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Music and fashion can make tills sing

I’ve just returned from the International Music Summit in Ibiza, where I was invited to talk about music and fashion.

I was sceptical about talking to 300 music industry professionals about fashion, but it was a surprisingly productive summit and I realised that there is huge potential in working with the music industry.

Image is everything in our trade and one of the driving forces behind clothing sales is music. It struck me how unprofessionally we run fashion/music collaborations. Unlike the sports industry, where companies such as IMG organise huge sponsorship deals for their clients, there are only a few good examples in the fashion industry.

Good examples in the world of music and fashion include the tie-ins by the likes of Russell Simmons – founder of hip-hop record label Def Jam – with Phat Farm, and singer Kylie Minogue with H&M. But there is nothing to match the global scale of sports collaborations, such as golfer Tiger Woods with Nike or David Beckham with Adidas.

All the music industry professionals appear to be looking for additional income streams beyond CD sales, and they are open to new ideas.
In the current retail climate it is important we focus not just on good product and good pricing, but on strong brand image. Don’t just follow the ABCs of marketing – try to break new ground, as in music collaborations. Don’t be frightened to produce a new exciting product and stand out from the crowd. Don’t compromise your brand values, keep distribution tight and aim to build up your income through complementary licensing deals. In short, be brave.

Roger Wade is the former owner and founder of Boxfresh, and now runs brand consultancy Brands Incorporated

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