Headphone manufacturer Beats Electronics is on the cusp of a multibillion-dollar merger with Apple, and it got to that position with word-of-mouth marketing, Marc Antoine Baudoux writes. Long before its widely known commercials, the firm promoted Beats by Dre headphones by getting them on sports stars and entertainers. Beats Electronics thus made an iconic brand image out of an athlete wearing the headphones while walking to the locker room.

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