Music industry shows us how to discover more value in our products

My close friends will tell you that I’ve a rather eclectic (or perhaps that should be eccentric!) taste in music. I grew up as a young teenager on a diet of hard rock and heavy metal. Then I discovered the beauty and complexity of classical music and fell in love with composers like Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Rachmaninov, etc.

Broadening my tastes even further as young adult I went all retro and spent my time soaking up the likes of the ‘Stones, the Doors, Clapton, etc. Now my tastes have changed even more and my iPod carries a complete mix of everything from indie, pop, dance, house, trance, blues and some very obscure ‘world-music’ but my real passion lies with ambient trance and in particular any of the amazing work by Simon Posford, a genius of acoustic/electro ‘ambient psy-trance’… no seriously!

So why am I telling you all this? Well, here’s an interesting lesson in marketing that I’ve just been massively impressed by.

Younger Brother, a music project by Mr Posford and Co, are about to cut a new CD but have taken a very different route to market; you might have even become aware of it before. It’s called Pledge Music and this is how it works; before the CD is actually recorded the artist asks their followers and fans (their community or ‘tribe’ in marketing terms) to pledge what they will commit to buying when the new CD is released. It’s a form of pre-selling, if you like.

By asking for fans to pledge their support in advance the artist knows if the new production is going to be a success before they’ve even created the actual product. Clever, eh?! If the volume of support just isn’t there, then they won’t go ahead with the recording and it’s back to the drawing board (or should that be rehearsal studio?), I guess.

I hope you’re really getting the point here; this is how a business – perhaps your own – can test market a product before it is even created, avoiding the risk of stacking the shelves with something that people perhaps won’t want to buy.

Even more than this though, it completely changes the dynamics of how the consumer relates to the vendor. And it’s this element that I’m really very excited about; it’s a perfect example of a shift in strategy that I’m trying to make business owners more aware of.

I’ve pledged my support for the new Younger Brother project and pre-ordered my signed copy of the new CD. So I’ve played my bit in helping this creative work to actually take place, I feel far more attached to the product, even part of the whole process, one of the team. Now we’re on the same side.

You should know by now that marketing has changed massively over the past few years and this approach of community marketing, attraction marketing, whatever you decide to call it, has and will continue to change the dynamics of how we engage with our customers and clients and them with us; it also builds far stronger bonds and real customer loyalty and attachment.

Now here’s the icing on the cake and the real reason that has inspired me to share this with you; Younger Brother are not only asking for pledges for enough CDs, they have come up with a whole list of other exclusive offers that will raise enough finance to make the project fly.

Here’s a list of just some of the additional extras that I can pledge on:

  • Handwritten Lyric Sheet
  • Handwritten Thank You Note
  • Come to a Rehearsal
  • A signed drum skin
  • Be in one of our videos
  • Signwriting Sketchbook
  • A personal track mix

And my all-time favourite…

  • An acoustic gig by the band at my own house!

Here’s the link if you want to see the whole list (and prices) and you might even want to become part of the project and pledge your support too.

Oh, of course you get to sample their previous work on the site as well! Personally, I’d recommend anything from ‘A Flock of Bleeps’, which sits firmly in my top ten CDs.

I hope you can really see why this is such an inspirational way of looking at how you can create multiple products and from the example of something as humble and ubiquitous as a music CD.

So, how could you look at your own sales/marketing proposition differently and how many new products are there for you to create from the resource you already have?!?

Now go and get your magic monkey juices flowing… and get creative with your marketing!

NEWS: the PUSH Marketing Academy has the new Autumn Term starting on the 11th October and you’re invited to find out more. The Academy Open Event takes place in Norwich on the 28th September. For more information and your free ticket (worth £97) please visit www.PushYourMarketing.co.uk.

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