Could the HMV Brand Dominate the Digital Market?

News | 16th Jan

As HMV slips into administration we ask how could the HMV brand survive in a digital capacity.

Written by Kaye Neylon

Some days go down in history and Monday 15, 2013 will be remembered as the day HMV announced publicly they have brought in administrators as their 230-strong store network buckles under financial strain after two years of dropping sales figures.

Speculation of HMV’s future was rife before the Christmas period, when usually HMV reap the highest numbers. However, 2012 was entirely different for the music and DVD chain as three weeks following the festive period they announced 4,000 jobs were at risk.

The administration of what was once the UK’s most popular retail outlet has shocked few, however the question now is can the brand survive and live on once the door closes one final time?

HMV, rather unsurprisingly, has been trending on Twitter for two days and the hashtag #HMVmemories demonstrates just how big a part they have played in people’s childhood and teenage years. The recent administration announcement has evoked a seemingly positive emotional with thousands taking to Facebook to launch an appeal to ‘Save HMV’.

If you haven’t yet seen the Facebook (appeal) page, click here.

24 hours after the announcement came from HMV HQ almost 12,000 loyal brand advocates pledged to save the company from disappearing altogether showing the force of social media .

We launched our own social media experiment and asked our followers on Facebook if they will miss the chain should forever disappear from the high street.

80% of our poll respondents said they would miss HMV if the company ceased to trade altogether. The big question now is, what will HMV do next?

HMV’s outdated business model of physically selling DVDs and CDs struggled and failed to keep up with online distribution and downloads that competitors offered. The marketing team behind HMV were undeniably slow on the uptake up such an idea and as efforts began to claw back some of the once very loyal customers, it appeared it was too late.

Christmas 2012, saw the first marketing activity from the brand in over three years as they attempted to appeal to audiences with the use of ‘Nipper the dog’. however, HMV’s efforts to modernise their brand image with the uptake of their digital sector while expanding into technology were all moves in the right direction, but did not make as much of an impact on profits as expected.

HMV could extend reach into online market

There are strong indications that HMV’s best chance of brand survival would be to venture into the online market to fill the void that was left by arch rival,, after they ceased to trade directly last year. However, given the current financial climate, operating on purely one sales tactic alone would render the company obsolete within months.

There has been speculation that HMV may begin operating a smaller ’boutique’ chain and focusing its energy on records and films much like an independent specialist it was once considered before the explosion of the digital market. HMV could play on its heritage and expertise to make better use of its retail space which it has failed to do in recent years operating as a large scale chain.

As there are currently uncertainties surrounding the future of HMV, one thing is certain, the brand could find there is life after administration.

Do you think think HMV could compete in the online market? Would you miss the brand if it ceased altogether?


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