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Gucci's Cheap Watch Strategy: A Marketing & Branding Lesson for Musicians

From Jay-Z to Rihanna, the Kardashians to the British Royal Family, top celebrities and tastemakers have been spotted sporting luxury watch brands for as long as they have been in existence. But it's not just a fashion statement. Luxury brands' marketing strategy can teach up-and-coming musicians a thing or two about building a loyal fanbase and standing out in a crowded record industry. In this article, let's dive into the secrets of Gucci's watch strategy and explore how musicians can apply these lessons to their own careers.

Gucci's Bold Decision

When luxury fashion brand Gucci announced that they would be releasing a $185 watch, many industry experts were shocked. After all, Gucci is known for its high-end, expensive products, not affordable watches. However, the brand's decision to sell a "cheap" watch was actually a smart move, and one that musicians can learn from when it comes to marketing and branding:

  • Gucci's cheap watch has been a best-seller, with many consumers opting for the affordable option over more expensive luxury watches.

  • Studies have shown that making a luxury product more accessible can actually increase its perceived value, rather than decrease it.

  • Offering a lower-priced product can also help attract a new, younger customer base that may not have been able to afford the brand's higher-end products before.

Let's Dive In Deeper

Apparel makers, such as Gucci, sell affordable watches as a way to increase brand awareness and accessibility. By offering a wider range of products at different price points, these companies can attract a larger customer base and generate more revenue. Additionally, selling cheaper watches can also serve as a gateway for customers to eventually purchase more expensive luxury items once their financial situation allows.

For example, Gucci has a line of accessible watches, found in Macy's, Bloomingdales and other department stores, that are priced at around $500, while their higher-end watches can be priced in excess of $10,000 - found exclusively in their flagship store locations. This allows Gucci to reach a wider range of customers and increase their revenue streams. According to a report by the consulting firm Bain & Company, Gucci's revenue grew by 12% in 2018 and reached a record high of €8.3 billion. The report also noted that the brand's expansion into affordable luxury products, such as watches, played a significant role in their financial success.

Musicians can learn from this strategy by diversifying their offerings and appealing to a wider range of fans. For example, a musician could:

  • Release a mix of free and paid content, such as releasing a free album on streaming platforms and selling a deluxe version of the album with additional songs and merchandise on their own website or landing pages.

  • Throw "free shows" and offer attending fans an opportunity to donate, in order to support the artists, instead of charging upfront "ticket prices".

  • Keeping with the show theme, artists can also offer VIP fan experiences such as backstage meet & greets or, if you're feeling particularly saucy, copy Chris Brown's recent "genius" marketing ploy and take fun fan pics with your most ardent & loyal supporters... for a friendly fee, of course.

In Conclusion

These strategies can help to increase loyal fans and revenue streams, while also allowing artists to build a more sustainable career in the music industry. In fact, artists need look no further than the late-great Nipsey Hussle and, more recently, LaRussell to see these strategies in action.

Overall, the strategy of luxury apparel makers selling "cheap" watches can be a valuable lesson for musicians looking to build a sustainable career in the music industry by diversifying their offerings, appealing to a wider range of fans, and increasing brand awareness and accessibility.

For more tips on how you can improve your brand awareness and increase your fan base, stay tapped in to ADAM 4 Artists for all of your marketing needs!


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