As a kid who grew up in the 90s and wore out her Doggystyle CD in her disc man, or maybe it was a tape in a walkman… the yellow one. Can’t remember. And can still sing every word to Lodi Dodi and Gin & Juice, Snoop Dogg will always have a special place in my heart… but never in a million years did I think my boomer mother would say to me “ I have a whole new respect for Snoop Dogg.”
First of all, it was weird to hear her even say the words. My bougie, boomer mom who likes to rock out to the Rolling Stones while wearing her David Yurman jewelry saying the words Snoop and Dogg in the same sentence is bizarre. She wasn’t exactly a fan of any of the music I listened to growing up… except maybe for Alanis Morisette.
But, why am I sharing this?
First, let’s talk about how we got to the place of having this conversation because it was totally random, was the inspiration for this episode, and leads me into the first lesson.
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Why We Should Learn from Snoop
The short story is, my Mom has to have foot surgery, and as if giving up heels for a few weeks isn’t hard enough she actually has to wear, as her doctor called them, tennis shoes. I don’t ever remember anyone referring to them as tennis shoes. They’re sneakers.
We were on the phone while my mom is explaining this to me and I start searching on the internet to find some decent looking all black sneakers that she can wear to work, (she’s a business banker… professional attire matters), will give her the required support, but also won’t make her feel… well silly. Fashion matters.
She mentions that there is a Sketchers store near her. We both perceive it to be a lower price point; which works for something my mom is going to wear for a few weeks and then probably donate. Plus, from all those commercials back in the day with that one celebrity, I can’t remember her name… we both have the perception that they’re comfortable.
So I go to the sketchers website, and what is the first thing I see on their home page? In a big giant banner at the top of the screen… fuckin’ Snoop. That dude is literally everywhere. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
So there is Snoop. In collaboration with Sketchers. A brand by the way that is not inexpensive.
So I laugh out loud and tell my mom Snoop is on the home page and she says oh ya know, I watched him as a mentor on the voice and I have a whole new respect for him. She had a similar sentiment about Nicki Minaj after seeing her as a judge on American Idol.
So why do I share this long roundabout random story about my mom and her sudden appreciation for rap artists… because perception and positioning matter.
The Importance of Brand Perception & Positioning
I don’t need to see Snoop mentor other musicians for me to appreciate him. I already love Snoop, his music, and his vibe. I think he’s hilarious, and he makes me nostalgic. But my mom needs to see him in a completely different light to appreciate who he is and what he does.
As they say, perception is reality. And how you position yourself in the market, where you show up, how you show up, who you partner with… all of those things are going to create a perception of who you are as a brand and a business in the mind of the audience you’re in front of.
Look, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You shouldn’t be… that’s a tough feat to pull off. Snoop is doing a great job at it, maybe it’s just because he has so much swag that he can get away with it. I mean… the man hosted a game show. Granted it didn’t last… but typically you would see someone take a job like that and be like oh okay.. that’s what you’re doing. But instead, Snoop does it and you’re like yea, Snoop has a game show. It’s a different vibe, ya know.
Putting your name on so many different things doesn’t work out for everyone and it has definitely ruined the cache of some names. Perry Ellis, and Ed Hardy to name a few.
But, perception is so important when it comes to business and building a brand.
Be Consistent With Your Marketing to Stay Top Of Mind
Being top of mind is so important too. As I said, Snoop is everywhere. He’s with Martha, he’s on wine bottles, he’s on the Voice, he’s on a video thanking himself, he’s on the sketchers website… he’s probably in a lot more places that I don’t even realize!
But you can’t be in all the places because well, you’re not Snoop and you don’t have a giant team to help you be in all the places. What you can do though is be consistent and stay top of mind in the places you already are.
Half of the battle when it comes to marketing your business and brand is just being consistent, showing up, and getting that mindshare. It’s the same reason why the biggest brands in the world still pay $6+ million dollars for a 30-second ad during the Superbowl.
If you do want to show up in more places but aren’t really sure how to do that without running yourself ragged, start creating omnichannel marketing campaigns that rely more on repurposing vs. more creation.
Diversify Your Marketing & Revenue Channels
The way Snoop stays top of mind goes hand in hand with diversification.
Let’s assume Snoop had no nest egg, and no investments. He's just living paycheck to paycheck. Even if one or more of his revenue streams disappeared tomorrow, there would be something else to carry him through.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to go start 5 new companies, or create a whole bunch of new products.
But you do need to think about all the ways you’re generating income in your business right now. All the ways you’re marketing your business right now. If you are relying too much on any one channel, that could potentially be a problem for you later on down the road.
We know what happened when the pandemic shut down retail and when Amazon wasn’t shipping non-essential items, we’ve heard the horror stories of Etsy stores that get shut down for trademark violations, brands that relied too heavily on Facebook Ads before iOS14 and their business completely tanked when that change took place.
Don't Spread Yourself too Thin
Yes, there is a fine balance between hedging your bets and being spread too thin. There’s no science to figuring out what the perfect balance is because it’s different for every business, product, owner, etc. I just want to make sure that you’re conscious of it and thinking about it.
So often we get caught up in the day-to-day of running our businesses that we forget to pull back and look at the big picture. I don’t want to you run your business or live your life in fear, but it’s important that you are aware and at least semi-prepared for all the strange things that can happen when you least expect it.
What diversification looks like for you is completely going to depend on your business and where you’re at right now. If all your traffic comes from Instagram right now, maybe you need to start implementing on-page SEO. Maybe you only sell on your own website and you consider putting your best seller on Amazon or another marketplace. If you rely 100% on Etsy or Amazon right now; start your own Shopify store so you have a backup should your listings get shut down.
Just don’t put all your eggs in one basket, okay?
This leads me to the next lesson we can learn from Snoop and that’s collaboration. Sure, he’s got his hands in. a lot of things, and his name is on a lot of products. But they’re not all HIS products. Some of them, are just collaborations, like his wine with 19 Crimes.
You’ll always hear me say the fastest and least expensive way to grow your business is to get in front of other people’s audiences. That could be another business, an influencer, or even just the friends of your existing customers.
What started out as a single guest spot cooking mashed potatoes and seemingly promoting cognac in a bottle shaped like the “perfect” hourglass female body, turned into a 15-year friendship full of shows and appearances, has brought both Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart in front of audiences they likely never would have connected with.
How to Find Collaboration Partners
Does that mean you go out and find the most random collaboration partner possible? No. You still want it to be aligned with your brand and perfect customer because let’s face it, you’re not Snoop Dogg or Martha Stewart… but they are proof that you can think outside the box and still find success.
Do you remember the Poo-pourri & Super Coffe Collab? That was a great example of a not-so-obvious but also the most obvious collab ever.
You’ve seen it a ton in Fashion, like Issac Mizrahi & Target, Balmain & H&M, Balmain & Victoria’s Secret, and Balmain & Loreal (Oivier loves a collab). You’ve also got Louis Vuitton & Supreme, Manolo & Birkenstock, Addidas & Prada, and the upcoming Tiffany’s & Nike.
Even some of our very own eCommerce Badassery crew members are using collaborations in their business. Larissa Loden regularly partners with other artists to create jewelry items. The Very Best Cookie does collaborations to create new sweet treats. And, Abby of the Ginger Hill Farmer creates graphic tees in partnership with local organizations.
Collaboration doesn’t always mean creating a brand-new product. Sometimes it’s just partnering with influencers who promote your brand on a regular basis. Think of it as the more accessible celebrity face. Snoop and Corona, Snoop & Sketchers, Shaq & Papa John’s, Amy Schumer & Tampax, George Clooney for Nespresso, Beyonce & JayZ for Tiffany’s, Kevin Hart & Chase… you get the idea.
Of course, you’ll want to be mindful of who you partner with because these names will be tied to your brand, Addidas is trying to figure out what to do with all their leftover Ye inventory. But this is another one of those times where being a small business works in your favor… it’s less likely you’ll have to deal with this sort of fallout.
Creating great influencer partnerships as a product-based business isn’t about getting the biggest name, so don’t be intimidated or think you have to have a huge budget for this type of relationship. Typically, smaller creators and influencers have more engaged audiences who are willing to actually buy what they promote.
Ultimately there are so many ways to go about this and infuse these kinds of relationships in your brand, I just want you to keep an open mind about it and stop thinking you have to try and grow your business in a secret silo behind your computer screen.
4 lessons Snoop Dogg can teach us about Marketing & Business
- Perception and positioning matter. Be intentional about how you put yourself out there in the world.
- Stay top of mind by consistently showing up in front of your customers. You want them to be thinking of you even when they’re not ready to buy your product
- Diversify your marketing and revenue streams: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Get in front of other people’s audiences through collaboration and partnerships
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