Dr Dre VS Branding

Beats-by-Dr.-DreAndre Romelle Young, or better known by his stage name, Dr Dre, is one of the most successful hip hop entrepreneurs in the world, next to Sean Combs (P Diddy). His release of Beats by Dre took the world by storm, and due its immense success, the line of headphones stirred a number of questions, with one primarily weighing in the most importance; how did he do it?

Firstly, we must address the issue of how did Dre brand his product and build it? Branding has no one definition, however, in its essence, branding is communication, it is the process of creating value in the minds of the consumers and building it requires developing brand equity through advertizing and promotion. “Tobias Dahlberg” stated that a strong brand requires strong culture, both internally and towards the customer. Furthermore, elements such as vision, strategy and innovation are imperative for successful branding.

Together Jimmy Lovine, Dr Dre identified a problem and found a solution, which led to a billion dollar business. In 2006, Lovine saw that the music industry was in a difficult position, due to the fall of record sales caused by piracy and illegal downloads, and the lack of audio quality in headphones produced by Apple. People were buying $400 iPods with $1 headphones. Lovine said that, “Steve Jobs was the first to marry technology directly with popular culture.” “They’re making a beautiful white object with all the music in the world in it.” “I’m going to make a beautiful black object that will play it back. Dre and I decided to market this product just like it was Tupac or U2 or Guns N’ Roses.”

The two were able to engineer a device which would provide incredible audio quality and provide the consumer with an entirely new sound experience. After rigorous testing and several prototypes, the two sent their headphones to all sorts of celebrities, with one being Lebron James. The NBA star liked what he heard and asked for a total of 15 headphones. To their surprise, every member of the 2008 US Olympic basketball was wearing their headphones for their games in Shanghai.

Beats by Dre truly became a huge success because of its extensive promotion and due to its acceptance by many celebrities and big names such as Robin Thicke. Dr Dre, the rapper and producer, is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs and there is much to be learned from him about branding and marketing without question, however; how much of Beats by Dre’s success can be credited to these celebrities and what would have happened if Dre was not already famous when releasing this product?

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6 Responses to Dr Dre VS Branding

  1. stanislavkuzmin says:

    Amazing post and it was interesting to read about this brand. But what is your personal opinion about extremely huge price for this product? Is this brand really worth adding high extra price for brand name?

  2. saskiaschlegel says:

    Very nice and detailed post, @raphaelverma! It was very interesting to hear about Dre’s marketing strategy for the headphones.

    You mentioned that Dre and Lovine said about Apple, they would do really bad headphones. So what do you think about the fact that Apple actually bought Beats By Dre a year ago? Would you say that was a good decision?

  3. antoinemazu says:

    An excellent post and well writing ! I didn’t know how Dr Dre manage to create its headphone and what was the story behind Beats. It’s amazing how he managed by an issue (Lack of efficient headphones) to become a succesfull entrepreneurs. But you made a point at the end that I could agree on: Will he manage to be that successful if he was not already famous before? Of course he had a great help of stars as Lebron James but that was because he liked the sound it proposed. I personnaly think that having already a great position in the market helped him to be that successful entrepreneurs.
    Nevertheless an excellent topic and post, thank you.

  4. arcticminded says:

    Great post on Dre Beats! They have definitely done well for themselves, positioning themselves correctly in the market and using endorsements very aggressively. People are really loving Dre Beats because of its trendiness and par quality. Something that really interested me about the company and it’s endorsers was the fact that in the NFL, they banned athletes from using headphones on the field that had any other logo then the Bose logo. This created a lot of controversy and it was interesting to learn about how powerful sponsorship can be. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine for one loved the free publicity after getting fined 10,000 USD for wearing the Beats headphones at a post-game press conference, and this is when players started wearing the headphones with tape covering the logo.

  5. myriameliott says:

    Thank you for the great post you had in here! It was really interesting. I think nowadays that Dr Dre is one of the best example of personal branding that exists when it comes to the music world. What he archieved is pretty impresive as he found the perfect way to make people never forgetting him. Even when it is not putting out any music, he is still there, which is tighly linked to his music success nowadays.

  6. henriin says:

    Thanks for this amazing post! it was a pleasure to read. I didn’t know that Dr. Dre is behind beats, but I’m not so big of a fan of his.. but sill it was nice to read. I think that one reason of the reasons for that beats are so good is that they are made by some one that knows about music and so they are so good headphones.

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