Early this year in May, Central Cee launched his brand Syna World and since its inception, it’s been very interesting to see the approach Central Cee has attacked this with. So what’s the point in this post and what’s he doing so differently to other artists? Simply put: effort and attention.
Generally speaking, celebrity merch nowadays is very subpar and sometimes awful due to the fact it’s run by teams as opposed to the artist's involvement themselves. Still even with teams, when it comes to design and often quality, you can tell selling the merch is more of a priority than selling something of quality. There are a few artists making the effort for sure and Cee is one of them.
I’ve referenced the word merch a lot but truly speaking, SYNA World is not merch, and that’s my first point. Syna World feels more like a brand as opposed to merch and there’s quite a difference if you know your stuff. The main two reasons I say this are because of attention to design and Central Cees’ involvement. When you compare SYNA to Central Cee’s past album merch, there is a clear difference in attention to quality and design, the designs match his colour-centric dress sense and tie into his whole image. He’s also very involved often turning up to events, teasing a lot of samples online and actually wearing his brand.
Events are also something I want to expand on. For Halloween, Cee launched a fun fair where people could attend and enjoy free and exclusive SYNA pieces as well as free food and drink. When SYNA launched, Cee held an in-person event where supporters were able to get early hands on clothes as well as meet the man himself.
Lastly, the marketing and branding can’t go unnoticed. Cee strategically wearing the brand in music videos and social media clips reminds the audience of the brand and keeps it on their minds (important for the 7 touch points theory) furthermore, the consistent teasing of new colours and samples creates an allure of mystery for loyal customers who are left wondering “when does this drop?” or “how can I get my hands on this?”. A key part of Cee’s image is the Decathlon running cap, the guy singlehandedly left them sold out and now aims to offer his own Syna running cap as the alternative. In previous social media clips, he was seen binning an old running cap from a supporter and handing him a brand new Syna cap. At the halloween fair, he burnt all the SYNA caps and fans were able to replace them with the newer Syna caps. The photoshoots for the brand are also very in touch with Cee’s image and the UK culture. The packaging is also creative in itself and speaks to the audience. The novelty around it serves as a talking point for people as well as visual appeal. The colour coordination and the laid back approach have a visual appeal and are easily relatable for a familiar audience to envision themselves in. Everything from the womenswear line to the SYNA running caps, the custom Evian T and strategic artist placement comes full circle and cohesively is on point with his vision.
When it comes to marketing and branding, Cee has it on lock and you can tell it is something he enjoys. One thing I'd like to see is elevation in the overall design as I'm 50/50 on it. He has a good network of designers and mentors who can help take SYNA to the next level so I’m very invested to see the longevity and growth of the brand.