Case Study in branding: Lil Wayne aka Tunechi aka Weezy

There have been numerous posts about how Lil Wayne was able to capture a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most Facebook likes.  But  Lil Wayneoverlooked is his ability to re-brand himself under multiple names and exist in all of them simultaneously.  I wanted to make a quick rundown of how he blends them online and in music as a way brands could take advantage.

Lil Wayne

The starting point of it all as we knew publicly.  Synonymous across multiple music genres now, the rapper stands out as the go to person for making a track a hit.  It also is a huge name in branding carrying the power of millions behind it.  Not a few million.  Over 30 million globally just on Facebook and 2.5 million on Twitter alone right now.

Weezy

He throws this into lyrics like confetti.  Weezy F Baby can be heard across lyrics as he refers to himself as a moniker to let you know he was on the track.  At this point you would say so what? He refers to himself under another name.  But he takes all of this into marketing genius.

When he went to prison, and was still amassing millions of followers on Facebook and writing music, he soon started a site called Weezy Thankx You while in prison to reach out to fans.  This has become the hotspot to get information:

  • behind the scenes recordings
  • updates on tours
  • mixtapes
  • desktop backgrounds

He then blends in monetary product sales such as tshirts, posters and VIP tickets to his concerts.  Marketing through simple mention.

He even writes a sports blog section on the site generating hundreds of comments per posting.  Professional bloggers would love this much traffic.

Tunechi (Lil Tune)

Lil Wayne has started including this moniker slyly in more song lyrics, saying he won’t explain what it means.  Knowing people memorize lyrics and search, he quietly put together a private video days before he went to prison.  A site popped up embedding the video. Now the owner of this domain is someone from Toronto, which is where Young Money records (his label) holds it’s web domain. But it generates enough traffic that ads now appear on the site and give an insight into the new brand name.

Summary

Ask anyone that listens to Lil Wayne lyrics for their artistry and they can not only recite incredible word twists, but identify Lil Wayne as any of these names.  While many people have nicknames or a single alias, Lil Wayne has become a branding case study compared to any other major product or artist.

I would not be surprised if he slowly adds even more naming options as he branches off into other music genres to help both segregate personalities and leave certain stigmata behind.

I should note that the sites highlighted above are controlled by Lil Wayne or his team.  The official site is actually held by the record label and I believe holds less value and real content.  The label site has one goal, make money for the label through album sales and promotions.

  • http://techkik.com Amrita Mathur

    But but… this isnt new at all. Whats the big deal? Trance/ House/ Electronica artists and DJs have done this for many years.

    Take Armin Vann Buuren as case-in-point. He is also known as, Amsterdance, Armania, Darkstar, E=mc2, El Guitaro, Elect of DJ-RA, Gaia, Gig, Gimmick and many more…

    Has this helped him reach audiences? Sure. Because he has reinvented himself over and over. Kinda like Madonna.

    And Lil Wayne is simply doing the same. I seems to be somewhat common with ‘pioneering’ type musicians.