Aw come on!
As all FOPs (Friends of Pow!) know, I'm not as nasty or curmudgeonly as I came off a couple of posts ago.
Some emails I get are quite delightful. Gratifying, even. They make writing this blog, and giving up weekends to write the Pow! book, worthwhile. Like this one from Virgil Dickerson, who owns a tenacious little music label called Suburban Home Records in Denver, Colorado:
Andy, I just wanted to thank you for writing a really interesting book and wanted to share with you 2 recent situations that were inspired by the book. Understand that we are a small, struggling label that recently celebrated 14 years of business. In those 14 years, we have done all we can to adapt to an industry that is attempting to sell something people actively get for free.
Although I didn't know it, I have been using Surprise here and there throughout those years. Here are the 2 examples inspired by your book:
Vinyl Collective/Suburban Home introduces Whatever
Just like the soft drink company example, this got me thinking that all of our customers at our Vinyl Collective store might be up for a surprise. The excitement that ensued and the discussion it created was monumental. We sold over 300 "Whatevers" (see below) in 3 days and have sold close to 500 "Whatevers" in the weeks that followed.
It was a free album. We set up a page where anyone anywhere could pick out any of over 50 free albums for free. They put in their email, selected the album of their choice, decided if they wanted to be on our newsletter, and we sent them a free code to download one of our albums. Although people with the know-how can download our albums for free on peer to peer sites, never has an independent label done this. The press we received was huge, the response was amazing, and the praise was out of control. We have given away over 5,000 albums in less than 2 weeks and have noticed an increase in sales amongst those people.
These two projects have been 2 of the more exciting things we have ever done and I just wanted to say thanks. Your book will no doubt inspire other surprising announcements that will hopefully keep new fans coming to our little label. Thanks.
Yeah, other books may sell more, but I gotta tell you, this stuff works. Everywhere. And for everyone who has the guts to try it.
Check out Virgil's stuff and help him out by buying something.
Then join him in exploiting the power of...well, you-know-what.