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June 2, 2008

Is Hip-hop Branding and Naming Becoming Mainstream?

think_hip-hop_clr2.pngA new report analyzing the young urban consumer in the U.S. suggests that hip-hop has gone mainstream and “crossed over to suburbia.”

The target market for the hip-hop industry is now 37 million young urbanites, ages 12-34, who had a aggregate income of $594 billion in 2007, which will grow to $684 billion by 2012.

These urbanites put a “high priority” on brand loyalty and the top brands are those that have a direct connection with hip-hop artists, specifically brand names featured in song lyrics as well as on music videos.

Immediately Jay-Z's dissing of Cristal and big-upping of Armand de Brignac in a 2006 music video comes to mind, as well as Lil Jon’s venture to brand name wine from the Little Jonathan Winery.

phatfarmlogo.pngDon’t laugh. Russell Simmon’s Phat Farm, Kimora Lee Simon’s Baby Phat label and all of the clothes designed by Sean-John are in demand.

Rolex, Lexus and Gucci have also decided to climb aboard the hip-hop bandwagon.

Hip-hop urban clothing is the new uniform for the streets, segmented into classic and modern styles.

Hoodies, for instance, are no longer an underground clothing item. The baggy clothes by Artful Dodger, Supreme Jeans, and True Religion are taking center stage, while “Nike Dunk SB, Nike Air Force One (AF1), Adidas Shoes, Puma Shoes, [and] Prada Shoes” have been claimed by hip-hop brand naming.

Along those same lines, a popular Japanese brand name is “Bathing Ape” or “BAPE” and is reportedly on its way to the malls.

Today, WuChess launches as a source of “online chess for the hip-hop crowd." The name was formed by the combination of Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and chess social network ChessPark.

rachelray.pngHip-hop is even causing trouble for Dunkin' Donuts when hip-hop's fascination with the kiffiyeh led to some controversy after celebrity chef Rachael Ray wore one in a recent commercial.

I'm sure that hundreds of thousands of people learned what the name actually kiffiyeh means last week. Including me.

This scarf seems to have caused endless trouble for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand name because of its alleged association with terrorism.

Fact is, when Dunkin’ Donuts and Chess are affected by hip-hop brand naming, it’s time to listen up.

Technorati Tags: Hip-hop, Phat Farm, Rachel Ray, Baby Phat, Jay-Z, Lil Jon, Rolex, Lexus, Bathing Ape, Bape, WuChess, Dunkin Donuts

Posted by William Lozito at June 2, 2008 8:25 AM
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1 Comment

Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

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