In a recent post, we discussed how consumers are moving away from the cookie-cutter products of yesterday in favor of brands that provide them with unique, personalized experiences. One of the greatest examples of this phenomenon is Record Store Day, an annual event on the third Saturday in April in which independently owned record stores join forces to celebrate their culture and promote their products.
The founders of Record Store Day created the event in hopes of reigniting public interest in the vinyl industry and the local music store. Their plan worked. Since the first Record Store Day in 2008, the vinyl market has trended steadily upward. Sales of vinyl rose by 89 percent in 2008, and they have been increasing each year. Last year, more than 67 percent of vinyl sales were conducted through the stores promoted by Record Store Day.
Over the last four years, Record Store Day has come to signify more than just the resurgence of vinyl records: it’s about local culture and the independent retailer. Since the development of the internet, many shoppers were purchasing their music online for the sake of convenience and cheaper prices. Record Store Day reaches out to the niche of consumers that are willing to pay a premium for a more localized and unique retail experience.
The success of Record Store Day is largely dependent on the strategies used to promote it. The event highlights local culture and the small retailer – which, as we have said, is catnip for many of today’s consumers. To raise awareness about the event, Record Store Day promoters make use of traditional media outlets for advertising, and they maintain profiles on social media websites to remind consumers about the event. Record Store Day promoters also work with artists to develop exclusive album releases and product offers, which are announced ahead of time to entice consumers.
The strategies that brands used to promote this event were considerably different from their standard methods. Instead of advertising large retail locations, such as company websites or department scores, brands used a centralized marketing approach to drive consumers to small, local retailers.
Brand and retailers outside the vinyl industry can learn a lot from Record Store Day. First of all, the success of this event is clear evidence of the recent changes in consumer preferences. The idea of a culture-rich experience hosted by small, independent retailers draws modern consumers in and encourages them to make purchases. To take advantage of this trend, brands need to work toward a more personalized retail experience for their customers.
Consumers also enjoy the fact that Record Store Day offers unique merchandise that they could not purchase from a chain. Retailers outside of the vinyl industry can attract consumers to their stores using the same principle, and their brands can help By scheduling promotional events and offering consumers the chance to purchase limited edition merchandise, retailers can increase their patronage and sales volume.
In addition, Record Store Day shows us that brands still have considerable influence over the way consumers choose to shop. By focusing marketing efforts on local culture instead of convenience, brands were able to send business to small, brick-and-mortar retailers.
Finally, the success of Record Store Day shows us that media advertising is still a powerful tool for brands and their retailers. Furthermore, it indicates that social media websites also have the power to attract consumers and promote products. By utilizing these same marketing tools, brands and retailers in all industries can together connect with their target populations.
Stay tuned to our blog for more B2R in my next post on why everybody loves AMEX’s Small Business Saturday.