Yeezy to Easy
How Kanye West’s personal identity led to the rise of a $1.5 billion brand!
Kanye West has always said that Yeezy is one of the biggest streetwear brands in the industry. But how did Yeezy rank to a point of competing with longtime running brand Jordan or rank second to the legacy of Gucci? The answer is Kanye West himself.
We all know of Kanye West as the person who is not afraid of speaking his mind and doesn’t give two sh**ts about what people think of him. But is that reality or is there a well thought of strategy behind every move and every step? Known for his controversial stunts, emotional rants and music amidst it, his personal brand is either a well-developed personality or a plan of action. It is rightly said, “there is a fine line between genius and insanity” and I believe Kanye erased the line.
Kanye West possesses a quality that some would call the Miley Cyrus effect. While he is outspoken, his words are often met with criticism with many considering him crazy. However, people continue following his art and appreciating it. Every time Kanye West passes a comment on Twitter or on a live talk show, he is faced with extreme backlash and media frenzy. But what most people don’t notice is the fact that if 100 people unfollow him on Twitter, he gains 200 more. That is the power of crazy.
Human psychology often shows that people are drawn towards crazy and narcissist individuals. There is no denying the fact that the amount of god given talent in Kanye makes him declare himself a deity, and people have no issue agreeing with the same. But the consumers, who buy Yeezy, invest a piece in Kanye West themselves. The only brand worse than Kanye is the Kardashians, but we continue seeing them, 15 seasons later as well. The consumers may claim to hate the brand but they will always invest in the product if it is desirable.
Another factor that works for Kanye West is his emotional breakdowns and well placed apologies. Kanye will always voice his opinions, but if his followers are hurt, he apologises. His emotional rants make people sympathise with him, and all is forgotten in a jiffy! He values his consumers and makes them his personal target audience. After all, what is a brand without its buyer?
Yeezy is an influential brand and Kanye is a Marketing genius. Kanye uses his personality to create social media hypes, which then reflect on the sales of Yeezy. He also executes articulate plans by leveraging his wife’s popularity. Kim Kardashian walking out of her home in a pair of the newly launched season 6 Yeezy was said to have driven search traffic for the brand up by over 45%. This type of marketing can be considered as direct to consumer communication. Another gimmick that Yeezy follows is the limited supply of its new lines. This generates a need and portrays exclusivity.
Celebrities, exclusivity and craziness are what drive Yeezy as a brand and it is not going to slow down anytime soon. Kanye takes risks, but it also leads to success. Like West himself says,
“You should be bothered if there is no criticism. That means you’re too safe.”
References: Grate, C. (2017, June 26). 3 Things Kanye West Can Teach You About Personal Branding. Retrieved from Medium. Hanbury, M. (2018, April 26). Kanye West’s secret to building a footwear empire to compete with Nike. Retrieved from Business Insider.