Brand Mash-up

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Brennan Underwood

I’ve been listening to DJ Danger Mouse’ Grey Album lately and thinking about how the mash-up culture Wired Magazine discussed several years ago will impact businesses. Wikipedia defines a mash-up in regards to music as:

A mash-up or bootleg is a song or composition created from the combination of the music from one song with the a cappella from another

The Grey album is an amazing feat and does take some listening to get used to. What the DJ did was take the instrumental pieces from the Beatles White Album and remix Jay Z vocals from his Black album over the top. This same thing was also done by Duke Ruckus with Metallica and Jay Z. (This is very old news for anyone reading this who is young.)

This concept has been around for quite some time and I first became aware of it in 1975 with Dickie Goodman’s Mr. Jaws or Monty Pythons animation (below) and later with De La Soul’s, 3 Feet High and Rising (which was a fantastic CD and got the band sued for sampling people’s music because they forgot to give the original artists credit). This is an important distinction in my mind.

Sampling is taking bits and pieces and putting them into something you have created. Mash-ups are taking two individual pieces and putting them together in such a way that a new item is created. As you can see from the Wikipedia link above, there are several different variations on the definition based on the medium.

In the past I have talked about the impact that individuals online can have on brand equity and how businesses should create tools that allow customers to assist them in marketing. These tools should encourage the creation of mash-ups within those online venues. These mash-ups, of course, then become apart of the corporation’s brand. This means that your customers own your brand. This is already true due to the amount of online interaction between customers & potential customers on venues such as blogs, social networks, etc. This is referred to as the reputation economy and is nothing new with the exception that you and I, now have a much larger audience for our opinions. What are we to do when customers have partial ownership of our brand and the distribution to get their message out?

Partner on an individual level.

By Michael Myers

I’m an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I’m currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I’m passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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