Latin Lessons From Wisin & Yandel

Reggaeton's Hottest Act Builds Business From Brands

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Wisin & Yandel, the multi-award-winning Puerto Rican reggaeton act, recently announced an innovative deal with Motorola and Latin American carrier SunCom to launch a W&Y-branded mobile phone that comes loaded with the new album "Los Extraterrestres."

A feature in last week's Billboard highlighted some of the other brand deals that this act has put together recently, including "Wymo," a joint venture with mobile aggregator Mymobile that will give Wisin & Yandel a share of the net revenue from exclusive W&Y content, wallpaper, videos and ringtones. The duo was also the first act to be featured on a customized Zune player, which was sold exclusively in Wal-Mart, and they recently launched their own sunglass and watch lines.

These deals are interesting, not just because they offer some real added value back to their fans but because Wisin & Yandel are operating a very well-thought-out approach to building their own brand through partnerships. This has allowed them to reinvest back into creating W&Y brand experiences for their fans, such as a high-profile but subsidized concert at Radio City Music Hall in 2007 and expensive cover art on the latest album, which the duo also helped pay for.

Wisin & Yandel's manager, Edgar Andino, a former marketing consultant, formulated this strategic approach to artist development with a two-year plan that focused on treating the group and its songs "like brands," according to Billboard.

I'm sure that we are going to see more approaches like this coming from forward-thinking artists and their management who understand the value of building the artist brand and delivering added value to their fan bases.

[Via Official Heat/Billboard]