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Brands could learn a lot from rock fans' loyalty

Their bedroom walls are covered in posters and their ringtone plays their favourite song.

It’s a market that is relatively unknown to the world of fashion, but what’s interesting is that many bands make most their money through merchandise sales, so it’s worth understanding rock fans. The merchandise has to fit the image of the band – there are the standard t-shirts and songbooks but often there is something special which really represents an artist.

I recently went to see Bullet for my Valentine and Lacuna Coil at the Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) - and saw some rock bands with their own very loyal followings. The longest queues were for the merchandise sales, not beer or burgers (the burgers were great though). The crowd was very young and in many ways they are unaffected by the credit crunch – they never had much money in the first place so they are still having a certain amount of shopping power and they planned to spend it on £20 t-shirts!

It was a big event and some of the fans had been looking forward to it for months. I was really just amazed how all the kids were dressed up! Some of them came in groups and some came with their parents, who often stood a few feet behind them letting them do their own thing - parents who did not what to cramp their kids style – how cool is that?

It is amazing the loyalty the music world creates; every time I work with a band I want a t-shirt too!

A lot of fashion businesses are so focused on the bottom line, especially with the economy the way it is, but it’s important to keep up whatever creates brand loyality, whatever makes your offer unique - fashion businesses, whether designers or retailers, would do well to think in terms of creating and maintaining a fan base!

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