Monday, July 5, 2010

A Close Friend Sympathizes With the Music Industry

Fashion and music has always gone hand-in-hand with both industries frequently partnering with each other as friendly allies. With what I do, I have one foot in both industries. There has been so much talk in the music industry about the current challenges and struggles it’s experiencing, but the fashion industry is experiencing similar struggles and issues. It’s almost like a mirror image between the two industries in some ways.

• Fashion consumers are now accustomed to getting clothing on sale in season. Music consumers are used to getting singles either for $.99 or even for free upon release.

• Designers know that the middle of a recession is the time to rethink everything the fashion industry does. Music industry leaders have no choice but to rethink the old business model during these times.

• Fashion designers and fashion industry leaders ask each other how they can stay relevant when there are so many options in price point and design and with easy access to all merchandise via the Internet. Music industry executives ask each other how they can stay relevant when there are so many options in music with easy access to the latest music via the Internet.

• Fashion consumers are reading fashion blogs to find the ones written from a genuine point of view because they are seeking solid information. Music fans are turning to the Internet to find an authentic voice on music.

• Fashion industry leaders agree that they need to engage the consumer on every available platform such as magazines, blogs, and Twitter. Hello? Sound familiar? It is now a requirement from the record labels for their artists to engage their fans on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, etc.

• Fashion industry professionals are trying to get consumers to shop again by creating an entertaining and personal experience for the shoppers. Consumers want relationships with designers and stores and they want to know how fashion is made. Stores are making this possible by bringing the designers into the stores and by providing unique and exceptional customer service. This is no different from what the music industry is doing to entice fans to buy more music, fans who are seeking a connection with their favorite artists. We see more offerings for fans that provide a more personal experience with the artist.

Since music and fashion influence each other so much, perhaps both music and fashion industry leaders should put their heads together in their efforts to rethink their business models. No telling what kind of solutions two very creative industries could come up with when they brainstorm together.

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