters that “you won’t get that for a long, long time. That’s just a figure to get you guys excited.” Shortly after making his announcement, Diddy answered a few questions about his new gig and the challenges he’s been able to overcome in viral marketing.

Ad Age: You just endeared yourself to thousands of marketers today by taking on this unique role in brand marketing with Diageo. How will you define success by today’s current standards of marketing?

Diddy: Everybody has their marketing lingo, but I’m about results. I’m always about having the No. 1 shows, albums, fragrances and clothing lines. I think this is a huge testament to the marketing power we possess [at Bad Boy].

Everybody has dreams. As a recording artist, my dream was to play Madison Square Garden. I’ve always been able to attract the bottom line, so I saw an opportunity to do this as a brand builder.

Ad Age: You already have a special Ciroc mixed drink in your Justin’s restaurants. What was it about the vodka that made you want to take it on from a larger perspective?

Diddy: There’s no vodka out there that spoke my language. It was the same with my records and with Sean John. Nobody was speaking to the fashion community like I was. I didn’t think there was a vodka whose marketing spoke to my lifestyle, that made me feel like I want to feel. I’ve branded myself as the king of celebration, and that’s what this alliance is about. It’s not a glorified endorsement deal, it’s a hands-on, day-to-day investment. Diageo is No. 1 in the world spirits companies, so I look forward to having a lot of fun with them. It’s also significant for them to see things my way and break away from the industry to reach out to African Americans. It’s not an industry filled with color, so it was good for them to diversify themselves.

Ad Age: Last year you spoke with us about your viral video channels on MySpace and YouTube for “Press Play” and partnership with Burger King. And just recently you appeared on “Oprah” with the YouTube guys to talk about your successes in viral marketing. What have you learned about it and the challenges it presents in breaking through the clutter?

Diddy: I have my own formula and learned how to engage people and inform them. People say content is king, but only when it’s content people are interested in. I can’t make 1 million people view nothing unless it’s tagged to something they like. That’s the only way people are going to pay attention to your content.

By Andrew Hampp

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brand Blog of the Week: Brand Autopsy

The Brand Autopsy blog is the brainchild of John Moore, the former National Director of Marketing for Whole Foods Market, and author of "Tribal Knowledge: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Grounds of Starbucks Corporate Culture." The view on branding from Moore's lens is insightful and humorous, and I highly recommend anyone interested in brand strategy to take a peek.

Examples of recent posts (Both of these posts touch on some of the Brand positioning material we've been reviewing in our Brand Strategy class taught by Prof. Tom O'Guinn):

Buckley's: The good Taste of bad taste

The Marketing Courtship Process


Wisconsin School of Business Featured on's "Heard on Campus" article (11/8) this week details the Wisconsin Naming Partnership, and why this approach to naming rights may be mimiced going forward.

Also, 1st year Operations & Technology Management student Sarah Baranowski has a just issued the 1st installment of her Businessweek MBA Journal .

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Road Trip!
Kimberly-Clark graciously agreed to host us for an overnight visit to Neenah, WI last week. We loaded our bus in Madison and, after one Zoolander viewing, arrived at Kimberly-Clark's Innovation Design Studio. We had heard all about this new space, and it certainly lived up to its billing. Configured with virtual reality and a mock-up space that can be converted to mimic stores like Target or Kroger (right down to the in-store Starbucks or Pharmacy), it was quite an impressive tour. After a great dinner we headed back to the hotel and some found the energy after a long day to sample the nightlife.
The next morning, we headed over to K-C and took part in sessions that included "Insights to Product Innovation," "Trip Missions," "Consumer Targeting," "Integrated Marketing" and "Millenial Moms - Huggies Advertising" (not to mention a great lunch in the middle). At the end of the day, it was back on the bus and off to Madison to enjoy our weekends.
Overall, it was a very informative trip - another experience with information we can all take with us and adapt to whatever jobs we take after we're done here. Thanks to K-C for being such great hosts!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's Worth 1,000 Words
That is what they say about a picture, so when it comes to CBPM'ers celebrating Halloween, we'll let them do the talking:

Advisory Board Rolls Into Town

Board members took time out of their busy lives to get together in Madison a couple weeks ago. It was a chance for everyone to get to know the board members a little better, and for second years to present on their summer internship experiences.
We all started the weekend off right with a fantastic cocktail hour and dinner at Ocean Grill, beginning with a get-to-know you "activity" that taught us some interesting facts about everyone in attendance - I learned that first-year Jeffrey delivered groceries to mom and pop shops on his tricycle.

After a great evening, we reconvened the following morning to hear about summer internships at Nestle, General Mills, Miller, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, SC Johnson, Intuit, Procter and Gamble, Colgate, Kimberly-Clark and Sun...whew.
The feedback from Board members was that the presentations were great as were their summer responsibilities. While these were the first presentations this blogger has seen, it's clear that the bar continues to be raised.