Our goal with each new release we support is to bring personal attention back to indie retail, a place where independent labels and artists are still able to sell a lot of records. Distributors have unfortunately pivoted their focus away from indies by reducing their sales staff; so many retailers no longer receive calls, promos, posters, or even general new release notification. We’ve built strong relationships with buyers from all over the country, and the attention we will give to them in support of your release is certainly not unappreciated – many of them are happy to hook us up with free programs in exchange for all of the above. Colortest will create a list of 200 – 300 of the top independent record stores in the country from our extensive retail database tailored to your release (based on key markets and demographics, tour routing, past sales history and other key factors) and will then call each retailer and speak with them about the release to increase awareness and push for orders. When there is interest we will push for gratis programs and promotions (listening stations, P&P, posters and displays, in-store performances and overhead play, web and social media promotion, etc.) and follow up with promos and POP. Some of our campaigns have earned as much as $3,150 in free co-op programs, which more than pays for the campaign itself.
Throughout your campaign, we’ll send you weekly reports detailing who we’ve spoken to and their personal, store-specific thoughts and insights into the record. We’ll also let you know how many units each store has sold in the past week as well as current stock/on-order amounts. These reports include very valuable information – information that expands past the shipment numbers your distributor reports – providing a critical glimpse and understanding of where your records are going and how they are impacting a store and its surrounding community. We’ll also let you know where buyers are ordering from and will resolve any order-related issues that may arise.
Colortest offers its clients a unique opportunity to enhance each new release with merchandise options specific to the release and informed by the Artist’s fans via merchandise “bundles,” clever product packaging, limited edition products and formats for each release. When it comes to your new release, Colortest does it all.
The End Goal
Colortest works with labels, retailers and distributors not only to get your release picked up, but to also help it sell once it’s in-store. A list of all of our retail services can be found below, but our ultimate goal with each new release is to get the amazing music you make into the hands of fans across the country in a way that is both profitable and beneficial to all parties involved. We built our company on our love of music, and that foundation is evident in everything we do.
Colortest Retail Support Services
Product Solicitation: Colortest will send email notifications of your new release to all stores in our database and will customize a list of 200 – 300 stores to solicit depending on your regional/nation campaign specifics.
Promo Servicing: We will prepare a retail solicitation letter to be sent to a fully customized list of indie record stores (50 – 200) approved by the label. We can also physically service your promos from our office for an additional fee and shipping charge.
Weekly Reporting: We will provide comprehensive weekly reports of inventory tracking, sales, and visibility of your release including buyer feedback and opinions.
Tour Marketing: We will shadow your artist’s tour markets and reach out to tastemaker stores in the region to make sure they are aware of the venue and date, send POP, and arrange ticket giveaways, in-store performances, or Meet and Greets (if applicable).
Focused In-Store Promotions and Gratis Programs: We can set up display contests and prize giveaways for both consumers and store employees as incentives to buy. We will also seek out opportunities for gratis listening stations and/or product placements in place of costly retail programs.
Sales/Distribution Management: We will assist in all sales and distribution duties such as assembling a retail marketing plan and all communications with label’s distributor for physical and digital formats. We will also serve as the label’s sales department, working alongside Marketing, PR, Radio and Social Media Departments.
Vinyl Promotion: We can place special focus on vinyl releases with retailers who specialize in vinyl. Colortest will contact a special database of “Vinyl-Only” stores that focus exclusively on vinyl releases.
SoundScan Report and Social Media Analytics: Upon request, we can provide SoundScan reports and comprehensive analytics (powered by Next Big Sound ©).
Social Media Support: We’ll promote your release like it’s going out of style via Colortest’s personal Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.