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If you pay any attention to pop culture, or any mainstream media at all, then you know Mr. Kanye West was recently hospitalized and then released after an uncompleted 5150 hold.

And that sucks. Whatever you think of him, we should hope he feels better. And while most of us would like to think we have nothing in common with the narcissistic, arrogant Mr. West (other than maybe a deep appreciation for his music), all of us, including Kanye, are in marketing. And ‘Ye is a singular marketing force.

His shoes have miles-long waiting lists, all his concerts sell out, and his personal life is littered with Kardashians. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. Which means there are some key marketing lessons we can all learn from Yeezy.

    • Have a clear focus. Kanye didn’t come out the gate hawking plain, ripped t-shirts at Paris Fashion week. He wanted to be a rapper. And only after he became GREAT at the rap game did he begin exploring other business ventures. Likewise, marketing can’t solve all business problems but if it’s focused and strategic, it can move the needle where it needs moved most.
    • Be authentic. One of the most important aspects of effective marketing (especially to the holy millennial generation) is authenticity. Audiences recognize that, for better or worse (see: Taylor Swift), West always stays true to himself.
    • Timing is everything. Like any good marketing strategy, Kanye’s H.A.M. social media rants all somehow connect to a release or event. Because Mr. West knows: integrated marketing maximizes impact.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work. If Kanye consistently enlists a crew of creatives (see: Mike Dean, Kirk Jones, Justin Vernon) to help with his projects, you shouldn’t be handling your marketing all by your lonesome.


Have a Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy of a weekend, everybody.
-Your Touch The Sky friends at Brokaw.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

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