*Bad Bunny Illustration by Lucia Diaz, LLC.
Can I tell you a secret? When I first heard Bad Bunny’s “Creepy Kush” song, I didn’t like his music.
I know—if you’re a Bad Bunny fanatic, that’s shocking! It wasn’t until I heard “Yo Perreo Sola” that I decided to give his music another chance. After that, I was a big fan of his music!
But the truth is, I’ve had conversations with a handful of people who felt the same way. They initially did not like his music, but eventually warmed up to him (and became huge fans, too).
And what’s not to love? With his expressive style, outspoken values, and relatable music, Bad Bunny is unapologetically himself and we’re all here for it.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the “Know, Like, Trust” principle also played an important part in winning over so many of his fans.
What is the “Know, Like, Trust” principle, how did it play a part in Bad Bunny’s massive popularity? And, most importantly, how can you harness its power to grow your business?
Let’s dive in.
Know, Like, Trust Principle, Defined
The Know, Like, Trust (KLT) principle is a marketing concept that describes the elements needed to connect with your audience and draw in customers. In order for customers or clients to want to do business with you, they have to know you, like you, and trust you.
Here’s a breakdown of each element (as demonstrated by Bad Bunny) and ways you can increase your brand’s KLT.
With 24 songs entering the Billboard top 100 charts, there’s no denying it—Bad Bunny is a megastar. He’s everywhere! And it’s impossible not to at least know his name. But it doesn’t stop there. From collabing with major names, featuring in movies, TV shows, and the WWE, standing up for what he believes in, and having his own signature gender role-defying style, Bad Bunny shows us exactly who he is.
So, how does this translate back to KLT? The Know factor is all about helping your audience get to know you by being authentic, sharing your story, and letting your personality shine. Bad Bunny makes himself very visible to his audience—not only is he authentic, honest, and charming in his interviews, but his personal brand is remarkably distinct and he’s open about his beliefs and values.
To apply the Know factor to your business, you have to give your audience a chance to know you. Share your story, be open about what you value as a brand, and show up consistently. The KLT principle can be applied throughout all of your content. Everything from your About page to your CTA buttons to your Instagram posts is an opportunity to let your personality shine.
Once you’ve shared a little bit about yourself and your audience feels like they know you, you need to show them that you are likable. Just because they hit that follow button on Instagram, doesn’t mean they’ll stick around. Remember how I mentioned it took some time (and a few different songs) for me to warm up to Bad Bunny? Well, the same goes for your audience. It can take a while for potential clients or customers to truly like you. But to increase your chances of them liking you, it’s important that you’re speaking to the right audience in the first place.
For example, Bad Bunny’s music resonates deeply with a certain type of Latinx/e audience.
Releasing a mix of classic perreo-worthy reggaeton hits, raw and vulnerable ballads, and songs like “Yo Pereo Sola” and “Solo De Mí” that empower the listener and strike a chord with fans who are tired of toxic masculinity, he knows how to speak his audience’s language. His uncanny ability to remain so honed into his artistic vision without compromise has resulted in him becoming #1 streaming artist on Spotify for two years in a row and achieving worldwide success with a larger audience.
What does this mean for your brand? Know your audience. You have to speak to the right people in a way that resonates with them. Use the language they use, share content that is relatable to them, and appeal to their wants and needs. When you focus on your one ideal client, do things that feel natural to your brand, and stay true to your core goals and values, your audience will see your passion, and the rest will follow.
The final element of the KLT principle is trust. This is the level that you need to pass if you want your audience to become true fans of your brand and convert into clients or customers.
However, trust is not something that comes easily. To build trust with your audience, you have to consistently share authentic and relatable content. The message behind Bad Bunny’s music is a perfect example of this.
During a December 2020 interview with The Guardian, Bad Bunny’s manager Noah Assad explained that his songs are about much more than just “cars and girls.” “It’s about everything. How you get out of sadness, and how there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Assad said. Source: Nicki Swift
Bad Bunny’s music goes beyond the lyrics and sends a deeper message that is relatable to so many people. And this is why he’s one of the biggest artists in the world!
If you want to build trust with your audience, you have to share real, relatable value. Show them that you have their back, be consistent in your voice and branding across platforms, and be unapologetically yourself.
Nowhere is it more clear that Bad Bunny has built a strong connection with his audience through the KLT principle than during a 2021 interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show when he said:
“I think that people can feel me. I’m Latino, I’m from Puerto Rico. People can feel that, no matter who you are, you’re going to feel it. This is who I am. This is my music. This is my culture. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to me. If you like it, you know…”
Well, that and the insanely expensive (and completely sold-out) concert tickets!
If you’re ever unsure how to connect with your audience and increase your Know, Like, Trust factor, play some Bad Bunny and take note of his personal brand for inspiration.