B&O Street Insights: Christopher George Latore Wallace

Credit: Bad Boy Records
Credit: Bad Boy Records

Continuing the Blanc & Otus tradition of looking to the streets and old school rap innovators for PR insights, this month’s B&O Street Insight comes from Christopher George Latore Wallace – also known as Biggie Smalls/The Notorious B.I.G.

The larger-than-life Wallace often peppered his work with advice for enhancing brand perception and media relations, and he was a staunch advocate for street-based educational programs. A great example of this is found in one of his popular works titled Juicy:

Living life without fear
Putting 5 karats in my baby girl’s ears
Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool
Considered a fool ‘cause I dropped out of high school

Mr. Wallace recommends that brands ignore their position in the market, the limitations of their product and realistic evaluations of their financial position and engage in fearless communication programs that tell consumers “it’s all good.” He uses the example of adorning an infant with five-carat diamond earrings (which must be worth at least $50,000) to give the perception of affluence, enhancing brand equity.

Once brand perceptions are in the “Baller” quadrant, organizations need to maintain the illusion of grandeur by organizing long boozy lunches with top tier media, analysts and influencers. Never one to forget his humble roots, Wallace also recommends keeping tier two influencers in the loop with less formal brunches to save on budget. From this point on, all media interviews must be conducted by a pool – preferably an infinity pool to add to the mystique.

There’s a fine line between the “Baller” and “Vomit-Inducing Wealth” quadrants, so after “Baller” status has been achieved, organizations should begin rolling out Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to win the love and respect of their less-affluent brand advocates. In Wallace’s case, he became a vocal crusader for street-based education programs and would often speak at events, sharing his own experiences with alternative tutoring.

Insights:

  • Don’t let realism hold you down, reach for the stars
  • Consider the environment for all media/influencer engagements. What’s your swimming pool strategy?
  • Deliver a one-two punch: Create the illusion of affluence and follow up with the illusion of caring about others

If you don’t know, now you know…

Neil Torres also contributed to this post.