Having recently moved to Nashville, I am both humbled and impressed by country music. The music is great – a true American tradition. Perhaps what I love more than country music style are the country music roots. Country music stars have sown their oats with the mantra “I’m every man.” From Hank Williams to Kenny Chesney, the traditions of country music have maintained a sense that country music is “by the people, for the people.”
As an avid hip hop and rap fan, I also love good old fashioned swagger. I appreciate hip hop artists with confidence – even when it borders on arrogance. Kanye West, Q-Tip and even the Beastie Boys build their reputations by being unattainable, and something to aspire to.
The differences between country music and hip hop lie in their fundamentals. Country music was built for the people, while modern hip hop leans on things most of us will never have. When it comes to dissecting these roles from a marketing perspective, all of us need to decide who we want to be. Do we want to be Ludacris and enjoy Cadillac thrills, or do we want to hang out with the Zac Brown Band with our asses in the sand.
Being a confident person as a marketer is important, because it’s important to show your audience that you can do what it takes to bring them the best goods and services out there. Yet, it’s important to let your audience know that you ARE like them – you’re a person with needs and wants, and you understand what your customers are really looking for.
By finding the right balance of hip hop swagger and country roots you’ll be in touch with potential customers everywhere. Just don’t make another Nelly/Tim McGraw collaboration.