Cardi B is the newest hip-hop female sensation who has gained much press in the past year.
Her breakout single Bodak Yellow has become a night life anthem and most rap fans can sing it word for word. She is one of a few female artists to have 2 songs hit number one on the billboard charts amongst other accolades. She is married to rapper “Offset” of the hip-hop trio Migos who are on top of their game in the hip-hop world.
New singles with Bruno Mars and Maroon 5 have endeared her to fans of other genres of music. Earlier this year, she graced the cover of Rolling Magazine which profiled her love journey with beau Offset. Cardi is basically hip-hop royalty.
What has made Cardi B stand out is the level of goodwill she enjoys on social media mainly from her Fan Base the “Bardi Gang” and other fans of music all over the world.
As a self-confessed marketing and branding junkie, the rise of Cardi B on the global music stage has been of immense interest to me. Why is that some music artistes stay long underground whiles the rise of others seem like an overnight success. Why do people endear towards Cardi and what lessons can it teach us about personal brand building and perception?
These are the things I have learned from a branding and marketing standpoint.
It appears human beings have a natural urge to bond with people they can relate to. Most celebrities to the ordinary person are out of touch with everyday realities regular people have to go through. To regular people, celebs are moneyed individuals who have access to the best lifestyle and luxury therefore do not speak the language of the ordinary man or woman.
Cardi B is relatable, from her Instagram postings to her brand endorsements it does not look excessively airbrushed and over polished. She comes of across as someone you have known all your life. Her life has that “if she made it, I can make it” vibe to it which is necessary for relatability.
In building a personal brand relatability is key, by sharing your struggles, you fear and challenges. People can better relate to you. This does not necessarily mean you have to put all your business out there but aiming for constant perfection leads people to think you have lost touch with everyday reality.
- Don’t Hide your Quirks thats what makes you unique
Cardi is known for interesting and sometimes weird vocal noise. “Okkkrrrr” (hope I spelt that right) being the most popular of them all. I can’t tell whether she was the first entertainer to come up with that sound but she sure has made it her own.
The noises she makes with her lips are unique to her and has become some sort of trade mark of hers. The Okkrrr sound has now permeated pop culture and is used by people all over the world as a sort of affirmative sound.
Although this may sound mundane this noise has made her stick in people minds and now associated these things to her.
Don’t shy away from the things that make you unique, embrace your quirks, interesting personas and the things that make you different. Trying to blend in will make you another “me too” voice in a populous space where everyone is trying to blend in.
- Keep Fine Tuning Your Craft
Cardi has not hidden the fact that she was once a stripper. She then moved to reality TV before finally breaking out into music. She has not shied away from her past. A lot of celebrities are uncomfortable talking about their difficult times or challenging moments.
I’m pretty sure Cardi B had challenges along the way in trying to get to where she is today. I watched an interview she did where she mentioned people kept asking her to “fix her teeth”. For some people that would have been reason not to continue building her personal brand but she focused and it has paid off. Fine tuning a skill almost certainly will come with some mistakes. But focusing on the minute challenges without realizing the bigger picture of goal is where a lot of us stall and not make impact.
Learning about how CardiB enjoys goodwill has thought me a thing or two about personal branding. Maybe it is about time I start implementing these for my personal brand.
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