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The day I gave my CD to a Coffee Shop
By Cyrus Rhodes - 06/29/2010 - 01:01 AM EDT

One day I went to get a quick cup of coffee at a typical local Starbucks & noticed something quite interesting. There was the typical line for coffee, & the wait for coffee that morning was anywhere between 5-10 minutes. As I stood in line I noticed something directly in front of me -  A rack of CD’s for sale by various artists just to the left of the line within arms reach. As I stood there I grabbed the latest “Cold Play” CD to look at it, & put it back on the rack.

As I sat & drank my coffee I witnessed other customers do the exact same thing I did as they waited in line, examining the CD’s while they were waiting for their morning fix. One of the customers said “Is this new Cold Play playing in the background?" The barista said “Yeah that’s it playing.” It was at this time I realized something. I realized how powerful this marketing tool was. The psychological mindset of some of these customers waiting in line, during that 5-10 minute time window many patrons had this experience - a heightened attention span while they waited for coffee. Kind of like the guy who hands out news papers to people waiting in line at the Ferry Terminal. You will more than likely buy on so you can pass the time. Was this CD rack there by accident, or was it carefully planned strategy by Starbucks?   

So the next day I went to several mom & pop coffee shops around Seattle & asked the owners if they wouldn’t mind selling one of my labels CD’s I had just produced & we  could split the profits 50/50. I placed the CD’s directly to the left in an area clearly visible to the waiting customers. Within arms reach, & playing in the background. The actual CD in question was a CD I had produced earlier that year known as Drum Dynasty. More information about the project can be found here. Drum Dynasty featured New Age Ambient music with Intense Worldly Rhythms – pretty compatible for most Coffee house clientel.  

The verdict - The operation was a complete success as I came back 2 weeks later to find all the units were sold! BOTTOM LINE - I believe it was no coincidence the CD rack was where it was within the Starbucks Coffee House that day. It created the perfect Point of Sale mindset & environment - that subsequently drove the consumer to the Point of Sale. Many artists should think outside the box like this to find new & creative ways to sell their music to their fanbase, instead of the shout out from the stage "Hey buy our CD after the show!" 

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