The Retailers Strike Back

UK music retailer Virgin have confirmed that they are in negotiations to form a European online music consortium with three other un-named European retailers (perhaps HMV, Fnac & one other). They have their sights firmly set on creating a European equivalent on Echo.

But a L’Euro Echo would both get it both right and wrong:

Consumers have little or no affinity with labels, but they do with artists and (to a lesser degree retailers). As our research shows, the lion’s share of music fans are not aficionados, in search of new online brands but are ‘High Street Shoppers’ who really just want an online version of their high street store.

But the Euro Echo initiative could end up missing the point entirely if it focussed its energies on building up a big new brand. Sure, in the near term they would appeal to the niche aficionados, but they would alienate their long term core customer base and probably waste a lot of needless budget on rebranding in the process.

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