To succeed in the launch of a new “brick and mortar” music store, you must not merely create competitive advantage relative to other music stores in the vicinity, including big chains like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, but fight online competition from iTunes, Rhapsody, Pandora, and more. Don’t forget to detail your strategy for staking our your market share against these sellers in the competitive analysis of your business plan. These are three ways brick and mortar music stores can differentiate themselves against these online competitors.

Expertise of Salespeople

By hiring salespeople who will offer customers a deep understanding of the music you sell, your staff can offer recommendations, be sought out as experts, and offer personal taste. Although you may pay a premium for these type of salespeople, they may be able to encourage sales through their own recommendations once customers begin to value their opinions.

Events

Holding seminars or talk-backs with artists, or even live performances if your store can handle it, can be a great way to create buzz around the store in a way that online stores simply cannot. By making events a regular occurrence and tying them in directly with the music you sell, you can promote the products and earn chances to familiarize more customers with your store.

Atmosphere

A third method of differentiation is by creating “atmosphere”. With background music, decoration, and additional product offerings to look at, your store can become a unique destination. Uniqueness is especially valued in a time where many customers are tired of the cookie cutter look of big box stores and the lack of character and experience for an online store. If you make sure your store tries to be everything these competitors are not, you will find interest among many customers who take part in the backlash against the de-personalization of the music buying experience and seek to show their individuality not just by what they listen to but by where they buy it.

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