Inside The Latest Trend To Boost Your Luxury Shopping Experience

Music is such a common element in our everyday lives that we often lose track of the vital role it plays in deeply connecting people. Back in the day, the main bridge for such connection was that of the DJ, whether via radio or at a party. Yet even with the advent of streaming technology, social media and more, somehow the DJ not only still plays extremely vital parts as both disseminator of music and overall tastemaker but is now increasingly playing a stealth and impressive role in driving actual consumer sales in real-time. If we are truly in the era where nearly every consumer brand is feverishly chasing the experience economy, then get ready because the DJ is at the forefront of one of biggest, new experience trends to impact luxury shopping and wielding it all backed by state-of-the-art technology.

If you want to know about the business of DJing, Rob Principe is a more than worthy tour guide-of-sorts meets impresario. He is the founder, along with the late Jam Master Jay of the legendary rap group Run DMC, of Scratch which offers not only the leading academy offering the ability to learn the art of DJing but also Scratch Events, the stealth power behind an increase in sales and branding which just might be one of today’s best kept marketing secrets.

Now, to understand this growing phenomenon through which you’re about to wade, it’s first helpful to understand a bit about the intersection of music and human activity. Music drives our emotions and behavior in ways that are so complex that the inner workings have even been studied by MIT. Essentially, music ramps up and or deepens an experience in mysterious and intriguing ways.

That’s why years ago you might have heard some bland music piped through speakers at a local mall or ‘80s pop at a cheap gym chain. But tweak this recipe a bit and fast forward to today, and insiders are beginning to realize that the human brain activates in ways that deeply increase business if a live DJ is present playing music in real-time and, if you’re lucky, with flair.

Principe’s locked into such understanding back in 2003 and has been a pioneer at painstakingly carving out a new industry that drives that of a number of other industries ever since. Indeed, chances are if you’ve seen a DJ lately at your local Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue or Moncler boutique, Scratch Events has orchestrated the appearance along with the brand. The company is now expanding into stadium presence and hospitality. In fact last year, the company helped drive the experience economy via DJing so much so that it executed more than 12,000 different placements and says that in one day the company even did a record 450 various, national DJ placements within a 24-hour period, including the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

“Though we still have to educate about this,” explains Principe, “innovative marketers are beginning to understand that this is not just about a cool factor. DJs actually drive revenue. All the data shows that when we have a DJ in, for example, a retail outlet, the consumer stays longer and the spend increases. They start to get lost in the experience of the music, lose track of time, and next thing you know, they are at the register buying more than they had originally intended. Each of our clients shows the same data over and over.”

Indeed, record labels, genres, distribution formats all may fade, but music itself is only gaining in popularity. The intriguing thing is that the DJ remains a constant primarily because he or she controls the experience, facilitates the sharing and drives the emotion in a way that we mere mortals can’t given the equipment and expertise. And if the click-and-mortar trend that, say, companies such as Casper and Samsung have ushered in continues to build as many believe it will, the DJ will be become even more vital in creating an ambiance that is saturated in experience.


DJs drive the luxury retail experience
DJ at the Burberry boutique at Saks 5th Avenue, New York City.

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