If you spend time on Tik Tok, you’ve probably heard the new song Cupid from K-Pop group Fifty Fifty. The new group is rocketing, climbing the charts and becoming a global brand in a stunningly short amount of time.
With success comes challenges, so here is some branding advice for the group.
After Mars misled the New York Times, the WSJ, and the world about plans for their M&M characters, I’ve become completely skeptical about anything I see on-line.
Still, the story behind Fifty Fifty appears to be both credible and remarkable. The band is new, formed in just November of 2022. The four members are Saena, Aran, Keena and Sio.
It is backed by a new and underfunded agency called Attrakt. To produce the first album the CEO, Jeon Hong Joon, sold his car and worked at a tea shop.
This is unusual, since most K-Pop groups such as BTS and Blackpink are supported by massive enterprises like YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.
Since that time, it has been an incredible story of growth. The song Cupid is climbing the charts and becoming a wildly popular Tik Tok song and dance. The #FiftyFifty has 1.2 billion views on Tik Tok. The song is #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbing. Cupid is the fastest ever start for a K-Pop girl band.
Why? Some of this is just Tik Tok luck, but there are contributing factors. First, Cupid is a remarkably catchy tune, paired with an entertaining and fun dance. Second, the brand has a positive brand positioning. In the dynamic world of K-Pop groups, Fifty Fifty is fun and cute. It is completely different from Blackpink, another K-Pop group having a moment after headlining Cochella. One of Blackpink’s hits starts off with the inspiring lyrics, “I say fuck it when I feel it.”
So, what now for Fifty Fifty? Here is a bit of branding advice.
First, the group needs to move fast to capture the momentum. Tik Tok fame is fleeting. So, Fifty Fifty needs to relentlessly promote its hit song. When you are on a wave, surf! Schedule interviews, appear on shows, add performances, release new versions.
Second, Fifty Fifty should reflect on its brand positioning. What are the key elements? Once these are clear, the group should reinforce these. This isn’t the time to broaden out. When a brand is new the key is to firmly establish the core positioning.
Third, the group should work to build for the long-term. Blackpink is supported by rapid fans known as Blinks. How can Fifty Fifty fans engage? Apparently they are called Hunnies, short for the number 100. Promoting other songs will become critical to avoid the one hit wonder scenario.
It used to take a long time to build a brand. Today, things can move quickly and a new brand can find itself getting unexpected attention and success. That is certainly the story of Fifty Fifty.
The challenge is that a quick dose of attention can quickly vanish. Let’s see how Fifty Fifty navigates the next phase.