How To Become A "Brand Strategist"

Don’t Believe The Hypebeast gives a mock tutorial on how to become a “brand strategist,” basically some white douche who figures out how to make brands and products appeal to that fabled white unicorn, youth culture endowed with ungodly amounts of disposable income.

1. To be an influential and successful youth culture brand strategist, you’re going to need to be a White male, preferably with an affluent upbringing, but with a penchant for rap music and 80’s punk. Don’t have that particular penchant? Wikipedia that shit!

Hit the link for the next five easy steps to siphon monies from big brands wanting to get jiggy with it, whatever it is.

So You Wanna Be A Brand Strategist? [Don’t Believe The Hypebeast]
(Photo: TheeErin)


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  1. mantari says:


    I appreciate you’re reaching out with snarky comments to a GenX/GenY audience, but you really need to be going where the money is. You need to tone this down a bit and go for the at-home mom. You need to focus more on everyday consumer items like grocery stores, supercenters, diapers, and children’s toys.

    This wacky business about brand strategy and hotels and 9/11 foreshadowing advertisement only serves to alienate what should be your core reader. In addition, you need to punch up your home page with better use of fonts and more grabbing headlines that will reach your target market. And a bit more focus on the famous and how they deal with consumer issues wouldn’t hurt.

    Also, if you could put some coupons on your site, it would add a great deal of value. Maybe some Consumerist specific promotions that are consumer oriented, rather than this Gawker Media advertising that, again, is too GenX/GenY focused.

    We’ll consult about this a bit later after you’ve had some more time to think about it.

  2. smitty1123 says:

    Brand strategist schmand strategist. T&A will get you much further than a cultural connection ever will.

  3. Smitros says:

    Where did you find those other Rap Snacks?

    In DC all I ever see is Lil’ Romeos’ Barbecuin’ with My Honey flavor.

  4. HRHKingFriday says:

    @Smitros: I’ve found the rest of them near the DC courts, between judiciary sqare and union station.

  5. bohemian says:

    The article is a pretty accurate instruction manual on becoming a brand strategist. I used to work in marketing. Shudder.

  6. Smitros says:


    My little piece of downtown is even duller than I’ve realized.

  7. Oh No I Di'n't. says:

    This should actually be called how to become a trendspotter. Brand strategy isn’t that bad. Trendspotters, on the other hand, are fucking annoying.

  8. JPropaganda says:

    @mantari: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. nice.

    And the line in the article about the easy way to become a copywriter? BS, you need to actually have ideas and (often) be funny to be a copywriter.

  9. smellovision says:

    As an actual brand strategist (who also happens to be a white male with an affluent upbringing and a penchant for rap and punk, hmmm), I must say that beyond the somewhat thin but accurate demo- and psychographic profile, Satchel’o’Gravel has absolutely no clue what a brand strategist actually is or does. For shame.

  10. spinachdip says:

    @JPropaganda: Well, no. You need to have ideas and be funny if you want to be a good copywriter. I could easily get a job at a shit agency if I didn’t mind being a hack.

  11. Bay State Darren says:

    From Newsradio:

    Jimmy: I once had a line of detergents with a great brand name, “Dandy Clean”. Everybody trusted it, but that break dancing fad hit and my people made me change it. Y’know, to try to stay hip and everything like that, and the whole thing went bust in less than a year.
    Lisa: What’d you change the name to?
    Jimmy: Break Dancing Detergent.

  12. SaraAB87 says:

    The 8-12 market seems to be the most penetrable these days, they have the power to get their parents to buy them whatever they want so its essentially a limitless source of profit provided you target them correctly. Look at Webkinz, Neopets, Tamagotchi and Hannah Montana, and pretty much anything Disney, these are all super popular fads (read: profitable) that have caught on with the younger mindset. The trick is to make this group feel “grown up”, hip, cool etc. the more grown up things you give them, the more they bite and buy because either they have to have the things to be cool or they are so desperate trying to be cool with their friends that they will do anything or buy anything to be cool.

    By age 14 some kids go off on their own, and no matter what you won’t be able to target them if they have a mind of their own since by age 14 a lot of popular things become “uncool”.

  13. fizzyg says:

    Those rap snacks are totally at my local Big Lots, in rural GA, where I’m sure they sell very well. ;)

  14. emax4 says:

    I recognize those rap snacks myself, as I’ve seen them in the nearby Big Lots. I see them and I just think strange thoughts. Perhaps those rap artists wanted money for an MPC or drum machine and sold out just to get the cash. I can see younger kids buying into the hype, but not educated consumers. When you advertise labels like that, you narrow down your target audience, but also miss out on a larger audience

  15. emax4 says:

    The Big Lots nearby my location is in North Versailles, PA, 15137 (in case anyone wants to order them).


  16. girly says:

    So are rap snacks really just flavors sampled from popular snacks of the past?

  17. GothamGal says:

    That article was a big waste of 4 minutes, and I thought that I couldn’t lose more faith in humanity.

  18. themediatrix says:

    I knew “trendspotters” and “brand strategists” were idiots the very first time I ever heard of one. Her name was “Faith Popcorn” and she had changed her name to be that. How stupid.

  19. loueloui says:

    We should export these rap snacks to China to get back at them for the deadly ‘Poison Train’.

  20. themediatrix says:


    And Chex Mix is a “Mash-up” snack!

  21. loueloui says:


    Yeah they really do have these there, I called. Sour cream and onion, and some other flavor. For a brief moment I thought, ‘Oh shit. I got Rick Rolled!’ but it was already ringing so I was commited.

  22. Haltingpoint says:

    Ben, I love the consumerist but seeing these one-sided posts about professions is getting a bit frustrating.

    In the interest of being balanced, would it be possible to include some other opinions in addition? There are plenty of great brand strategy websites out there to go along with the crap ones.

    Believe it or not there are great brand strategists out there, but I guess since its related to advertising its fine for everybody to just mock the crap examples. Never mind the people who drive the strategy behind brands like Google, Apple, Starbucks, etc. who are absolutely brilliant and have successfully secured their brands within the rapidly changing world of pop-culture.

  23. girly says:

    @themediatrix: lol! The snack world is more like the music world than I originally thought.

  24. themediatrix says:


    As a fellow reader, I disagree that the Consumerist should point to good examples. (And believe me, I’m very much in favor of balance in most media.) This site is specifically about the perspective of the consumer, and exploring the consumer’s experience. (And it’s primarily for entertainment.)

    Good branding and marketing are a given (as is the bad). Corporations have PLENTY of resources at their disposal for making sure all kinds of marketing and branding are all around us no matter what.

    In other words, this site is the balance.

    (And a pittance of it at that.)

  25. swalve says:

    Why bring race into the matter? You don’t have to be white to be a douche.

  26. Mr.Purple says:

    Ahhh, Rap Snacks… The most awesome bad branding in the WORLD. And they taste like musty sweater and and mothballs. BTW, I found Rap Snacks in a Big Lots in Maine.

  27. Artnchicken says:

    I dunno; I rather liked the Barbecuin’ with My Honey flavord Rap Snacks.

  28. zolielo says:

    All of the professional brand strategist that I know are women sociologist.

  29. spinachdip says:

    @Haltingpoint: Balance in coverage is an overrated and often intellectually dishonest concept. People who demand “balance” and “fairness” (not necessarily you, mostly pundits) are pushing ideas that are ignored for a good reason (or should be ignored, anyway).

    And mediatrix is right – “good” branding gets plenty of coverage from other places. Consumerist’s purpose is to help the consumer decode brand messages, not to present both sides of the story.

  30. JPropaganda says:

    @spinachdip: To get the initial job, you still need the good, funny ideas.

  31. cde says:

    @girly: <3

  32. tazo says:

    Hey, at least being “White” and male is good for something. Right?

  33. smellovision says:

    They also failed to mention the need for a british accent. It provides comfort to corporate-stooge decisionmakers, and helps to sell fluffy and flawed, half-baked thinking.

    It’s the spoon-full-of-sugar.

  34. adehus says:

    Frankly, I can’t see any truth to this guy’s characterization…

    I know quite a few brand strategists, and they’re almost all female and I can assure you they have no particular enthusiasm for rap or punk!

  35. CPC24 says:

    I’ve heard Rap Snacks actually has a Rock Snacks brand now.