A Better Course

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Just What You Need, Part II

September 19th, 2007 · No Comments

Last week, I talked about looking at what your audience want from your product, and how to supply that. Fueled By Ramen, a record label who seem to be adapting extremely well to the new music industry, have traded heavily on something that might have been seen to be peripheral to the main product – many music fans don’t just want to listen to the music a band makes, they also want to be friends with the band.

This t-shirt starts with the idea that being in a band is having a gang:

T-shirts, however, are fairly standard band merchandise. It’s not possible to wear the same t-shirt every day – or if it is, it’s unlikely to win you any friends. If your band are going to be advertised as widely as possible, and the fans are going to feel as involved as possible, there has to be more to it than just an item of clothing.

That’s what I think is, ultimately, well executed about Fueled By Ramen’s marketing effort; if you (as a member of their core market) want to feel more involved with the band and label, that’s entirely possible. Given their (I would imagine) largely teenage market, this involved bringing out vast quantities of stationary across a range of bands – there is a fairly comprehensive range of stationary (all quite clearly marked as ‘Back To School’ products) as well as gym bags

and quite likely a wide range of other products that are not featured on the first page of the site.

It’s good marketing, obviously, because it means the fans actively advertise your band in as many locations as possible; but it’s also good marketing because the fans want to do that. Rather than throwing the message at an audience that may or may not care, it’s using the people who do care as a conduit for the message, in a much more subtle and effortless way than (for example) a street team.

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