*An African-American hip-hop mogul, Andre Romelle Young, or Dr. Dre, has built much more than credibility in the music industry.
Along with Jimmy Iovine, he created Beats Electronics, a business that is now worth more than a billion dollars and controls 70 percent of the headphones market, according to Inc. If you also want to launch a company, bring a product to market and excel as an entrepreneur, you can use Dr. Dre as an example and inspiration.
The following are four of the most savvy choices Dr. Dre made that can help you succeed, too.
Solve a Problem With Passion
Before Iovine and Dr. Dre even began discussing headphones, they talked about the degradation of the industry they both loved. Iovine was upset that music was being stolen through piracy, and Dr. Dre couldn’t believe the poor sound quality of Apple earbuds. Through their combined passion to keep the music industry profitable and at a high quality, Beats by Dre headphones were born.
When it comes to your own business, start with something that drives you. Without a cause bigger than yourself, it’s difficult to be inspired and to stay motivated throughout the many challenges of being an entrepreneur. Remember, you should be solving a problem, and your solution should be rooted in passion.
Choose Your Team Wisely
When developing the brand, Dr. Dre stayed close to Iovine. His own experience as an artist, record producer and entrepreneur was nicely complemented by Iovine’s knowledge as a film producer, record producer and entrepreneur. By keeping their team small, they could ensure their mutual vision wasn’t diluted.
In your own venture, think like Dr. Dre. Whether it’s one partner you rely upon or a small trusted team, the important part is that they bring different, but complementary, skill sets to the table.
Get Approval (and Feedback) From Influencers
Dr. Dre and Iovine had a distinct advantage in that their contacts were filled with influential names and numbers. Both men tapped into their extensive networks and called upon recognizable faces to evaluate their early prototypes and endorse the product. Celebrity endorsements from LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and more rapidly spread awareness of the brand and added an element of prestige.
While you probably can’t just dial LeBron’s phone number, you may have more connections than you realize. Think about the people in your own network whose approval could make a difference to your ideal buyer. Solicit advice from those you know who are well-respected in your desired industry, and don’t be shy about asking friends and acquaintances to lend their names to backing your business.
Make Your Marketing Iconic
The sound quality of the headphones were not enough to become a success—they also needed to project an image. They knew they needed to present style, comfort and sound quality, and they did so. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize the small “b” on the side of a pair of headphones.
As Beats Electronics proved, sometimes the simpler the marketing, the better. Don’t get bogged down by an extravagant logo or complicated tactics. Instead, go with a strategy that is easy to identify and gets your message across quickly.
If your goal is to become a wildly successful entrepreneur or if you simply want to make a profit this year, you can learn a lot from those who came before you. As Dr. Dre demonstrated, let your passion guide you, be intentional about whom you partner with, consult with experts and aim for iconic marketing. You may never become a hip-hop mogul, but your brand will be on its way to stardom in no time.