2019 Retail Resolutions

You’ve returned from The 2019 NAMM Show, where you took in a range of NAMM U sessions. Now comes the hard part: acting on all those good ideas. And if you need help getting started, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few standout ideas in retail. Look to this as a checklist to help you achieve your new year’s business resolutions. And note: Many of these come from NAMM U Online, your year-round resource for new ideas on everything from marketing to management.

Focus your marketing on customer education.

Get ahead of your customers’ questions, and you’ll become their resource. Marketing expert and NAMM U Breakfast Session host Marcus Sheridan recommends creating individual videos answering the 10 biggest questions your customers ask—the ones you and your team get all the time. Post them on your website and social channels, then create a mashup video that combines all 10. Any time you get customer inquiries, follow up with this video. Chances are, customers have more questions for you but don’t know it yet. This video can help allay the fears of their spouses or other decision-makers in the family, as well.

Adapt to millennial parents.

Their shopping habits are different. During his NAMM U session at Summer NAMM, Peter Sides of Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers weighed in on how his company serves millennial mothers, now its primary customer base. Sides mentioned that they value limited deals and offers (think Groupon), bundles and value-added packages, and online recommendations. Also, they often value experience (i.e., the entire package itself) more so than price. Are you giving this critical customer base what it wants?

Get creative with student performance opportunities.

If you offer music lessons, you’re much more likely to keep students—and create lifelong customers—if you reward them with an audience. And think outside the lines of traditional recitals. At Wentworth Music in Canada, a drum teacher taught all 40 of his students a song, then filmed them performing it during their lessons. He edited the footage into a video and uploaded it to YouTube (with parental consent). It motivated the students, thrilled the parents and, to boot, elevated Wentworth’s brand in the community.

Cater to try-before-you-buy consumers.

Resonate Music School & Studio offers one-off music lessons for anyone seeking a single session with a teacher. This lets people audition instructors, and also comes in handy with students prepping for a competition, adult students wanting to learn “Purple Haze” for a cover band and so forth. And then there’s Pedal Genie, a Netflix-like guitar pedal subscription service that lets players try out different pedals by mail.

You may not be set up to provide a full-blown subscription service, but it raises the question: Are you catering to the no-commitment consumer with your own products and services?

Familiarize yourself with game-changing new laws.

Rest assured, new laws related to online sales, employee classification and taxes will likely impact every small business in 2019. Get up to speed now!

And start planning for 2019 Summer NAMM, which will be held July 18–20 at Music City Center in Nashville. Expect more ideas to grow and transform your business there!

Zach Phillips
NAMM Director of Professional Development