New-School brand creation and creativity – lessons from hip-hop and the global branded generation

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Wilson, Jonathan A.J. (2011)

Whilst academic marketing literature exists on the value of Hip-Hop as a marketing tool, there appears to be less on Hip-Hop’s philosophical roots and why it proves to be so effective. This study attempts to fill this gap, investigating the apparent natural synergy with brand theory – in that they are both able to captivate and engage consumer-centric sub-cultural groups. Findings indicate that Brands and Hip-Hop weave themselves into the fabrics of society - creating social capital and providing a way for individuals to connect with the world. Through metaphor, slang, symbolism and sampling, they: recycle and preserve aspects of culture; but in doing so, also innovate. Two critical success factors in both appear to be: the ratification of authenticity, and an encouragement towards shared ownership. However in contrast, Hip-Hop places precedence on overt and clear signalling of competitive intent. The methodology used is an Expert Delphi study – which also draws from a review of song lyrics, participant observation studies and in-depth interviews. This provides a basis for inductive reasoning and syllogisms. The aim is two-fold: to present a new Hip-Hop inspired model for brand creation; and secondly to offer an innovative approach to in-depth qualitative studies, using ‘Word Cloud’ software.
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