Atlanta’s 21 Savage has had one of Hip Hop’s most prolific rises as an artist in the music industry. Reaching his claim to fame in 2015 after dropping his breakout project: ‘The Slaughter Tape.

The Atlanta musician has built a brand through capitalizing off of Internet buzz and being a mainstay in today’s Meme culture. Everything from his infamous Vlad TV interview, to his arrest by ICE for unlawfully overstaying his visa.

21 Savage has used Meme culture to catapult his career to the top and reach mainstream success. His marketing efforts surrounding his debut studio album — ISSA Album — resulted in a 4X platinum single in “Bank Account” and the project reaching the number two spot on the Billboard 200.

Meme culture can be a Godsend for content creators who want to bring attention to their core brand and 21 Savage has been one of the few artists to ‘squeeze all of the juice’ provided by the fruit of Meme culture.

21 Savage has used Memes to capitalize in a number of ways to create value, opportunity and create conversations.

Now, lets check out ‘3 Ways 21 Savage Used Meme Culture To Build A Brand’

1. He Built Around The Heart Of His Brand

Since the inception of the ‘The Slaughter Tape’ & ‘Slaughter King’. 21 Savage has embraced the villain aesthetic that still inspires memes to this day. After appearing on an episode of ESPN’s ‘Highly Questionable’, fans compared to 21 Savage’s image to that of a super villain and the Internet took off.

Building around your core brand through authenticity is a key factor in building a career. As a content creator, doing what’s natural for your brand is a great way to build connections and create conversations. The main goal is to always tie your marketing and advertising back to your core product.

For example, check out 21 Savage’s 4X Platinum single ‘Bank Account’ which has remained a catalyst for his marketing campaigns and projects.

2. VladTV Interview: “ISSA KNIFE” (Seize The Opportunity)

His breakout VladTV interview creating a number of conversations and took 21 Savage from being a figure in culture to being a center piece. This allowed the rapper to market around the ‘ISSA Knife’ meme and the saying became harmonious with the rapper.

The free brand coverage and the conversations surrounding the interview put 21 Savage on a level for ‘ISSA’ to be a subconscious reminder for people. Allowing the saying to be automatically tracked back to rapper.

The Meme culture is all about having the Internet work for you. 21 Savage did a great job of creating value around his brand by seizing the opportunity to build upon his authenticity.

Check out a Flashback clip below.

3. Repeatable Schemes & Formulas

Repeatable schemes and formulas are all about figuring out what works best. Marketing and branding is all about adaptation and flexibility. The Meme culture creates value through the nature of it’s high share-ability. This can create opportunities for artists to capitalize from free marketing.

21 Savage built upon his brand with ‘ISSA’ merchandise, an ‘ISSA’ Website and ‘ISSA’ album. It’s important to pay attention and put yourself in a position to maximize off of opportunity.

Keep in mind, that the opportunity may not be specifically tied to your core product. The lessons learned from 21 Savage is that as content creators, it’s important to take a look at organic success and re-invest promotion behind it.

Maximize the opportunity surrounding your brand, gain traction and take your core content farther for less money. It’s all about creating a wave and having a process in place that can take your brand to the top.

This process creates a designated scheme, with everyone operating as one unit, each member of the organization has a clear understanding about who is doing what during the production process. The content strategy consist of 6 steps:

  1. Plan
  2. Create
  3. Publish
  4. Distribute
  5. Analyze
  6. Govern

For a full deep dive into creating a wave using social media & music streaming, check out the article below.

Building a brand in today’s World is not so much about planning campaigns. It’s much more about adaptation, flexibility and building an agile organization.

How do you develop and adjust your strategy to maximize profits, opportunity and create the most value?

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Written by

Entrepreneur based in Minneapolis, MN. I write about Music, Inspiration, Economics & Business. Website: & Newsletter:

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