Online Retailers Opening Physical Stores

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Online retailers are working on building their offline presence. India’s largest e-commerce retailer Flipkart in conjunction with its logistic company eKart is providing customers with ‘experience zones’ to facilitate buying and pick-ups for consumers at their convenient time. In due course, these experience zones evolve to offer value-added services like spot trials, reverse pick-ups, instant returns, cash on returns, and exclusive product demos. The experience zone initiative stems from the customers’ dissatisfaction with the delivery process due to unavailability of delivery at preferred timings and restricted entry of delivery persons into office complexes, gated communities, and educational institutions. Through the experience zones Flipkart is also contemplating its rural expansion strategy as it proposes to expand into Tier-4 towns and rural areas by making them serviceable from a pick-up centre. This is a reliable alternative to door-delivery in remote areas where logistics add significant costs.

Amazon, as a major competitor of Flipkart, has come up with a similar model and added pickup services with BPCL’s In & Out stores and with kirana stores in Bangalore for in-store pickups by customers.

A leading online baby products portal called Firstcry.com is expanding with an offline presence and increasing the number of its stores, as a large proportion of baby product sales still happen offline. Currently they have around 70 stores through a franchisee model in Tier-1 2 and 3 cities across India. Similar to Flipkart’s experience zones, Firstcry’s stores act as experience centres and provide the touch-and-feel factor for customers. The physical stores display 300 to 400 brands, whereas through the kiosks in the physical stores customers can browse through approximately 70,000 SKUs, order online, and get the product in the store within 2–3 days.

The e-commerce industry is replete with examples of online retailers like Myntra.​com (fashion), Zivame.​com (innerwear), Bluestone.​com (jeweller), Healthkart.​com (fitness products), and Lenskart.​com (eyewear), who are trying to start an offline presence by setting up stores and trial rooms with different modalities. The physical stores enable these retailers to reach buyers in smaller towns and cities as a major segment of sales for these companies happen in the smaller towns. The stores help to establish customer trust and build the brand as the buyers are reassured that there is an actual store to go to if they face problems with the products. In the long run, this offline strategy also helps the online companies to attract investors for funding.

The Hyperlocal e-Commerce Model

As per a report by retail consultancy firm Technopak, market share of the grocery e-store has been estimated at less than $100 million but is expected to cross $25 billion by 2020, growing at a rate of 25% to 30% year-on-year in major Indian cities. This segment has resultantly attracted funding and a few major players like BigBasket, Local Banya, Grofers, Zopper and PepperTap have started operations in this space. While companies like BigBasket source from wholesalers and stock their inventory, players like Zopper, Grofers and PepperTap operate a hyperlocal model.

The hyperlocal model is an on-demand delivery model that takes groceries from a neighbourhood shop and brings it to the consumer’s doorstep. Customers use the website/app of the hyperlocal retailer to order groceries and the retailer delivers the groceries through its delivery boys deployed at the mid-level grocery shops that have tied up with it. For its services rendered, the hyperlocal retailer charges a commission from the sellers. Ordinarily, the neighbourhood stores use their in-shop attendants to double as delivery boys when required. The hyperlocal retailer offers the owners of these neighbourhood stores professional logistics and technology support to attract customers and helps the grocery stores to compete with both the leadership development goals of modern retail and e-commerce formats that are increasingly denting their business. For the hyperlocal grocers, it is a very asset-light business model as they do not need to carry their inventory (the products the retailers carry is their inventory), do not have any warehouse requirement (the retailers’ shop is their warehouse), and does not involve any high-cost delivery infrastructure. They divide the area of operations into different zones, with one shop in each zone that caters to a catchment area of 3–4 km in the immediate vicinity. The available stock items of the shop are accessible on the website/app through which customers select their products.

Numerous challenges are faced by the hyperlocal retailer start-ups in identifying the right local stores for supply, right talent for vendor acquisition and fulfilment, maintaining the quality of the products to be delivered, logistics, retention of delivery staff, maintaining customer satisfaction, and raising investment funding to enable the growth of the company. Such business models have many crucial components that must work in tandem and it calls for adequate strategic planning to sustain the business. While Zopper with its focus on electronics category is looking at expanding its city reach and doubling its gross sales, PepperTap failed to raise sufficient funds to sustain its growth and closed down.

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How to identify a leader?

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How can you identify a pioneer? He’s the one with the arrows in his ass. The first business into a market can become the biggest and strongest, but being the first always comes at a cost. I pay more money to people who argue with me. If you can stand up and argue with me, I pay you more because you may be right. Bonuses go to those who are right. A leader who keeps his ego in check can create an environment in which people know they can speak out and be rewarded.

When staff would seek approval to attend a seminar I would ask: “Are you going there to teach or to learn?” They would be puzzled, but I was serious. Seldom do they come back with a “takeaway” (something useful). I always would ask upon their return: “How was the seminar?” I always got “great,” but never a good takeaway. I would then say that if they were going to the seminar to get away from their desk, they should go to the beach instead and spare the company the seminar fee.

A superior skill-set makes you better in that discipline. It doesn’t make you any better as a human being, superior to others. The more unique your skill set is, the more subordinate you must become. Don’t let your ego grow on account of your superior skills.

Thought Leadership is not authority. You can be the owner, chairman, or even CEO and not be a leader. Conversely, a supervisor or foreman can be a leader. It’s not authority that makes a leader, it’s whether people want to follow.

If people do not respect and want to follow the person they report to, this person becomes their ‘boss’ bad word and they become managed. Every time someone called me boss, I told them I was not a boss. Bosses tell, leaders ask.

General Cal Waller once told me: “No one can bullshit the troops. Troops know who you are from your first words.” It is best if you are one of the troops. A true leader subordinates him/herself to the staff.

As I gained more experience and studied Gandhi, I evolved my words: “Subordinate yourself below the lowest paid employee.” This will eliminate dual standards in the organization. We are all equal as people.

We just have different tasks to perform. This is the toughest subject for most of the CEOs I talk with. They cannot take this step because of their ego; they think they got the top position because they are above everyone in the company. If you are truly special, you will use that talent to guide the team and take focus away from yourself.

Special actions to avoid: flying first class, driving a fancy company car, having a plush office… Study Gandhi. In war, the generals eat last. Lose the ego.

At Caltech, they gave me an example of how leaders supply three things for people to do their jobs. A leader needs to supply all three: (1) The right tools for the job; (2) An umbrella; and (3) Encouragement. That is, if you have someone digging a ditch, make sure that they have a sharp shovel. Hold an umbrella over their head to protect them. Provide all the necessary information to enable them to do their job, keep outside pressures off them while they work, and let them know they are doing a good job—give them encouragement. This works for any job. The leader’s power should be used to make sure that everyone has the tools to do their job. The umbrella to keep them from distraction may be the most important.

I used to worry all the time when people would come to me and say, “We need to have free coffee in the office in the morning,” or some similar thing. And I’d say, “Well, what do we do with the office in England because they don’t drink coffee. Now, what do I do with the office in Macau? Because if we set a policy for coffee, I’ve got to deal with it in Texas, and Reno, and San Rafael too. Wow, this simple little thing with coffee is going to ripple across six countries and 8000 people. So, right now we’re going to do nothing but sit down with the presidents of each of those companies and have the discussion.” Because even a simple thing like coffee, if you do that incorrectly, you can’t believe the damage that you could do. You set dual standards and it just goes on and on and on. So, a lot of times you leave that out. I would walk in and I would say, “I’m not installing special coffee pots, because of what it does to the people in Cambridge.” And at first, they would look at me and think that I’m unfair. As leader, you do not want to be loved or liked, but if you cannot earn respect, you should leave. I had respect, so now I have to go to the level of what creates fairness, to take the time to share the information. And if you do that properly and they understand why you did it, once they establish that it was fair, then, they put it to rest. CEOs should expend effort to avoid setting bad precedent; this eventually was my biggest focus. I would not make tough decisions until I had to. I took the time to evaluate precedent decisions as long as I could (I felt this was one of my weaknesses, but I feared bad decisions). I was told that it takes nine good engineers to clean up after one bad engineer. Best not to let bad things start because it takes too long to clean them up.

Expert System versus Machine Learning

Prior to starting an AI project, the first choice you need to make is whether to use an expert system (a rules based system) or machine learning. Basically the choice comes down to the amount of data, the variation in that data and whether you have a clear set of steps for extracting a solution from that data. An expert system is best when you have a sequential problem and there are finite steps to find a solution. Machine learning is best when you want to move beyond memorizing sequential steps, and you need to analyze large volumes of data to make predictions or to identify patterns that you may not even know would provide insight — that is, when your problem contains a certain level of uncertainty.

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Think about it in terms of an automated phone system.

Older phone systems are sort of like expert systems; a message tells the caller to press 1 for sales, 2 for customer service, 3 for technical support and 4 to speak to an operator. The system then routes the call to the proper department based on the number that the caller presses.

Newer, more advanced phone systems use natural language processing. When someone calls in, the message tells the caller to say what they’re calling about. A caller may say something like, “I’m having a problem with my Android smart phone,” and the system routes the call to technical support. If, instead, the caller said something like, “I want to upgrade my smartphone,” the system routes the call to sales.

The challenge with natural language processing is that what callers say and how they say it is uncertain. An angry caller may say something like “That smart phone I bought from you guys three days ago is a piece of junk.” You can see that this is a more complex problem. The automated phone system would need accurate speech recognition and then be able to infer the meaning of that statement so that it could direct the caller to the right department.

With an expert system, you would have to manually input all the possible statements and questions, and the system would still run into trouble when a caller mumbled or spoke with an accent or spoke in another language.

In this case, machine learning would be the better choice. With machine learning, the system would get smarter over time as it created its own patterns. If someone called in and said something like, “I hate my new smart phone and want to return it,” and they were routed to sales and then transferred to customer service, the system would know that the next time someone called and mentioned the word “return,” that call should be routed directly to customer service, not sales.

When you start an AI program, consider which approach is best for your specific use case. If you can draw a decision tree or flow chart to describe a specific task the computer must perform based on limited inputs, then an expert system is probably the best choice. It may be easier to set up and deploy, saving you time, money and the headaches of dealing with more complex systems. If, however, you’re dealing with massive amounts of data and a system that must adapt to changing inputs, then machine learning is probably the best choice.

Some AI experts mix these two approaches with their digital media strategy. They use an expert system to define some constraints and then use machine learning to experiment with different answers. So you have three choices — an expert system, machine learning or a combination of the two.

Comparing Impression management strategies through social networking platforms

Without a doubt, the daily social life of thousands of people around the world are related to each other, and maybe a little “”depends on the technology of modern communication. These communication technologies take different forms and can include something as simple as a cell phone or something as complex as the virtual world. Regardless of the communication channel mediates the fact that the technology for new connections, or computer-mediated communication (CMC) has become so pervasive and popular in use around the world shows that we are witnessing a change in how you interact with others. Of course, we still FTF (FTF) communication and remains the basis of human communication; However, the interactions can facilitated and enhanced CMC remains an important area of ​​research.

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In this sense, this article examines the concept of IP or theoretical presentation of each other, and how people engage in online print management. In addition, this chapter discusses the differences in the use of impression management strategies in three different social platforms. To understand how to handle the print differs depending on the platform of social media, we are able to achieve a better understanding of how people continue to engage in self-presentation through social media.

One way to understand the interactions that take place on the Internet looking for online print management and how print management strategies used by users of the Internet are different between those systems. Originally introduced by Erving Goffman, the IP survey or self-presentation (the terms are used interchangeably in this chapter) were taken from a number of scholars in many fields.1 We know that the presentation of a paper car game important in our daily lives, FTF interactions.2 also know that this representation or execution contexts occurs in CMC and instant messaging can take advantage of the benefits available for them, means to selectively present themselves. Earlier, scientists have studied how people are created online identity and engage in self-presentation on the Internet; However, many of these studies is based on the technology available at the beginning of 1990.4 today communication technologies, such as Facebook, YouTube, video, multiplayer online games, virtual environments and still retains many opportunities to communicate with text precursors; However, these contemporary contexts CMC also present new challenges for themselves and presenting these challenges have not yet been thoroughly investigated.

Self-presentation

In his work, Erving Goffman uses the metaphor of an actor plays a role in the game to explain how people communicate or express mail audience.5 Goffman notes “”the structure of the car can be seen in terms of the arrangements for these services.”” 6 in other words, people are actively engaged in carrying out the role, I and this performance is put in the outside world, public opinion, which interprets the meaning of related activities. Rightly or wrongly, the public is the interpreter to interpret the messages generated by productivity and achieve understanding of what is the contractor.

In the context of the CMC, people give thanks to the performance of their interactions with others. For example, Facebook site is generally present themselves. This website functions to communicate messages to other users and to present a picture of a person. The same performance can give to friends or perhaps anyone who has access to the Internet. In addition to Facebook, each context of CMC, in which a person interacts with other people it is an opportunity to present themselves and for the people to participate in the management of printing.

According to Goffman, the interpreter has a certain level of control over their performance. For example, the interpreter may intentionally represent an idealized version of themselves, react positively to society. Actor or artist can achieve this goal, highlighting some aspects of its performance in order to support this. Generally speaking, “”when the individual presents, its performance will tend to embody the values ​​and example officially accredited society, and even more, in fact, which makes their behavior as a whole.”” 8 by careful management of verbal and nonverbal communication, the plaintiff may exercise some control over what and transmit messages, in turn, represents an idealized version of himself.

The concept of the actor who represents the idealized version of himself Goffman himself is certainly present in the CMC contexts.9 on social networking sites (SNS), the user may disclose only the information that supports the positive image of the user. For example, you can only enter your network information representing a person or give the impression of being a professional. For the same reason, users are likely to hide content that could have a negative impact on the show.

This action metaphorically takes place in the area called the front. This area can be considered as a definition of Goffman 10 This face consists of two main parts, “”expression kind used a standard device, either intentionally or by the patient during an operation.”” Setting and front. The set consists of all the elements of the background to help the public understand the context of performance, while the front is the artist’s personal characteristics. For example, age, gender and appearance are all personal qualities, and many of these features are unchanging.11 society is based on the portion of the front setting and staff productivity meaning the actor.

Although many of the performance of activities is presented in front, Goffman says that another area, racks, stands exists.12 This is an area that is not usually seen by the public, this is the area “”The Interpreter”” can relax, you can go down the front , stop saying that his poems, and get out of line. “”13 This area is outside the normal limits to the public as it exists as an area in which”” the contractor can be themselves without public notice.

In the context of the CMC, we can certainly see the before and behind the scenes to be present aspects. For example, messages from Facebook would be self-presentation that occur in the front. These are messages that can be seen by a wider audience and knowingly provided by the artist. However, the private messages sent by the user and receives from friends, or choose to mark content as private, it can be behind the scenes. The communication between the shelves are all messages that you want to stay hidden, invisible to the public.

This is an excerpt from: The digital media strategy blog

What are usually definition of luxury?

However , there is not any single answer to this problem but a large number of alternatives. You possibly can first answer that a extravagance brand is a very exclusive model that is almost the only one inside product category and that can seem as a very selective image of scarcity, sophistication, and also good taste. It might in addition have a slightly understated and noble dimension. In that case, there would be only 1 luxury car: Rolls Royce. A car like Ferrari, having its flashy red color, might be considered as the epitome of bad taste. Once we singled out a brand for each merchandise category to make it a luxury image, we would have Krug or perhaps Dom Perignon for sparkling wine, Guerlain for fragrance along with cosmetics, Herme`s for natural leather goods, and maybe, in ladies’ ready-to-wear, Armani or Valentino. For men’s suits, Brioni could be the ultimate luxury, in addition to Van Cleef & Arpels could be considered a special as well as distinctive brand of jewelry.

This specific restrictive definition of luxury is practical. It does not represent the situation as you may know it today. Even models like Hugo Boss or maybe Lacoste will be considered high end in this book, because we feel that there is a need for an detailed definition that takes into account the positioning of the brands in the stores as well as the perception of them by the client. A luxury brand is a brand name that is selective and distinctive, and that brings an additional imaginative and emotional value for the consumer. In this case, the definition is significantly larger and includes a huge part of fashion products.

There’s also a debate as to distinguishing in between fashion and luxury. In accordance with this point of view, a label would start, in the fabric and accessory field, as being a fashion brand and could be given the status involving luxury only when it had attained some stability and timelessness. In getting started, a brand must be creative and, every single season, come up with new concepts, new concepts, and new items to attract the interest of the purchaser. As its status moved coming from fashion to luxury, it could develop classic models that will sell, year in and also year out, and can impose a style, and create long lasting bestsellers. This distinction will be, of course , interesting intellectually, nonetheless it is at the same time misleading along with dangerous. It is misleading due to the fact, even if it belongs to the luxurious field, a fashion brand, for instance , Chanel or Dior, need to come up with new dresses as well as new accessories every period, presented in new ways to make certain that customers remain interested. It might be dangerous because it implies that extra brand does not have to innovate normally as nonluxury ones, which can be obviously not the case.

At this stage, it could be necessary to describe the different industries of activities that we use in our analysis of high-class. The selective and exceptional ready-to-wear, for ladies and guys, is the first category comes up. It includes all selective vogue brands, such as Chanel, Valentino, Burberry, or Versace, plus more traditional brands like Jaeger, Daks, or Celine. In addition, it includes brands like Hugo Boss or Lacoste, seeing that indicated, because they are still pretty selective in their distribution including their product approach. Actually even if they have an obtainable price, they still be fashion brands, sold by means of selective distribution. One could concern Lacoste men, saying it isn’t that creative and what is offered is a basic product, yet Lacoste women is certainly far more creative and more sophisticated. Just where do we draw the line, and then? Obviously, we eliminate companies that do not have a not bothered distribution. What about Nike or even Zara? Here the brand reputation and the level of sophistication, because perceived by the consumer, are usually far from the luxury world. Yet there are still many things that extravagance brands can learn from Zara or H&M business types.

The luxury jewelry and watch portion is clearly part of our planet. They have their own stores or perhaps use a very limited number of picky jewelers. When we speak of wrist watches, this includes combination watches, but in addition all watches that are pricey pieces and are sold since very special objects by way of a selective distribution system.

Scents and cosmetics, when marketed through selective distribution programmes, are clearly luxury goods, even if they may correspond to lowprice items. They are different solution categories under the same company. Fashion accessories are also generally work as sister brands of manner brands. This category includes bags and leather goods, and also shoes, belts, and some other element of the total look, similar to glasses, writing instruments, lighters, etc. For men, it includes ties, sneakers, shirts, and any component of men’s wardrobe, including saturday and sunday wear if sophisticated adequate.

Wines and spirits will always be the question mark of the high end field. Some people insist that will as they are sold in supermarkets in addition to food stores this will take them away from that classification. They would then be part of an ingredient or beverage category that features beer and Coca-Cola. Actually , in the product concept as well as positioning of wines and also spirits, there is a level of class that is very different from that connected with beer. Such products are faraway from fast-moving, repeat-purchase products including beer. They are expensive, usually gift items, and clearly a part of brand identity constructions. The particular blending and the sophistication inside their production, as well as their frugal consumption, are also reasons to contain them in the luxury type.

This is an excerpt from: https://thoughtleadershipzen.blogspot.com/2016/05/digital-advertising.html

New tricks for Music Cast

Yamaha refreshes multiroom lineup, revamps AVRs with AI processing.

Yamaha’s BAR 400 (p8) is just one part of a new season of MusicCast hardware from the audio specialist. Design and feature tweaks are taking place across the range, from standalone wireless speakers to home cinema AVRs. Perhaps most noteworthy is the introduction of MusicCast Surround on Yamaha receivers. This function allows the company’s MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 speakers to be employed as wireless surrounds in a multichannel AV setup. MusicCast Surround features on Yamaha’s new RX-V85 and RX-A80 ranges, from which there are ten models due to arrive this Summer.

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AI all the rage

Top of the new AVRs is the RX-A3080, which should ship with a £2,200 price tag around August. This features 7-in, 3-out HDMI switching (with Dolby Vision and HLG support); ESS Sabre DACs; a balanced stereo XLR input; Atmos/DTS:X decoding; and a claimed 150W per channel of power. However, as with the preceding RX-A3070, it’s a nine-channel design with 11.2-channel processing – an additional stereo amplifier is needed to run a 7.x.4 setup.

As well as the aforementioned wireless surround capability, the RX-A3080 debuts a new Yamaha processing technology called Surround:AI. ‘This AI instantaneously analyses scenes by focusing on distinct sound elements such as dialogue, background music, ambient sounds and sound effects, and automatically optimises the surround effect in real time, just as if a Yamaha sound engineer tunes the best sound specifically for you,’ we’re told. Also featuring Surround:AI are the RX-A2080 (9.2-channel, £1,700) and RX-A1080 (7.2-channel, £1,300). The feature is omitted from the RX-A880 (7.2-channel, £1,000) and RX-A680 (7.2-channel, £750).

The step-down RX-V85 series is led by the seven-channel RX-V685, which will sell for £650 and is in shops this month. Power output here is rated at 90W per channel; again, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, MusicCast multiroom and 4K HDR passthrough is on the spec sheet. The more
affordable RX-V585 (£550) is less potent and features a single HDMI output rather than two; the £450 RX-V485 is a five channel receiver.

Something that will cheer seasoned Yamaha watchers is a redesigned remote control and graphic user interface, available on all new AVR models bar the RX-V485 and RX-V585. The company says it ‘simplifies operations’ and creates ‘better interaction’. The handsets for the RX-A1080, RX-A2080 and RX-A3080 will be backlit.

I need a hero

Back in multiroom territory, the MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 speakers see Yamaha streamlining its naming system a tad (they’ll join the likes of the existing WX-030 and ISX-80), and adopting a new, curved-edge design.

The £230 MusicCast 20 packs a 3.5in woofer, 1in tweeter and dual passive radiators into its cylindrical chassis, with top-mounted soft-touch buttons granting access to presets and alarm functions. Two speakers can be wirelessly tethered to work in stereo. Meanwhile, the MusicCast 50 (£500) is a two-channel model that should fill the ‘hero product’ gap previously missing from the range. Yamaha promises a ‘room-filling, dynamic sound’, and has added an optical digital audio input to let the speaker hook up to a TV.

This post is from upscale existence blog

Branding Beastie boys

Let’s kick this off with three guys for whom I have massive amounts of love and respect: three artists from New York who started out as a punk band and ended up as one of the biggest alternative – yet influential hip-hop acts on the planet. The Beastie Boys are now one of the coolest Unbrandable brands out there, not only because they have succeeded in attracting fans of all ages (thanks to the way in which they constantly reinvent themselves), but also because of the political and spiritual beliefs of the late Adam Yauch, aka MCA. Word of his death from cancer in 2012 at the age of forty-seven was international news, but even bigger was the splash made when it was revealed that his last will and testament includes a clause that forbids anyone from using his music, likeness or any art he’s created in connection with hawking products. This certainly took the Beastie Boys into the realm of the Unbrandables. I’m probably going to get some stick for referring to them as a brand, but that is what they have become, albeit a glorious example of one that embodies the undiluted spirit of rebellion.

For more on Outside in Marketing, look here: what is outside in marketing

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image courtesy: discogs.com

‘The idea was “let’s start a hardcore band”, kind of as a joke.’ This was MCA in 1998, speaking to Spin magazine. We called it the Beastie Boys. We were trying to think of the stupidest name, something that maybe sounded like the Angry Samoans.’ Ironically, the Beastie Boys got their first break when British Airways sampled a portion of their song ‘Beastie Revolution’ (1983) in a commercial without seeking permission, an act that resulted in the Beasties winning $40,000 in damages. ‘That money enabled us to make the move for independence’, recalled the band’s Mike D (Michael Diamond) in the same interview. ‘We got a floor in this Chinese sweatshop building on Chrystie Street.’ It was in this apartment that they lived, rehearsed and recorded their early work, swiftly moving from punk rock to hip hop, buying cheap Chinese knock-off Adidas tracksuits from a shop downstairs at a time when Grandmaster Flash and the Sugar Hill Gang were becoming more and more popular, off the back of the growing hip-hop movement (graffiti, breakdancing, MC-ing, DJ-ing). Through their friendship with the producer Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys were introduced to Russell Simmons, with whom Rick had just started the legendary record label Def Jam Recordings. Russell spotted something unique in the three Jewish boys in a very black world, and introduced them to Run DMC and Public Enemy. ‘The Beastie Boys are one of the key ingredients for spreading rap to suburbia’, explained Public Enemy’s Chuck D in 1998. ‘They did it with their own flavour; they didn’t, like, compromise who they were.’

The Beasties broke through to the mainstream when they toured the world with their debut album, Licensed to Ill (1986), the first rap album to reach number one in the Billboard chart. The band soon caught the eye of the tabloid press, which railed against them in the name of decency (a bit of a joke, really, when you think of the phone-jacking scandal and general sneakiness of the gutter press; ‘Pop Idols Sneer at Dying Kids’ was the lie of one headline in theDaily Mirror) and told the middle classes to lock up their daughters.Licensed to Ill was made as a joke, a pastiche of American frat culture – beers and strippers and partying – but this didn’t stop the millions of people who bought the record and saw the band tour from believing that this was what the Beasties were really about. Both musically and culturally, it was the band’s second album, Paul’s Boutique (1989), that cemented their place in history. Miles Davis said that he never tired of listening to the album, which says it all if you ask me. The album bombed commercially, as the fans of their first record just didn’t get it, but soon the rest of the world began to listen. Today, it is recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time. What a journey.

The Beastie Boys brand worked because:

  1. musically, they never stood still, mutating from punk to hip hop to thrash to jazz to hip hop again;
  2. they rapped about what they knew – being white boys, chasing girls and smoking weed;
  3. they oozed authentic ‘fight the power’ attitude;
  4. they didn’t care about working with brands (although they unconsciously aligned themselves to Adidas in almost every photo shoot) before creating their own: Grand Royal and Oscilloscope Laboratories.