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The release of Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ CD has reached #1 in the U.S. charts this week. This is her seventh album yet the first to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and according to Nielson SoundScan she sold a total of 238,000 copies in her first week.
After the end of a strenuous 777 promo Tour and the seemingly failed chartered jet exploit filled with disgruntled journalists having no stories to report, this is the light at the end of a “strategically placed marketing” tunnel.
She created a lot of anticipation for this album by using a different strategy. She released a “Diamonds Deluxe Edition” box for $79 and a “Diamond Executive Platinum Edition” box for $250, which contain a plethora of paraphernalia:
Among the gifts in the Diamonds Deluxe Edition box are , A t-shirt featuring a Michael Muller photo of Rihanna taken during her ‘Unapologetic’ album photo shoots, a limited-edition genuine diamond bracelet, 7 Laptop stickers featuring artwork by Mario Hugo, ‘Unapologetic’ album and “Diamonds” single artwork, the Unapologetic Deluxe CD version with a 28-page photo and art booklet featuring Michael Muller and Melissa T. Forde photography, a 20-minute DVD featuring unreleased footage and a Fan Mosaic poster featuring members of Rihanna’s Navy.
The Diamond Executive Platinum box includes the afore mentioned items above along with a special edition collectible colored “Diamonds” remixes vinyl, A Rihanna Unapologetic 2GB Credit Card style USB Flash Memory Drive, 7 Art print 12 x15 lithographs featuring Michael Muller photography, a Magnus Voll Mathiassen illustration and exclusive unreleased Rihanna ‘Unapologetic’ images, 3 Device Adhesives featuring Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ cover, logo and image, 11×17 Rihanna handwritten personal note to her Navy, A Rihanna 3D experience View-Master, A 40-page custom Rihanna notebook with handwritten notes and lyrics.
While some may consider it too expensive, it is an ingenious idea that was created for those who are affluent shoppers during this holiday season and to help her brand reach sales goals overall.
The affluent shoppers are expected to spend over 20 percent more this year and luxury retailers can expect a splurge in holiday spending according to the 2012 Q4 Annual Survey of Affluence & Wealth in America. Affluent shoppers don’t have to worry about where their money goes so they can afford the Rihanna “experience” and enjoy the commodities.
On a marketing level, people aren’t necessarily buying the music but the promotional excitement that surrounds it. The pitch for the luxury items are something for the affluent consumer and those that love Rihanna the brand want everything it entails.
Her brand is being looked at as a business and according to Ann C. Logue on entrepreneur.com “businesses prefer a larger margin in order to increase profits, so there is a natural desire to find ways to limit competition. In a healthy market, this happens by introducing better products and services, not by cutting prices.” By adding incentives and gifts to increase the value and price point more consumers are drawn in to purchase and she earns her more money.
Logue also said that, “If a product has network effects–if it becomes more valuable the more people use it–then a low price can get it into the hands of more people and help your business set the standard. On the other hand, a high price can enhance the positioning of a product as a unique or luxury item.” So those that can’t afford the luxury can just get the album for $9.99 at iTunes and Amazon while the high prices of the boxes makes her brand a luxury.
Both the “Diamonds Deluxe Edition” box and the “Diamonds Executive Platinum Edition” box will be released in limited quantities and will be available December 11 on the rihanna.fanfare.com official site.
Image Courtesy : Rihanna