Don’t miss an opportunity to build a superfan relationship by blowing it at the merch table.
I went to see a really great band the other night – a band I already know and have seen live numerous times. I’m not fully engaged in a superfan relationship with the band, yet – I don’t own all their music or any merch, but I plan to.
The live show blew me away, exceeding my high expectations. I had money in my pocket that I specifically brought with me to spend at the merch booth after the show. I wanted to purchase the band’s two newest releases on vinyl, having already listened to the streams online. Yes, I could have ordered them online (and I still can, I hope), but I knew the show was coming up, so why not save on shipping and maybe get the band members to sign them at the gig?
As the show was drawing to a close, the vocalist announced that he would be at the merch booth in the back after they were offstage and he’d be happy to sign stuff, chat, hang out – whatever anyone wanted to do. Great! As the last chords echoed and the band exited the stage, I headed straight for the merch booth. I was third or fourth in line, checking out the goods, and the two people in front of me picked up copies of the two records I wanted, which were displayed on the front counter of the booth. When they got theirs, the stock on the counter did not get replenished.
My heart sunk. Those were the last two copies! I confirmed this with the merch person, looked at the other stuff they were offering, but none of it was going to replace what I had my heart set on. I wanted to support the artist, but I wasn’t going to buy something I didn’t want. I intended to spend that money on those two records. I ain’t made of money.
So I walked away. Without the records, AND without the hand-screened poster for the show they were giving away if you bought a record. And without getting them signed and having a chance to chat with the band while it was happening.
It was a great show, and I never thought I’d leave even slightly disappointed, but I did. And it was slight. It wasn’t the end of the world. I’ll get those records. But I won’t get that experience, which is a bummer.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is, don’t blow your chance to turn someone into a superfan. Bring plenty of merch to your shows.
This post was written by Brad Bush and originally appeared on CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog. Reposted with permission.
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