The Financial Times Asks an Expert!

 

I am very grateful to Jonathan Moules, the Enterprise Correspondent of the Financial Times, for asking me to contribute to the Entrepreneurship Section in the Money Supplement of the Saturday Edition of the paper.

 

Jonathan has written a piece on MixPixie – an online service which enables you to customise a CD which they then produce and send to the recipient of your choice. Jonathan explains how the business was set up by Buffie du Pon, Adam Goodyer and James Perkins as a result of a misdirected valentines present – a CD which was posted through Buffie’s letter box by mistake.  You can find MixPixie’s site here.

The company’s challenge is how to scale its business in a market where sales of CDs are declining and today’s conventional wisdom is that music delivery is only competitive online. In my view one of the USPs of this is the Social aspect of the business – the concept that you choose some tracks and design a bespoke CD cover for someone important to you and share that music with MixPixie’s product.

I felt that MixPixie really needs to reinforce this aspect of their business as well as working hard to find scalable opportunities. Using my Six Minute Strategist Methodology, I have set out Six Suggestions which MixPixie might consider to help Scale their business, five of which made it into the Financial Times article.

A Free Smart Phone App– customers can log in, mix and order their CDs from their Smart Phone or Tablet.  In order to make their product easier to access, MixPixie needs to have a “mobile” solution – an App optimised for both smart phone and tablet which would enable their customers to access their site and create a CD without having to go back to their desktop or laptop computer. This needs to be on all the main platforms: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft.   The App itself should be simple to use but should also incorporate some of the Social Media integration discussed below.

Work Directly with Musicians and Bands – a Service to promote back catalogues or “Special Mixes” for Festivals; the Bands own the rights already.  While Bands are always promoting their latest recordings, MixPixie would enable Bands to produce limited edition releases of their back catalogue which could be sold at special events, such as Gigs or Festivals. If the Bands produced these in limited numbers and signed some of them, they would make great collectibles for their fans and offer MixPixie an entry to a new market.  As the Bands already own the rights to the tracks, the project could be cost effective for both sides.

Corporate Customers – Companies are always looking for original ways to promote themselves to their clients and, in my view, a carefully selected mix of tracks at specific events could provide a very unique and appreciated gift.  This could be volume business for MixPixie and once the relationship was initiated, the CD could either be remixed for each event or the order simply repeated.

Digital Download Bonus – While I appreciate the USP of MixPixie is the CD, the real value in my view is the personalisation of the gift.  For a small additional fee, the customer could enable a digital download so that he/she could get a copy of the tracks.  It may be that this counts as two licences and may therefore only be available to the person to whom the CD is being sent.

Social Sharing on MixPixie – Social Media was made for this. Music and Sharing.  I would suggest that MixPixie have a one click enabling button so that you can share your music selection and occasion category on their site.  When new customers come seeking music for their gift occasion, they will be able to see what other people have chosen in the past.  This could be sortable by artist, songs and most popular selections to make it more useful.  This should encourage other to use the service.

Pinterest – This new and highly visual network would be the perfect place to encourage customers to post their CD designs on Occasion based Boards on Pinterest.com.  This does not necessarily need to include the personal messages but would encourage sharing and give customers ideas for gifts and designs.  Pinterest is a highly viral site and this would also increase awareness of the service as each cover pinned can be linked back to MixPixie and encourage new customers to come over and find the site.

At present there is also a great SEO advantage to Pinterest.  If you put a link in the description this gets full Google Juice back link benefit for the site.  Pinterest is currently Page Rank 6. This is entirely white hat and as Pinterest becomes an increasingly important site in Google’s eyes, this benefit will only improve over time.

They have first mover advantage and need to capitalise on it.

Vinyl next please, Miss Pixie?

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