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Riky Rick's top tips on building a powerful brand

Image: Steve Tanchel

If you take a close look at Riky Rick’s career, you’ll realise the rapper was not an overnight success. The bags he has secured and his collaborations with brands are the result of hard work and consistency.

For instance, his love of mentoring the next generation of artists not only led him to establish his own label Cotton Club Records but also to be a judge on The Voice South Africa. He’s turned his skill at and passion for male grooming into a business in the form of Legends Barbershop, in Waterfall Corner, Midrand.

These are just some of the examples of Riky strategically aligning his interests to brands that have taken his career to the next level but that’s not our story to tell. Instead, ours is to share some of the tips on building a brand he recently gave at Capitec’s Live Better Talks in Johannesburg.

What do you define as a powerful brand?

A powerful brand is a brand that is able to live on without people having to convince you too much about it. It is a brand that can stay relevant without doing things for relevance. 

What are the top three things that contributed to building your brand?

Consistency,  quality and reality.

Which motto do you live by?

Pay or die. It is important to teach the young people that everything comes with a certain price and, if you want things done at a certain level, you have to budget for it. As they say, “nothing worth having is free”.

What are the best financial tips you learnt along the way?

Pay your taxes, foster the ability to create a budget and learn how to work with money.

What is the number one game-changing piece of advice you received when you were starting out?

Gain your own independence. That was a huge step to understanding exactly what industry I was joining and working in, the limitations I had and how those limitations could work to my benefit. Now I have a very hands-on approach to everything that I do which I think, overall, benefits the quality of my work.

What was the moment you knew you’d “made it”?

Hearing your song on the radio for the first time is always a milestone for any artist. Having it play five times a day is another milestone. And then seeing your album going platinum is really huge because you know how many people it takes to actually reach that – you start believing that there are people with you on this journey.

If there was one thing you could have changed on your journey, what would it be?

Pushing myself to start my journey as an entrepreneur too early.