If I had a quarter for every band t-shirt I have, I bet you I would have enough to buy just about every Sevendust album. No wait a second, I think I have every album. Anyway...
New clothes are always great, and there is nothing better than wearing a pair of my favorite Econoline Crush boy shorts or a glow in the dark thong from some washed up rock band (I won't mention names) - but seriously, what's up with the boring same-old same-old?! The last piece of band clothing that distinctly stood out to me is my gal pal's GoGol Bordello's polo dress - that was a pretty sweet find, actually.
I know - bands need merch to survive. There is no money in record deals these days. Merch, along with the live show is the biggest source of income for a band (and if you know what you are doing - you also have a few publishing and sponsorship deals up your sleeve). I got that. I've sold tons merch for a ton of bands. And people buy it, lots of it.
I'm not saying to stop selling merch. But, if you really want to get noticed - do something big. And by 'big' I don't mean you have to have a big bank account. Do something memorable. And do something that brings some good into the world. There are enough senseless assholes going around...when you do something beyond the typical selfish acts of "buy my music!!" - it gets noticed, in a big way. And not to mention, the promotional payoff is f***ing sweet. Not only that, you also get that warm fuzzy feeling deep down inside.
Max Lenderman talked about this at last week's Art of Marketing conference that I attended in Calgary. Calling it Experiential Marketing, Max dived into examples that go well beyond the typical branding and marketing platform. Did you know that in some parts of India, they don't have televisions (I'm sure you knew that)...so how do companies get their name out? They travel to the remove villages, turn their trucks into stages, and perform plays - acting it out. Neat, eh?
Have you ever thought about getting on board a charity? Could you imagine? Front page of the news paper reads: Local band (insert name here) Helps Build New Homes for Victims of...And Plays Free Concert..."
Perhaps it's just my opinion, but that would stand out to me far more than "So-and-so Releases New Album..Check Out Their Show at Such-and-Such Venue...Buy a Ticket to Support Their Starving Asses"
Guess what? Promoting yourself isn't always about making people buy your shit so you can do that XCross American tour and make sure you hit up Vegas on the way. If I, or anyone, for that matter knew you were doing something good for humanity, and trying to put an end to idiot takover, I would be far more inclined to support that band's efforts and give them my hard earned dollar.
Want to see just how cool it is to watch a good message spread? Check out the video below - it too will give you that warm, fuzzy feeling deep down inside.
And just for the record...if you have your doubts...this video received millions of views in only a few days. Goodness spreads...use it to help yourself, others, and build your name.
By the way...this video is how I started listening to Sick Puppies. Just sayin :)