Starbucks is launching its own music label and hopes to land Paul McCartney for its first album.
What lessons can be learned from this for your business?
First, it is a matter of distribution. McDonalds is one of the largest toy vendors in the world (via Happy Meals) because of the number of outlets that it has to sell food and merchandise. Wal-Mart is the biggest vendor of DVDs for the same reason. As seen by its success in selling other labels’ CDs, Starbucks has the distribution capabilities.
You probably don’t have as many outlets as a Starbucks, McDonalds, or a Wal-Mart. But simply looking through your yellow pages, you could identify non-competing businesses that have outlets where you could sell your products and services through joint ventures.
Secondly, Starbucks discovered that music complemented its caffeine products. People who bought one would buy the other. Although it would be contrary to the company’s corporate philosophy, it could make a financial windfall by selling cigars and other tobacco-related products that also complement its drinks.
What could you profitably cross-sell that complements your existing line of products and services? Why not joint venture with someone who supplies such? You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t explore these options because your clients will never be in a better buying mood than at the time they’re already making a purchase from you.
Hat tip to Peter Lauria at the New York Post.