Archive for April, 2012

Stonefeather and Modern Music Marketing

steveparkhurst | April 24, 2012 in Advertising,Marketing,Music,Promotional | Comments (0)

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Music marketing is an inexact science. It is a tough industry with lots of competitors and a limited playing field; not everyone is looking to buy music, and when they do, not everyone wants the same music, thus the many genres.

New musicians and bands will have to be creative and in many cases, different, in the ways they try to gain fans and buyers. Fortunately, the times are such that the really motivated can find their way through the maze. Social media now allows any number of ways to share music, drive traffic back to original websites and to otherwise engage potential audiences.

Stonefeather is a great example of a lot of this. Stonefeather is based in SoCal. They have been active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even Instagram. The band members do a great job of interacting with their fans and keeping them in the loop. This includes things such as pictures, set lists, tattoos, song titles, recording sessions, performances, free cd’s and even promoting fellow bands or musicians that they go watch on their off nights.

Stonefeather - The Parkhurst Group

A lot of these new marketing ideas and concepts have significantly reduced the marketing investment that used to be necessary. While one’s time is a considerable investment, a group of band members can share the duties of the marketing necessities and really have an impact.

So, do you have some killer tricks and ideas for marketing music? If so, share them with us, we always love hearing new ideas. Who else is doing great things? Comment here or tweet us.

Fortune: How Ford Bounced Back

steveparkhurst | April 13, 2012 in Books | Comments (0)

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Fortune has published an interesting editorial review of Bryce Hoffman’s book, American Icon. The story of Ford Motor Company is American and it contains great lessons for any size business. It’s worth taking a look at.

FORTUNE — As a longtime follower of the auto industry, I am addicted to books that promise the inside skinny about the personalities behind the products. When a new tome arrives in the mail, I scour it for inside dope, untold stories, and back-room gossip that will unwrap another layer of this fascinating and complex business. Full disclosure: I also peek at the index to see if Fortune has been quoted.

At the moment, my bookshelf runneth over. The upturn in industry fortunes that followed the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors has provided an irresistible story arc of near-death, repentance, and revival. Among a number of first-rate accounts that have appeared in the past 24 months, Bryce Hoffman’s American Icon: Alan Mulally and the fight to save Ford Motor Company is a standout.

Unable to accommodate a deluge of requests from writers eager to document its revival under Mulally, Ford chose Hoffman, a reporter for the Detroit News, and granted him unique access to tell its story without editorial oversight. It chose wisely. Hoffman has produced a book brimming with smart observations and fresh insights into Ford’s success. (Another disclosure: Both Fortune and I are mentioned, briefly, in the book).

To read the entire review, click here.

And if you’ve read the book or have similar stories to share, feel free to do so here or on Twitter.

Can Toms Shoes Be Saved?

steveparkhurst | April 11, 2012 in Promotional,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Fast Company is featuring an interesting article about Toms Shoes and the writer, Cheryl Devenport, theorizes whether the Toms business model can be saved and maybe one day, better utilized.

First, the Toms buy-one-give-one model does not actually solve a social problem. Rather, the charitable act of donating a free pair of shoes serves as little more than a short-term fix in a system in need of long-term, multi-faceted economic development, health, sanitation, and education solutions.

“What’s wrong with giving away shoes?” you might be thinking. “At least they’re doing something.” The problem, we’ve learned, is when that “something” can do more harm than good. As Time recently noted, an increasing number of foreign aid practitioners and agencies are recognizing that charitable gifts from abroad can distort developing markets and undermine local businesses by creating an entirely unsustainable aid-based economy. By undercutting local prices, Western donations often hurt the farmers, workers, traders, and sellers whose success is critical to lifting entire communities out of poverty. That means every free shoe donated actually works against the long-term development goals of the communities we are trying to help.

The fact is, Toms isn’t designed to build the economies of developing countries. It’s designed to make western consumers feel good. We can see that in the company’s origin story, as the Toms website proudly tells it, in which founder Blake Mycoskie saw the problems barefoot children in Argentina faced and decided to start Toms. Mr. Mycoskie didn’t ask villagers what they needed most or talk to experts about how to lift villages out of long-term poverty. Instead, he built a company that felt good and that was good enough for him and Toms’s nascent consumers.

Read the entire Fast Company article here.

The Commodore 64 Celebrated At 30 Years Old

steveparkhurst | April 4, 2012 in Promotional,Visual | Comments (0)

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I was at Barnes & Noble earlier today and I noticed this “book” in the magazine section. For those of you too young to remember, before their was Nintendo anything, before there was Playstation, before there was the iPad, the iPhone or the iPod, before there was Atari 2600 and before there was MacBook…there was the Commodore 64. Here now, in one great book/jumbo magazine, we can all celebrate that greatness of Commodore 64.

Commodore 64 book - The Parkhurst Group