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Forbes on Raycon: Brands, Branding And Celebrities

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Ray J and Raycon

Singer/songwriter/TV personality Ray J has transformed himself into a tech entrepreneur. He launched Raycon, the stylish new celeb-powered collection in partnership with NYC-based CE distributor Cowboy Electronics. The collection includes items like rose gold wireless headphones, digital smartwatches and portable cannon-style speakers. The product line also includes wireless sound bars and electronic bikes and scooters. The Raycon product collection has over 40 products and is found at big box retailers and e-retail locations. However, Ray J focuses on directing traffic to the brand's website.

With so many electronic brands already on the market, it certainly creates a challenge for Ray J. He explained, "Beats and Apple have set the standard for brand excellence in electronics and tech. We are committed to growing and evolving Raycon into a similarly compelling brand and amazing product assortment. But, we offer prices that are more accessible for everyone." For example, smartwatches start at $30 and go as high as $100). Other items like earbuds and drones are also within reach for many more consumers thanks to his brand's pricing strategy.

Additionally, his brand has also launched some "green" products. Ray J added, "Over $90 billion has been invested in manufacturing batteries and electric cars by global players in the automotive industry and that number is growing. Our flagship Scoot-e-Bike has received raves from celebrity fans. This includes Sean Combs, Brandy, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Stephen Curry.

Targeted Brand Marketing

Ray J has done his homework and taken the time to study his target audience.  "We primarily target urban technophiles, ages 18-32. However, we’re finding Raycon products have an even broader appeal. Besides leveraging publicists and a strong internal team, I strategically tap into my relationships in the music, television, and business world to make things happen."

Ray J understands that celebrity status is a two-edged sword when it comes to selling a product line and marketing a brand. "Celebrity power can be good or bad for businesses. With most celebrity brand partnerships, the celebrity has a short-term engagement with the brand. They aren't really passionate about what they are selling. Their promotion often comes across as inauthentic and doesn't typically deliver lasting success for the brand or business."

A Long-Term Brand Vision

Ray J has a different perspective on his own product line. He has a long-term vision for the business and is fully vested in its success. He added, "Not only do I stand behind the quality of our products, but I also help design them.While my background has helped open doors, it doesn't mean everything has been handed to me. I've had to face many of the same realities of creating a new company like any entrepreneur.  That includes challenges with financing, distribution, and brand development."

And, Ray J has celebrity-sized plans for promoting the Raycon brand. The first year is focused on U.S. distribution and increased retail partnerships. Then, Ray J envisions international coverage. This includes entering global markets like Asia and Europe. "Our vision is to have a Raycon product in every home across the globe. We’re committed to getting there, one Scoot-e-Bike, smartwatch, and Bluetooth-enabled audio product at a time."


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