While doing Christmas shopping with my wife we happened to make our occasional stop at Sephora, which is always quite alright with me seeing that means I get to make a stop at Newbury Comics and the Apple store. On this particular trip I was very focused on the supply of makeup on hand. I was very inspired and intrigued about the creative packaging, marketing, and display that these cosmetic companies used to lure in consumers. For example the brand, Benefit, uses pin up girls on their packages, catchy names, and eye-popping artwork that speak to the consumers. Kat Von D’s Studded lipstick is not only a lipstick, but also an accessory that will match a studded bag. It fills an unwanted need. The clever packaging and marketing behind all this leaves the consumer questioning against a need and a want. The consumer is intrigued by the limited time or availability and it gives the consumer an added nudge to buy the product quicker. These products come with a release date, similar to the music industry, but these brands put more focus on their products, like the music industry used to do. YouTube guru, Nicole Guerriero’s skincare line Best Damn Beauty is another great example. Guerriero made the executive decision to only put out two products in order to ensure the best quality for her consumers. The music industry should take her advice, instead of releasing mediocre work. The music industry needs to focus more on artists and groups that have the quality and consistency consumers are looking for, that they so desperately need, while at the same time clearing up a saturated market.
I thought to myself what other artists or groups spoke to consumers the most over the years. I thought long and hard and some of the names I came up with were The Beatles, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, and The Grateful Dead. All these bands have survived many decades and have fans from multiple generations. However, the band that stuck out for the best marketing and brand loyalty would be Kiss. Kiss has marketed themselves more than any other band. They are not afraid to take a risk. Gene Simmons’ $300 million fortune has not come from music sales, but by what they have attached their name to. To date, Kiss has marketed themselves on over three thousand products. These products have included not just concert merchandise, but also pinball machines, beer, condoms, comic books, action figures, miniature golf course, slot machines, Hello Kitty figures, limited edition PEZ collector dispensers, a restaurant and even a Kiss Kasket.
Anything with a time limitation and unit limitation sells better, it helps the consumer make a quicker decision. It creates an insatiable want and there is an impulse to buy the merchandise. Gene Simmons said, “If someone likes you, they’ll buy what you’re selling—whether or not they need it.” The big take a way Simmons’ said is that people are too hung up on what if it fails? Simmons knows everything he does will not always succeed and people will quickly forget the failures. Even with his big ego he admits he has failed from time to time.
The music industry as a whole: touring, music, and instrument sales should look at other industries, like cosmetics to inspire them. One of the best examples would be Apple’s blah kiosk vending machine. However, Benefits’ Glam Up and Away beauty kiosk is eye candy that resembles a vintage pink bus. It pops and appeals to their consumers. The music industry used to pop and appeal. So let’s be inspired, let’s pop and appeal again!