As well as an obvious keen interest in vinyl records, I am also into my beer. You wouldn’t think that the two have a link, but they do.
It is obvious that that the big brands have got the advertising budget to make their beer a big seller. A beer like Heineken ticks all the boxes. It is a good example of its kind as far as flavour and style goes… and obviously they have a huge marketing budget to go with it.
The question is then, how come the craft beer scene is taking away a healthy percentage of the market from the big brewers like Heineken?
“In 2013, craft brewers reached 7.8 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 6.5 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 14.3 percent in 2013, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $14.3 billion, up from $11.9 billion in 2012”
BREWERS ASSOCIATION – USA
How can SMALL record labels create this kind of growth? By offering the same kind of bespoke, niche product as the Craft Brewers. Naturally, with the economies of large business it is not viable to hand finish all your products. Small breweries can spend more time over every brew, do small runs of special ales, and quickly tweak the finished product to meet the demands and taste changes of the consumer.
Record Labels can do a similar thing. Hand Stamping records, finishing off their sleeve art themselves, and quickly responding to trends in music tastes are something that a small company can do much more easily than a big one. Also you can charge a premium price if the end consumer is aware they are getting a more bespoke product. The key is to think on your feet, and respond to quickly to any changes that you see approaching that may directly effect you.