[This article was written by Chris Cornell of Manhead Merchandise.]
As a music fan, I know firsthand that buying a t-shirt or other memorabilia from your favorite artist has always been a form of popular tribute. While over the past 20 years merchandise has been an appreciated part of band revenue, it has also increasingly become a key part of their earnings.
Luckily, the quality of merchandise also continues to dramatically improve, with more product choices than ever before. Plus, as with most things today, the barriers to success have lowered thanks to technology.
Thus, here are three helpful and simple tips that musicians can benefit from in order to increase merchandise sales (which can all be scaled over time):
1. Get in tune with your audience.
Having worked with countless bands, I’ve often witnessed my clients designing for themselves first, and for their fans second. Though you should express yourself through your merchandise, I recommend first giving your fans what THEY want.
2. Start a new wave!
Every music scene and genre always has a new trend. Know what’s “working” and incorporate it into your product line in innovative and different ways. Lately we have been seeing unique items selling exceptionally well online and on the road. Items that add to the band’s personality do exceptionally well. This can be anything from custom coffee to a flag representative of the band’s home country.
3. Give fans what they want NOW.
We live in an age when technology has become the center of our daily lives, making it easier to get access to almost anything right away. Therefore, fans should not have to wait in long lines to purchase music merchandise.
Instead, there are great plug-and-play e-commerce platforms available today, as well as various print-on-demand services that let you manufacture countless products at lower quantities than ever before, all while making it more convenient for the fans.
Spending an excessive amount of cash on creating an attractive web store is outdated to today’s Millennials. Instead, experiment by creating an addicting online experience for your current and future fans. Then, take advantage of technology to tie it all together on different channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with your social media marketing strategies.
These same tips have played a key role at Manhead Merchandise over the years for clients ranging from Fall Out Boy, to Train, Yes, and Gavin DeGraw. In fact, we look for these qualities when evaluating potential new artists. Hopefully they can help you too.
What has helped your band sell more merch? Let us know in the comments below.