My friend has a thing about band merch. Say you were sitting at a bar and wanted to wind him up real quick, all you’d have to do is mention the subject and off he’d go.
Why band merch? Can’t say exactly. We were the type of young music fans to never so much as lay a pinky upon a guitar —closest we came to being in a band was some failed escapade backstage. We had slipped through a side door left ajar by a bouncer and tumbled up a flight of stairs. I remember a hallway, cream-colored and quiet — static to our ears after a night of rock. We glimpsed the front man (or someone of his likeness) enter a nearby room and advanced instinctively, preparing neither explanation nor word of introduction. Naturally, the worst happened. We found ourselves in the company of security. All we could mumble was, gulp, ‘exit?’.
That’s my roundabout way of saying, we couldn’t have faked it for a second. His preoccupation wasn’t some personal bitterness at having not quite ‘made it’. Because, as I just mentioned, there wasn’t ever no band. It was raw entrepreneurial ambition. That, and the fact he’d spent many an evening half-drunk in a concert hall.
Just start with the useless dude manning the till, what an absolute moron, my friend would say, or something along those lines. Sitting there, idling over his phone, not selling nothing. If you let him, he’d continue; probably tweeting out; ‘@merchstand biz bad as usual’. Though, quite frankly, who can blame the lack of hustle, the whole is setup is flawed to begin with.
Say you’d taken up that seat at the bar and given him full rein of the conversation, this is how my friend would lay it out for you.
It came down to two factors; delivery and variety. The first my friend called ‘carry-ability’, by which he meant, no one wanted to lug a t-shirt over their shoulder for the evening, or line up after the show. The answer? QR Codes and tablets. Tap through to home delivery. Bingo. Second, greater possible range online. The inefficiencies, he’d say eyes to the ceiling. If you let him go on still, he’d mention custom-ability, scale-ability, profit-ability.
He hasn’t quite whittled it down to your eleven second elevator pitch, though, I suppose that’s why we enjoy asking him.