Be “smooth like butter” in promoting your brand! Find out how this K-Pop group gained a wide international fan base! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Monday, everyone!
We hope you’re ready to kickstart this awesome week.
Let’s start the day by talking about our “Marketing Marvels”—outstanding people in the business, marketing, and entertainment industries. In these articles, we highlight these people’s experiences, insights, and contributions in their respective niches.
Today, let’s focus on one of the phenomenal K-Pop boy bands in the music industry.
Continue reading to know how you can apply this group’s experiences and strategies in your own brand’s marketing efforts.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
“Cause I-I-I’m in the stars tonight
So watch me bring the fire and set the night alight
Shining through the city with a little funk and soul
So I’ma light it up like dynamite, whoa oh oh” 🎵
Today’s “Marketing Marvel” is no ordinary Marvel. This boy group is not in the business or marketing industries per se, but its rise in the music industry with its hit songs can light up entrepreneurs and marketers’ spirits like DYNAMITE!
Any guesses on who we’re referring to?
Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS)!
Photo from Cosmopolitan
BTS is a South Korean boy band composed of 7 members, namely:
- Jin (Kim Seok-Jin)
- Suga (Min Yoon-Gi)
- J-Hope (Jung Ho-Seok)
- RM (Kim Nam-Joon)
- Jimin (Park Ji-Min)
- V (Kim Tae-Hyung)
- Jungkook (Jeon Jeong-Guk)
The group was formed following the members’ auditions at Big Hit Entertainment in 2010 and 2011. Before BTS’ debut, the members began building their name by connecting with fans through social media, video blogs (vlogs), and Fancafe posts. They also released song covers on YouTube and SoundCloud to promote their band.
[Fun Fact: Did you know BTS is also known as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” in English? This is why BTS fans call themselves “Army!”]
In June 2013, the group had its debut and performed the song, “No More Dream” from their album, “2 Cool 4 Skool.” The boy band won several “New Artist of the Year” awards for their debut song during the 2013 Melon Music Awards and Golden Disc Awards, and the 2014 Seoul Music Awards.
Since then, BTS continued to gain traction with its succeeding albums:
- Dark & Wild (2014)
- The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Part 1 and Part 2 (2015)
- The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (2016)
BTS writes most of its songs’ lyrics. The members take inspiration from social issues and focus on themes such as self-love, empowerment, and individuality.
The Rise from the Bottom to the Top
BTS has taken the world by storm over the last few years. The group continues to release one critically acclaimed album after another, and also conduct concert tours around the world.
In 2017, BTS won the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards, and continued to win the award each year through 2021. Simultaneously in the same year, the boy band released another extended play (EP)—“Love Yourself: Her.” This debuted 7th place on the Billboard 200 chart and became the first Korean Pop (K-Pop) album to appear on the chart’s top 10.
The boy band also partnered with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to launch the “Love Myself” campaign. This was a fundraiser to support social programs fighting violence against children and teenagers.
Photo from Unicef
In 2020, BTS released “Dynamite,” its first English-language song. This single debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and the music video had over 100 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours!
Because of this, the group was nominated for a Grammy Award for best pop duo or group performance, and performed “Dynamite” at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
Photo from Yahoo! Life
In 2021, Former South Korean President Moon Jae-In appointed BTS as special presidential envoys for South Korea’s future generations and culture. The members gave speeches ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting of world leaders in New York. They also showed a video of themselves performing another hit song, “Permission to Dance,” which was shot in the Assembly Hall of the UN General Assembly building.
Until today, BTS continues to break records while also raising standards in terms of sales and revenues!
According to the Hyundai Research Institute, BTS contributes approximately USD 3.54 billion annually to South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP). This puts the K-Pop band’s contribution almost at par with Korean Air, the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea.
So… how does BTS continue to attract a wide audience and raise revenues for Big Hit Entertainment?
Let’s take a look at some of the group’s marketing strategies that are “smooth like butter” (lyrics from their song, “Butter”):
- Effective Social Media Marketing
BTS utilizes social media to market itself and its songs. The group has built its fan base by constantly uploading content on social media, including videos of the members dancing or singing covers of popular songs.
The key takeaway from this?
In today’s tech-savvy age, social media has an important role in growing businesses.
Take note of how BTS distributes content on the internet. Although the social media landscape is competitive, the band continues to stay relevant by regularly posting fresh content. This helps BTS strengthen both its offline and online presence.
- Coherent Storytelling
BTS tells a “behind the scenes” story of each members’ careers. They make fans feel close to them and get to know them better by uploading vlogs that feature a day in their lives.
Lots of people love good stories. By telling stories about each other’s lives, BTS makes ARMYs feel connected to them.
What does this teach about marketing?
Companies can make their audience feel like they’re a part of their community through coherent storytelling.
Uploading images or short videos that showcase the business and its members helps improve relationships with customers. This kind of transparency makes companies more relatable to their audience because they know more about the brand.
As a result, customers feel assured to put their trust in the business and even spread the word to attract prospects.
- Collaborations with Famous Brands and Organizations
BTS’ partnership with the United Nations and other artists like Charlie Puth, Halsey, Coldplay, and others helped the group gain more traction. This enabled the boy band to widen its reach and increase its exposure in different parts of the world.
The marketing strategy you can learn from this?
Collaborations help raise awareness and add great value to businesses.
Strategic partnerships with influencers, other brands, or organizations that have a wide and loyal audience can do wonders for companies. Partnerships are a two-way street where the brand promotes each other’s products and services. Both parties can benefit from the promotion and achieve growth while reducing marketing costs.
BTS wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the songs and albums that have personal meanings and stories behind them. The group also remains versatile by providing a wide range of songs that cater to people of different ages and backgrounds.
Today, BTS continues to conquer the music industry. From a small boy band in South Korea to one of the most phenomenal K-Pop groups around the world, it makes its presence known through collaborations with different artists and brands, and participation in philanthropic acts.
We hope you learned a lot of marketing and entertainment lessons from today’s “Marvel!”
It’s your turn to rise up in your respective industries because “the wait is over, the time is now so let’s do it right” (lyrics from the song, “Permission to Dance”)! 🎵
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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