High-performance audio shops are decidedly male populated locations. So, when I saw pictures from a “Guy’s Night Out” event held by Hi-Fi Buys in Atlanta, featuring high-performance cars, cigars, and more, My snarky comment on their Facebook page was “When have you scheduled the “Girl’s Night Out” event?”
As with any marketing event the secret to a successful and well-attended event is partnering with other firms and folks whose market overlaps your own, but with different products. A hair salon, clothing store, jewelry shop, sporting goods specialist, shoe shop, cosmetologist, gym, and even chiropractor are all possible candidates and categories for small one-on-one displays or demos during an in-store event. And there would be music and audio gear as well BTW.
Hardcore audio enthusiasts might see this kind of event as nothing more than transparent pandering which would dilute the purity of the audio hobby. But once you realize that the “hard-core” audiophile hasn’t been pulling their economic weight purchase-wise for years, this is less of a desperation move and more of a rational attempt to move into 21st century marketing techniques.
Of course once you get someone inside your shop the next step is figuring out what to say to them. While I found the demonstrations at the most recent Music Matters event at Listen Up in Denver interesting, I seriously doubt the same spiels would be effective at a “Girl’s Night Out” event. Instead of talking tech, the presentations would need to be about what ergonomic and lifestyle advantages come along with high-performance audio. And there are many.
While I’m not about to go all Field of Dreams on you and suggest that by merely holding one “Girl’s Night Out” a retailer’s economic fortunes will turn for the better overnight. But putting some sales focus and energy into a different segment of consumers than who they’ve been courting for the last sixty years might be a good idea for those retailers who want to be around for the next decade.