Beats: Managing a Successful Brand

By: Braxton Bilous

Beats first released their headphones in 2008. Since then, they have grown into the undisputed leader in the headphone market, controlling over 70 percent. Beats have been able manage their successful brand in the market through four different methods: ambush marketing, brand authenticity, fearlessness, and emotion. These methods have been a main reason for the company’s success, and will continue to help in Beats’ dominance of the headphone market.

The 2014 World Cup was a major event for Beats, where they successfully managed their brand, but how could this be? Not only were they not an official sponsor of the event, their product was banned from the event. No player was allowed to wear the product in the stadium or during any media session. Nonetheless, Beats used a style of marketing called ambush marketing. Beats managed to do this in two different ways. First, they released a commercial on YouTube days before the event. The commercial has been viewed nearly 27 million times since then. The second was by giving every athlete in the event a pair of Beats headphones. Although they were banned, players were still seen wearing them during the event.

Beats brand authenticity has been a major factor in the company’s success. Beats shows that the product is for the athletic community and music lovers. Commercials are a way Beats shows its brand authenticity, by using big name celebrities such as LeBron James, or Kendrick Lamar. The 2014 World Cup commercial showed celebrities as a front for the commercial and tied in Beats message of being for the athletic community and music lovers.

Fearlessness is implemented into Beats brand and marketing strategy. They do this by not letting any obstacle that prevents the truth of their product from reaching the public steer them astray. Again, the World Cup is a perfect example. Not worrying about potential lawsuits or fines, they found a way to get the truth of their brand out there. Beats’ EVP of global marketing, Omar Johnson talked about the company’s approach to being fearless best, “Truth is the foundation of our brand—from all we do across sports, headphones and music—it is all based on truth. The difference between us and other brands is we have a relentless passion to tell the truth even if it is unsavory or uncomfortable for people who don’t want to hear it. This brand lives it. We want to be known for being fearless.”

If you have ever seen a commercial for Beats headphones you surely realize the emphasis on emotion within them. This strategy is an attempt of connecting the audience with the commercial. After the audience views the commercial, they are normally left touched and/or remembering it. Beats has become very good in implementing this into their commercials, primarily in the “Hear what you want” campaign, as well as the 2014 World Cup commercial.

Once you have a successful brand, it is important to maintain that reputation for the brand, in order to have future success. The four methods that Beats use are the reason that they continue to stay on top when it comes to the headphone market. These methods can be applied to any company, and should be because, as seen above, it has carried Beats to the top.


3 thoughts on “Beats: Managing a Successful Brand

  1. Andrew Arcidi March 3, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    I agree that Beats do have a brand authenticity as well as emotion in their products. A lot of their commercials have famous athletes, and artists doing what they love while wearing Beats. The commercial in your presentation really stressed the emotion portion of their marketing.


  2. Jackie Lurvey April 13, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    Beats have rapidly made a name for themselves in the speaker industry, and based on their marketing methods, they had a clever way of doing it. I think one of the strongest aspects that Beats has is their celebrity endorsements, both in music and athletics. Through using endorsements and other methods, they have quickly created a strong brand that, I think, will only continue to grow.


  3. Olivia Boudreau April 28, 2015 / 3:31 am

    I think Beats has done an awesome job in managing their brand from their ambush marketing at the Olympics to marketing to both athletes and music lovers in a way that truly appeals to their emotions. I love the “Hear what you want” campaign and I feel like that was really effective on consumers. When you think of the best headphones out their, you think of Beats and that is exactly what they want you to think, which is a good thing since they have a quality product. Again, their marketing at the Olympics caused a bit of controversy but in the end they were able to convey their message that they are fearless which I think is a brilliant way to market the products. Some would probably disagree, but in the end they were able to get their point across. I think they have a quality product but what makes them dominate the headphone market is the way in which they maintain their strong brand and market their products.


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