customer engagement

What Everyone Can Learn From Ruff Ryders, Roc-A-Fella, and Wu-Tang

I grew up loving Hip-Hop. In South Carolina, when the latest rap song blasted through my radio, it fueled excitement in an otherwise simple and uncomplicated day-to regime. Although I had never walked the mean streets of Philly, sold drugs on the streets of Brooklyn, or ran the streets of New York, I knew about it because of these famous rap labels.

As a business owner, that experience has shaped how I approach marketing. They used a strategy that every business should be using if they are online. The fact that these record labels were able to reach a small town teenager 100s of miles away is not only due to huge financial backings. It’s due to something a bit less obvious.


What these labels did is create an identity for themselves outside of their music. They created something bigger than the product they were actually selling. By doing that, not only were they able to be more memorable, they were also able to make money off of their brand.

How many times did you see Ruff Ryders apparel in the mid and late 90s? Could you hold up the hand signal for Roc-A-Fella if prompted? Maybe you own some Wu-Tang branded merchandise?

Branding gives potential customers something to remember your business or product by. It helps customers forgive that mistake you made last month…

Remember when Old Dirty Bastard got in a little PR trouble? It didn’t kill the brand.

Your business can do something similar – with a little effort.

We’re Not All Rap Stars

This is probably a good thing too because my free-styling skills suck. However, we can all brand ourselves.

Seattle branding event

Which is why I am proud to be an ambassador for Tribe of Zero, a Canadian company helping small businesses and entrepreneurs find their way. This month, they are hosting a one-day event focused on branding for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington.

Not only will I be attending, I also have discounted tickets to give away. If you would like to join me at the event, enter code JMCK307 to receive more than 30% off of your ticket.

Learn how to stand out from the crowd and be memorable, without having a crew of extra rappers who never actually produce anything…

And if you need any help with a writer to put it all together for you, you know who to call =)

Buy your discounted tickets here. Hope to see you there!


What If the Real World Was Like Twitter? First of all, it would be very loud.

I’m going to start this blog by saying that I love twitter. I’ve used my Twitter account since 2009, made plenty of friends and had the occasional celebrity follow. Twitter is an awesome community, and it comes as no surprise that it is also a top social marketing tool. But, before you start auto-tweeting all of your blog posts (don’t worry, I’m guilty too..) think before you tweet. Twitter can engage you to customers, or it can make you seem distant and obnoxious. How would you like to appear?

Let me paint a picture of what Twitter would look like in the real world.

Mark walks by a building and notices flashing lights, loud music, and lots of chatter. There is one unassuming door with the simple word “twitter” across the top. Mark opens the door, and a friendly bouncer greets him.

“Hi Mark, welcome to Twitter! Here’s the rules – come find me if you need help,” hands him a pamphlet and disappears. Before Mark could get scared, a celebrity runs past him drinking a beer and laughing at the top of his lungs.

“Oh my gosh was that?” his shock is interrupted by 1000 people running behind him yelling at the star.

“Hey, I drink that beer too!”

“OMG your like my favorite! Follow Me”

“You are so dumb, why did you even laugh at that!”

Then, before Mark could blink, a second wave of people pop up from nowhere:

“Want more people to follow you, follow me and I’ll tell you how!”

“Get coupons on all your favorite beers.”

“All the celebrity news you can stand! Follow right now!”

Still in shock, but not deterred. Mark ventures further into Twitter and begins to tweet.

“Hi, My name is Mark.”

He looks around waiting for someone to respond. Nothing.

Then after 5 minutes (3 days in the real world) someone appears. It’s Josh.

“Hi, my name is Josh.”

Mark cheers up. Now he is going to have the fun everyone else was having. He begins to tweet more, writing about his dog, his favorite food and his favorite sports. More and more followers appear, but they don’t say anything. Mark looks around at them wondering why they aren’t talking. Then after he had 15 followers, and it had been a few weeks, someone replies.

“Thanks for the follow check out my website at ___”

Mark is devastated. Is this what Twitter is about? His inbox starts to fill with spam messages as his timeline is full of links and self glorifying posts.

He tried replying to the posters but it was as if they couldn’t hear him. They just continued posting.

#isanyonelistening Mark screams.

The room goes quiet. Mark opens his eyes to see everyone looking at him. Then the chatter begins. Uproars of chatter. Uncontrollable chatter. Mark has started a trend.

#isanyonelistening started popping up around him.

Mark ran out of Twitter in disgust – never to return.

Is this what your brand is doing to people? Do you engage with your customers or do you leave them out there feeling ignored? Think about it the next time you tweet- Don’t be tweet-noxious.