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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Will Tom Ford Sales Increase as a Result of the Jay-Z Mention?

Image source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage; D. Venturelli/WireImage

While researching the sales increase that the Tom Ford brand has potentially experienced on the heels of the Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail mention, I came across a somewhat perplexing opinion. Take a peak:

Tom Ford x Jay Z: The Aftermath

The post made a few assumptions that I felt were gravely flawed.

Here is my response:

The tone of this post is not only perplexing, but somewhat elitist to be honest. Jay-Z's mention of the Tom Ford (TF) brand will undoubtedly increase sales, even if slightly.

As indicated above by the 155% online search increase, the brand recognition of TF has seen substantial gains and that recognition will translate into sales. The nature of the PR business is to do exactly what Jay-Z has done for TF -- create a buzz, solidify a luxury positioning and drive sales.

There are a few things that the author of this post fails to consider:

1) The author makes the assumption that TF's positioning in the "upper echelon of the luxury market" will be adversely effected by Jay-Z's mention because he is a Hip-hop artist. Hip-hop culture is partially about living a life of luxury, so there is a commonality there. Brand synergy. Thus, there is clear potential for sales, which is why this post is perplexing and flawed. The author has not fully examined some of the underline themes of Hip-hop culture and seems unfamiliar with its nuances.

2) If I were to further acknowledge the author's assumption that because Jay-Z is a Hip-hop mogul, thus the people he mainly influences cannot afford TF, I would ask the author to think again and consider Jay-Z's HUGE cross-over appeal:

A: Consider the multi-million dollar Samsung/ Jay-Z deal where Samsung purchased 1 million advanced copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail to give-a-way to their customers. There was so much interest that the app used to download the advance release album crashed on the release date. Note, Samsung is not an "urban" brand, thus they have a wide customer base appealing to many markets.

B: Consider the recently wrapped "Legends of Summer" worldwide tour where Jay-Z preformed alongside Justin Timberlake selling out stadiums and arenas gloablly.

C: Consider Jay-Z and Warren Buffet's public relationship and mutual respect for one another.

D: Jay-Z's marriage to Beyonce, one of the most successful, widely-appealing artists of all time, globally.

3) To further discredit the author's assumption that Hip-hop enthusiasts cannot (or will not) purchase TF, I ask you to consider the buying power of African-Americans (although they are not the only affluent Hip-hop enthusiasts). The African-American segment has buying power of $913 billion, according to 2008 data from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. Surely this buying power has grown since 2008 and surely some of this market can afford upper echelon luxury market goods such as TF.

I believe that Tom Ford can only gain from the Jay-Z mention, not only in brand recognition, but also in sales over the short and long term. I also predict that you will see other upper echelon luxury market designers partnering more widely with other Hip-hop and "urban" brands. Trend spotting alert.

What are your thoughts on this unintentional strategic marketing partnership between Jay-Z and Tom Ford? Will the Tom Ford brand see an increase in sales as a result of the Jay-Z mention? Do you agree with the analysis above? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Kelliann McDonald is an author, a marketing and public relations strategist and a community advocate. A recognized #BrandMotivator™, McDonald works to generate results that attain and surpass brand and organizational objectives. For more from McDonald, Follow her on Twitter @KelliannMc, Like her on or Follow her on Instagram @kMcDiva for #CasualKel photos.
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