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From Making Head-Bangers to Selling Head-Bangers
By: Emory Brown
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Now in the days of old in the land of hip-hop, a hip-hop mogul’s dream was to own a label, get a fashion line, and maybe a part in a hit movie or a starring role in a sitcom. Well, that was the days of old. Now one of hip-hop’s most renowned producers is selling high-end headphones and his fans are buying them in swarms. From the streets to the studios and everywhere you look, Dr. Dre has taken his studio experience and turned it into head-banging profits with his very own custom-made headphones. I guess he’s got the "Chronic" on all things music!

They say it’s a market for everything, but when I first saw the "Beats" headphones by Dre, I thought, "Okay, Doc, I’m not paying $200.00 for a pair of headphones. You may have gotten me at 16 because I had a fetish for high-end things and cute girls, but now...no way. ’d rather spend the $200 at the casino with a cute girl." Yet the marketplace is saying “yes way” as “Beats by Dre” has captured 64% of the market share for premium headphones along with 28% of the overall headphones market share. We thought he was doing something as Dr. Pepper’s spokesman. We thought he was pimping when he was making car commercials with Chrysler. The Dr. has put his name on the map again with an incredible 2012 hit: $519 million in revenue. They're hip-hop sophistication at its finest; “Beats” headphones can be found around the necks of the world’s hottest music performers, athletes, and business people.

More importantly, Dr. Dre’s marketing team is making the “Beats” brand a household name with its focus on inviting their consumers back into the nostalgia of good music that has a premium sound. You know, the stuff that makes your heart race as you wait for the beat to drop. Ready and poised to take on the world. The brand was in London during the Olympics last year where they had an awesome brand presence without being a sponsor. Sound like something out of a Nike handbook? It may have been, because the Senior VP-Marketing for "Beats" is Omar Johnson was formerly one of Nike’s global marketing executives. Their experiential engagement was brilliant! The idea was coined “Safe House," and it wasn't a Denzel Washington promotional tie-in. It was an actual “Safe House” for athletes to hang out with other cool people like music arists and high-profile guests as they got the opportunity to choose country-customized headphones made by “Beats." Just what the Dr. ordered. The man from the West Coast that rocked the world with his beats is back in the lab again rocking the world with his “Beats"!


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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