Kanye West has an undeniable mainstream cultural impact, with an army of followers who attempt to mimic the artist’s every move. Perfect validation for this phenomenon was shown when Kanye opened 21 pop-up shops around the world, one being Toronto, this past weekend – promoting his upcoming world tour. These shops were only open for three days and saw endless lines as Kanye fans waited patiently for hours just to purchase one of his “Pablo” shirts.
The strategy to his success – shameless self-promotion.
Kanye’s legacy as one of our generation’s greatest influencers has already been solidified. From his music and clothing to his choice in wife, the power of influence lies in his spontaneous outbursts and endless media attention grabs. Kanye’s tactics are deemed questionable, but always seem to align in his favour.
He successfully targets social media to raise his profile and keep the public interested, not to mention the extra leverage he receives from his extremely loyal and diverse fan base.
Want to influence like Kanye? Follow these Kanye-inspired tactics:
Setting the rules — Kanye breaks all the PR rules. His outlandish, seemly-unfiltered social media comments end up generating more media buzz and attention rather than tarnish his brand equity.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity — Kanye has no filter, with his confident attitude and already established empire, he constantly keeps the media busy. No media is bad for Mr. West.
Consistent branding — Kanye strategically releases a limited amount of highly sought after product – with supply never managing to meet the ridiculous demand, keeping the public interested and always wanting more.
Staying top of mind — Kanye’s marketing is heavily focused on social media, specifically applying Twitter and Instagram as his most prominent outlets. Kanye hits his message through social because he’s aware of his own following. For the star, social media is the fastest, most calculated method for his fans to receive communication.
Timing is everything — Kanye deliberately uses the media attention he generates, good or bad, to promote his brand. While everyone is focussing and discussing his outrageous Twitter comments, he debuts ‘The Life of Pablo’ and his Yeezy season 3 collection to a massive Madison Square Garden crowd, directing the already built attention to his brand.