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The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show is the biggest gathering of the music industry. This year the gathering at the Anaheim Convention Center did not disappoint. The weekend was filled with over 3,000 brands, hundreds of education sessions, star-studded lineup of concerts, and thousands of connections with people gathered to celebrate and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

At NAMM there was a discussion about: 5 Trends in Consumer Engagement for Retailers and Manufacturers.


NAMM Speakers


The discussion was led by three leaders in the industry. They were:

Kate Richardson—Richlynn Group.
The Richlynn Group is a Nashville-based public relations, marketing, and management firm. Kate is a partner at the firm and is passionate about artist relations and brand marketing.
Kristen Cho—Reverb
As the chief marketing officer at Reverb Kristen leads Reverb’s Marketing team. Reverb is a leading online marketplace for buying and selling new, used, and vintage musical instruments.
Thomas Ripsam—Martin Guitars
Thomas is president and CEO of Martin Guitars. In addition to leading the legendary guitar company, he is a passionate guitar player and loves all things guitar and fretted instruments including playing them, collecting them, writing and recording songs.

The first trend the panel discussed was how important knowing who you are is to your brand.

Strategy and Identity

The group recommended doing a SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis is an assessment of your brands: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Many brands systematically analyze their organizations internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats that could influence their current and future operations. And then go about developing strategic goals to improve their operations.

The key to a successful SWOT analysis is objective information. Music Shop 360 all-in-one point-of-sale system can give you better insight into what your customers want, are purchasing, and what is working within your music shop business. The information and how you can access it is key to making good decisions going forward and double down on your strengths.

The panel went on to discuss how important it is to study your customer.

Customer Centricity

Ripsam really leaned hard into the notion that you should make the musician the focus, not the products.

Ripsam said, “For Reverb, one of the things that we really think about is community and the connection we’re making between the buyer and the seller. The gear is at the center, I mean it’s gonna inspire the playing but it’s really about the people that are involved in that journey and making sure that we are creating a fabulous experience on both sides and really being true to what they want. And so in our marketing, we really try to position the… Reverb isn’t the hero of our marketing, it really is about the buyer or it really is about the seller.”

Music Shop 360 gives you a greater view of who each of your customers are. Whether you are a general music shop, school music dealer, repair shop, or focusing on lessons and teaching students; you’ll get tools to help you connect with your customers and manage the day-to-day workflow of your busy music shop business.

The group went on to discuss how your customer experience needs to go beyond a focus on the customer and be personalized to the individual needs of customers.

Personalized Experience

The group pointed out that it is important to segment your audience and see results. They said you could start small with data you have available and make sure that you are putting the right experience out for the right people.

Music Shop 360’s built in marketing tools enable you to personalize your communications and talk with them wherever they are. The tools allow you to email, text, create bounce back campaigns, loyalty and rewards programs, and meet the needs of individual customers.

If you were at NAMM you may have gone by one of our partners at the show. If you are trying to build stronger relationships with your customers you may have seen our partner Clientbook at NAMM. Music Shop 360 has integrated Clientbook’s clienteling tool into our all-in-one POS.


clientbook booth


Clienteling allows music store sales associates to expertly meet the needs of your customers by communication by text one-on-one. As a trusted partner of the customer they’ll be able to curate product selections that meet the tastes, budget, special occasions, and let the client know when the products they want are available at the best price. When your staff has an ongoing relationship with your customers they will purchase more. Clientbook’s research shows that customers spend 3.5-4x more annually and are 33% more likely to become repeat customers if they have a personalized relationship with their sales associate.

Beyond just one or two channels for making purchases from your music store business the panel pointed out that it was important to pursue multi-channel sales to meet your customers where they are.


mymusicstaff booth



Today’s customers are buying on an ever-growing number of platforms. Each member of the panel pointed out how important it is to decide how to find the right place to reach the right people.

Ripsam said, “Most purchases now involve, when consumers purchase something, they use something in the neighborhood between 3-5 channels as part of the entire experience that ultimately leads to purchase. 3-5 channels. And there is also a lot of evidence out there that consumers that use multiple channels, they actually spend a lot more than consumers that use single channels. … Those customers will do whatever they want to do that is meaningful to them. And they are using multiple channels. … These channels, they all play an important role and nobody can cover them all, but you can work with a lot of these channels and do a lot more for whatever you’re trying to do, whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer or musician. There’s a lot available.”

Cho pointed out, “It’s meeting the buyers where they are, where they’re spending time. Because chances are unless you have the most fabulous experience, they are spending most of their time learning about music… somewhere else. … On Reverb, the brands that are embracing that, the dealers that are embracing that are the ones that are seeing real success and are continuing to maintain their post-pandemic gains.”

Richarson told a story of a band leader that took it to a whole new level, “The best thing I’ve ever seen is this band Carbonleaf, and he stopped in the middle of his show and said ‘Hey everybody, take out your cellphones. Email right now and just say hi and I will send you back our new EP!’ And I was so blown away. That was his real email address! After the show I went, ‘Are you crazy? You give out your real email address? What are you doing?” And he said, ‘Every night as I’m going to the next show, I personally email every one of those people and thank them for coming. And they become fans for life. I have a genuine relationship with all of my fans.’ … Such a great idea.”

Beyond the Music Shop 360 marketing and clienteling tools, Music Shop 360’s responsive design, purchase online—pickup in-store, Reverb integration, selling on Facebook and Instagram, and a growing number of new platforms allows you to sell where your customers are.

The group closed out their five trends with a discussion of supporting your customers.

Always-on Service & Support

They talked about the need to, “super serve your customers.” At Music Shop 360 we take customer service seriously. One of our strengths is our dedication to service. We employ the very best agents and tools to exceed the expectations of our partner music retailers.


MusicShop 360 booth


If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Music Shop 360, contact us to see how we can help you grow your business.