Recipient of student marketing award: Beats by Dr. Dre

Published: 2014-04-04

Beats by Dr. Dre logo

While stopping short of revealing the “secret sauce” to the success of the Beats by Dr. Dre brand, Daryl Butler provided an audience of students, alumni, entrepreneurs and advertising and marketing leaders unique insights into how Beats became one of pop culture’s most recognizable names.

Butler, director of brand marketing at Beats, was on campus to accept the Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals’ (AMP) first-ever Marketer of the Year Award on behalf of the company. At the event, he shared how music, culture and technology have shaped the Beats brand.

“When we talk about the emotion of sound, we actually have a heritage of sound from our founders who know what sound and music should be,” Butler said of co-founders and music icons Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. “We have a license and a pedigree in this space that authorizes us to talk about the emotion of sound.”

Butler’s visit was part of the half-day Innovation CAMP, an annual event organized by Fisher student groups AMP and Innovation Fisher. The event explores trends, strategies and best practices in the areas where advertising, marketing and innovation overlap.

“Our students chose Beats, a marketer who is a reflection of themselves – authentic, passionate and connected to the customer,” said Christine Poon, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher.

Beats’ growth as an industry leader – it owned 51 percent of the $1 billion premium headphone market in 2012 – and its status as a small company resonated with Fisher students. The honor recognized Beats’ success in creating, communicating and delivering value to customers.

“To see a company that’s a mover and a shaker regardless of its size is something that we identify with and want to emulate in our careers,” said Brynn Baldetti, an MBA candidate at Fisher.

Beats’ willingness to be edgy, as evidenced by last year’s advertising campaign featuring controversial Seattle Seahawks football player Richard Sherman, illustrated how effective marketing is tied to emotion.

“That’s part of the secret sauce,” Butler said. “That’s not quant and qual. That’s emotion, that’s passion. That’s being relevant in culture.”

Said Shashi Matta, faculty advisor of Fisher AMP and the faculty director of the full-time MBA program: “By awarding the Marketer of the Year to recognize outstanding efforts in the marketplace, Fisher AMP has truly differentiated its group from marketing student organizations at other business schools.”