Snoop Dogg & Solo Stove Case Study: Epic Marketing Fail or Homerun

Snoop & Solo: Epic Marketing Fail or Homerun

Just before Thanksgiving 2023, the news began to spread like wildfire. (Pun intended.)

The marketing strategy would soon  become viral news that legendary rapper and icon, Snoop Dogg, was going to give up something he was known for. Not his catchy rap beats or fun dance moves, but his consumption of smoke. We all assumed it was his friend, Mary Jane. To make things more dramatic, we were asked to respect his privacy while he gave up the vice he had publicly shared with us for years.

As a product of the generation that has watched Snoop Dogg’s rise to fame as a rapper and then reinvent himself over and over again as an entrepreneur, an influencer and a social media powerhouse, this marketing consultant admittedly takes notice of what Snoop is up to, but that’s not what this blog is about. 

It’s about a marketing strategy that was classified as a failure and resulted in the firing of a CEO. While many marketers are reflectively weighing in on the poor decisions made by Solo Stove®, I have a different take. Let’s explore.

Hot Take: Why Conversions Are Not The Only Marketing Strategy Metric Worth Looking At

A Recap of the Marketing Strategy:

Snoop Dogg is not only an iconic rapper. He is also a social media powerhouse with millions of followers. When Solo Stove® wanted to promote its smokeless fire pit with an impactful marketing strategy, it tapped the D-O-double G for a fun and, no one could argue, creative campaign where Snoop declared he was going smokeless. Days later, Snoop’s social media fans erupted in a viral LOL when they realized it was only a play on words. 

The marketing strategy or stunt did not go down without fanfare; Solo Stove® became a household name overnight, and according to Solo Stove®’s reports, the brand gained upwards of 60,000 followers on social media. But Solo Stove® was not happy with the results of the campaign. The problem, as Solo saw it, was that very few sales were generated from the campaign, which resulted in the firing of the Solo CEO. 

While the Snoop Dogg PR stunt didn’t rake in sales, it certainly hit a home run with regard to PR and brand awareness. No one could dispute that point. 

The question is, did those who laid out the strategy versus those who were crafting the definition of success get on the same page ahead of time? If they had, a certain CEO’s job might have been saved. 

Marketing Strategy + Expectations  

Perhaps if someone had initially set the correct expectations for this marketing strategy, the disappointment would not have happened. Like anything in life, expectations are the key to satisfaction.

Here’s another example: my clients are in a niche industry. Dare I say micro-niche? 

Many of my clients cater to property management teams for office, industrial and retail buildings. Understanding this audience means understanding that most traction is gained through word of mouth. That’s the nature of the industry.  There are not a lot of Google searches going on.

For example: a search for “commercial roofing contractors,” my latest check was perhaps nine in one week for the entire state. If you service only a specific region or community, that search number gets even smaller. Connecting the dots, my clients can’t expect a high volume of website visitors generated from SEO (i.e., Google’s search optimization efforts). 

So, how do my clients and I pivot to address this expectation?

We ensure that when a “word of mouth customer” comes directly to the website to learn more, we nail the brand message. Our goal and expectation is not to generate a large volume of organic search because that’s just not how it works in this micro-niche.

It can’t be shallow content for my clients when you get to a website. 

We have professional clients with a deeper technical understanding of the services they need. The content can’t be the same as you would if you were addressing a residential service buyer – which incidentally gets more search traffic and relies more on a Google search then word of mouth. 

Is the Snoop case unrelated to SEO? Not really. 

My point is getting on the same page (expectations) is critical. Make sure you understand your buyer and their journey and speak their language. That is the importance of understanding strategy in branding and execution of marketing. 

Patience + Timelines 

Another critical aspect of launching a big marketing campaign is level-setting timelines (and having a little patience). It happens often. 

A company is desperately seeking an initiative to give a jolt to slumping sales, so they hang all their hopes on Campaign X (i.e., Snoop and Smokeless). When instant gratification doesn’t happen, they call it a loss. 

Going back to my SEO analogy, marketers often have to lean into patience as they assess the results of these initiatives, too. Leading SEO strategist Neil Patel, recently published some results from businesses that were doing all the right things to create a lift in their SEO traffic. Let’s look at these results that show how patience is key:

  • First 6 months – increase in organic search traffic by 11.4%
  • Second 6 months – increase of 9.58% over the first 6 months.
  • Second year – increase of 49.4% on average over the 1st year.
  • Third year – increase of 30.7% over year two.

Patience was the name of the game for these businesses. Had they felt the results were too low or slow and shifted gears, who knows where they’d be.

Let’s Work Together To Ensure Your Efforts Align With Your Goals & Expectations.

Jackie Awve Marketing & Design specializes in helping businesses create marketing initiatives that drive results. Our industry experience includes commercial real estate, retail properties, executive suites, trade associations, contractors and agency consulting.


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Passionate about making positive contributions to the Commercial Real Estate industry, Jackie Awve develops branding and communications programs that create value and business opportunities.

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