Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
And the scarf.
And the novelty giant foam hand.
Selling merchandise is becoming an evermore crucial component to the success of an touring artist. Ensuring that you have quality products to sell is one thing, but being innovate (and creating a USP) is another.
Hearing the recent news that Phoenix, the Parisian disco-rock outfit, have come up with a unique way to distribute their new merchandise, got me thinking about unique ways to sell your brand as a musician (whether through the actual products, or simply through the presentation or delivery of said products).
They’ve developed their own brand of vending machine, which distributes cassette versions of their records (and much more), and taking it on tour with them, to sit in the venue’s foyers on the night. Cool, huh?
Without sounding too much like a PR or Marketing boffin, this expands boundaries surrounding the consumer/seller, by finding new and fresh ways to connect with your fanbase indirectly. It's all about creating a USP that mirrors your identity and goes with your brand.
So here’s the question… what’s the strangest, most unique item you’ve seen for sale at a merchandise stand? Or the weirdest way that you’ve seen merch displayed in a space?
Radiohead’s broadsheet newspaper, which went into print in 2011 to support their album 'The King of Limbs'. It was a limited edition, and was handed out personally by Thom Yorke outside Rough Trade Records in East London as a promotional stunt.
Preoccupations’ Raffle Box where you could submit a new band name. I saw the band at ATP festival back in 2015, and they had a box with blank raffle tickets and pens, to offer an alternative name, following controversy surrounding their original bandname.
So, add your quirkiest, strangest, funniest examples of items surrounding this topic! My housemates' need ideas for our new kitchen, so if someone can link me to a Katy Perry-branded toaster or a chopping board in the shape of Jeff Tweedy's hat, I'll be super happy.