The #VCut hashtag is now taking Twitter by storm as the young, thirsted over singer Kim Taehyung poses for his V cuts from the Band’s Variety Cover shoot.
The Korean group that amassed a huge fan base in a short period and Brought in $4.9 Billion to The Korean Economy has raised the question of how can a band on the other side of the world — if there are sides to consider — take over media so quick?
Here is my stab on how the marketing campaign of this band rocks like no other campaign did; I found the main six pillars:
1. The sky is the limit.
2. No low seasons.
3. Grow a following.
4. Experiential activation.
5. Go big or go home.
6. Be Authentic.
Let’s dig into details of each point:
Reason №1 — The Sky Is The Limit
BTS is not stopped at any cost from trying new partnerships. They don’t see themselves as above any other artist or performer, and thus, they are willing to bond with partners like MATTEL, PUMA, Converse, Babinski, VTx, and the last cooperation with MN Dance group.
Such partnerships put the faces of the seven young artists in front, in places no one expected, and made even the not-interested audience wonder about the cute faces of those young Asian artists.
Reason №2 — No Low Seasons
Before any new album release, BTS makes an entire multi-month “comeback season” filled with small digestible releases of teasers, short videos, and singles.
They take advantage of the time between two busy seasons when everyone else is fueling up and on Red bull, to go full steam and make themselves relatable and relevant in between.
It’s insane how simple yet effective this approach is: even if you are busy now, hooked with something else, or not interested currently — you have a sneak peek at what the schedule of those seven looks like. You can wire in anytime later. Now, imagine what this would mean for fans, lovers, stalkers, and press? You got the picture.
Reason №3 — Grow A Following
The community is a massive deal for the band, and it’s the real reason BTS could breakthrough and expand globally. Even bands that existed long before the BTS couldn’t create such a loyal base of fans ready to follow and defend the band at any cause. Marketers say this is mainly related to how relatable the band messages are. Their fanbase feel empowered by the BTS members themselves to express themselves and support various causes that the brand stands for.
It’s not uncommon for fans to come together to raise money to buy albums for fans who can’t afford them — that’s how loyal the BTS fanbase is.
Reason №4 — Experiential Activation
Have you heard of the term above? Through interactive experiences available to their fanbase, the band has mastered the art of engaging fans fully, where you don’t only hear or see the band, but you have the chance to live in a curated reality that represents them. Talk about a memorable brand!
In 2019, BTS activations appeared worldwide, including curated galleries with costumes and art. “House of BTS” was a genius idea to walk the house and explore different aspects and areas of the band members’ characters as you walk into each room.
Reason №5 — Go Big Or Go Home.
The band understood early on that they can’t win a bigger market with the same mindset used to expand locally. To go international, they needed to understand the needs and aspirations of the target audience they address.
The band has already proposed as a relatable young Millenials with the same struggles and issues we face on a daily basis. Yet, they decided to take it a bit further.
Imagine the surprise of the enormous existing and yet-to-be fanbase when the group members stood in from if the UNICEF as the face of the #LoveMyself campaign to end violence and improve mental health.
Results? A widespread of a Korean brand that is promoting Millenials’ issues with UNICEF. Now we have heard of BTS one way or another.
Reason №6 — Be Authentic
This is the primary reason this band hits. Even if you’re not a fan & yet, BTS will win your heart. Be it the dance moves, the outfits, the cuteness, or having inside jokes with their fans — The are the full package any teenager was looking forward to achieving/observing. And that, to me, is the cherry on top that makes the above five functions in harmony.
Whether you are a marketer of burger merchandise, a high tech product, or a music band — the basics of successful marketing are the same: draw a persona of your target audience, understand that persona needs, then engage.
You have a case study coming from the far east, proving that the only impossible exists in our minds.
P.S. Thank you, John Gorman, for introducing me to the above unique way of writing numbered points.