Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"Value added" that actually adds value
So it became obvious pretty fast that the actual hook was "Buy the (band)'s t-shirt and get the CD for free!". There where some notable "bundle" successes over the years, but the power of the t-shirt was never enough to offset the hemorrhaging of revenue the labels where suffering. Even in the best of times, merchandise sales paled in comparison to music sales. The "bundle", though a good idea, was an act of desperation by the labels. Truth be told, it was merchandise companies like mine and the bands themselves that enjoyed the most benefit. But that's not the way the labels where used to working. In the good old days (from the label's perspective, anyway), artists where essentially meant to be indentured servants.
About a month ago when I was registering for the Solana Beach triathlon, there was an offer for either a San Diego Triathlon Series (which Solana Beach is part of) cycling jersey or tri-top. I think they where $40 dollars. You can never have enough jerseys, and $40 isn't a bad price for a jersey. So I bought one, and then kind of forgot about it. But when I picked up my race packet last Saturday they gave me an extra bag. And inside the bag was my jersey.
I finally got around to wearing it today, and it's really nice. It fits well, has a good quality zipper, good quality fabric, and is sewn well. My guess is that the jersey would be closer to an $80 item if I had purchased it at the local bike store.
The race producer KOZ Enterprises didn't have to do this. All the races in the series sell out. So they are not coming at this from a position of desperation in a critical play to increase revenue or exposure. Besides, the concept of buying a cycling jersey to get into a race for free is WAY more absurd than the CD/t-shirt model anyway.
I don't know anyone at KOZ so I don't know exactly why they are doing this. Sure, there is some built in marketing value. I'm sure I give their sponsors some "eyeballs" when I'm out riding my bike in the jersey. But I'd like to think the motivation is in greater parts a customer-centric value play. Why wait until things are bad and then pretend to give people value? If you give people value up-front when things are good isn't that ultimately better in the long run? This is the first time I've seen an offer like this but I suspect it won't be the last.
Maybe Sony or Warner Brothers should try and hire away some of the senior executives from the USAT. It might help them get their sorry asses back in shape. But then again, all of us would lose some of the good guys.
Speaking of apparel, I posted the first set of 2 potential graphics for the Endurance Athlete Project fall technical tee line. I'll be posting more every night for about a week. Please go check them out if you have a second. And if you don't yet follow the EAP blog, or follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, you should (please).