Beats-The Emotion Of Sound

A brand is defined as a toolbox of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company from competitors and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand’s toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication, brand awareness, brand loyalty and various branding strategies Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand’s worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components.

Beats- By Dr.Dre, The Brand everyone speaks of..

Fashionable-Gadgets-for-the-Diva-Beats-By-Dr-Dre-LogoIn November 2013, Beats by Dre launched its “Hear What You Want” campaign with a spot featuring, American Basketball player, Kevin Garnett not thinking about media opposing it, vicious Kevin’s fan heckling and more, with the soulful tune of Aloe Blacc’s “I’m the Man,” played through his Beats headphones. It immediately announced Beats by Dre as a creative marketing force to be reckoned with. The brand had already become a success in globally via word of mouth marketing, not-so secretive, seeding its products to popular athletes and artists to gain immediate attention, and a wave of street-level popularity for its big , round, and now global, headphones. This ad added a new layer to the Beats brand story. A brand built on product was now a powerhouse brand content creator, making ads that went beyond marketing and actually became part of pop culture. Sports blogs and music sites weren’t posting it (and comedians parodying it) because they liked the headphones (or ads) they were doing so because the ad was a cultural talking point, and cool as hell.

For Beats’ Chief Marketing Officer Omar Johnson, that was the point all along. In Johnson’s view, the best way to market Beats’ product is to make cool things people actually want to watch. And with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as founders, and hands-on creative decision makers, the brand has a finely tuned ear for, and ready access to, quality cool. “We get a lot of artists coming to our office and they play us music before they even play it for the labels because they want to make cool videos and content, but labels don’t have that budget,” says Johnson. “They’re playing us their new album, giving us unreleased music, and we’re becoming that place where athletes and artists are coming to first to make cool things.”

Seven of the last 10 songs Beats has used in ads have hit numbers one, two and three on iTunes. “Aloe Blacc’s ‘I’m the Man’ is a song the record label wouldn’t even put on the radio,” says Johnson. “It was on the label’s floor. We made it a sports anthem and No.1 on iTunes.”

Selling sound can take many shapes, but what makes Beats’ recent creative success unique is that the brand looked to a very specific place for inspiration and struck marketing gold.

Beats helped spark the explosion in premium headphones back in 2011 and still accounts for about 70% of the market. Initially, the brand building was done by the company’s now legendary ability to get global sports and music stars like LeBron and Lil Wayne to wear its products, while also making deals with other brands—like Chrysler, which featured Beats-branded sound systems in its cars—to further its reach. As co-founder Iovine has said, “We sold half a billion worth of product before we paid for one ad.”

Now, as part of the Apple empire, Beats is making and paying for plenty of ads—ads that felt like a natural extension of the product, instead of, you know, ads.



For many fans of sports, music—and advertising—Beats’ ads are evocative of that perennial master of the sports/emotion mix, Nike. Johnson spent six years at the Swoosh and may never have left had LeBron James not given him a pair of headphones.

One of the foundational Beats legends is the one where LeBron liked his Beats headphones so much, he gave pairs to everyone on the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team, starting a word-of-mouth ripple of cool across all sports that hasn’t stopped. LeBron’s generosity indirectly led to Johnson’s job. “The first Beats headphone I got was from LeBron when I was still at Nike,” says Johnson.”For him to give us the product and say how much he believed in it, became a big part of the path that led me to leave a really great job at Nike for what was still a startup.”

So it’s no coincidence that Beats’ ads have that same soulful, inspirational approach to sports that we’ve come to expect from Nike. “I definitely spent some of the best years of my career at Nike and learned the art of marketing from some of the best on the planet,” says Johnson. “I learned that you celebrate the founder story. Nike has Bill Bowman and Steve Prefontaine. We have Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. I learned a lot about authenticity and truth; these are things we have in common. We have similar sensibilities. Same reason I don’t ask my athletes to act. They use sport for sport and we use sport as a platform for sound.”

Johnson also credits his time at Nike for teaching him how to tell a clear story. “Nike is always talking to consumers about human potential and what you can do with your body,” says Johnson. “We’re talking to consumers what you’re missing from most headphones, and that’s emotion. Premium headphones are about emotion. Our headphones sound different from others. It’s that power to inspire you or change your mood. It’s all emotion and we’re always looking for ways to make it the focus of all our communications, and what we do in digital or retail.”


The brand works very closely with its agency R/GA on all aspects of its marketing. Johnson says close collaboration ultimately saves time, builds a stronger creative bond and, ultimately, better work.

New Product under Beats branding:


Apple developing revamped, cord-free Beats with charging case ahead of iPhone 7.

After its acquisition by Apple, this is probably the best product to be launched under the brand Beats- By Dr.Dre. Apple is prototyping the completely new set of Beats Bluetooth earphones with the potential of launching the accessory alongside the iPhone 7 this fall. The new earphones are said to be completely wireless, which is to say that they do not even have a cable connecting the left and right ear pieces.
It’s expected that the in-development accessory will include a noise-cancelling microphone system, enabling phone calls and communication with Siri even without Apple’s prior in-line microphone and remote. In order to fit inside of the user’s ear,
The headphones are planned to be a premium alternative to a new version of the EarPods, and are highly likely to be sold separately from the iPhone 7.
The latest version of the new wireless Apple/Beats headphones in development do not include any ports for charging, in contrast to the mini-USB port on the current wireless Beats. Instead, the new headphones are likely to come with a carrying case that doubles as a rechargeable battery to juice up the headphones when they are not in use.

Published By: Dr. Mihir Brahme (215044335)

Sources Consulted:

Ghodeswar, BM 2008, ‘Building brand identity in competitive markets: a conceptual model’, Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 4-12.

Zesty, 2016, ‘How Beats Headphones Cloned The Apple Brand To Perfection’, Simply Zesty, accessed April 20, 2016, from <;.

‘How Dr. Dre’s Headphones Company Became a Billion-Dollar Business’ 2014, accessed April 21, 2016, from <;.

‘How Beats Tapped The Stories Of Sport To Sell The Emotion Of Sound’ 2015, accessed April 19, 2016, from <;.

‘Apple developing revamped, cord-free Beats with charging case ahead of iPhone 7’ 2016, accessed April 20, 2016, from <;.


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