Chris Reed
Jan 27, 2015

A State of Trance: Customer-centric music power brand inspires

What started as a dance genre has become a multi level marketing operation unparalleled in global music for the strength of it’s brand, loyalty of its fans, variety of its interactive aspects and longevity of it’s brand strength.

A State of Trance: Customer-centric music power brand inspires

Armin Van Buuren’s amazing music superbrand A State of Trance (ASOT) celebrates 700 shows this week with a massive show and celebratory events in Sydney and Melbourne.

It all started in 2001 and remains a weekly two hour radio show as its foundation. With an estimated 20 million listeners, spread over more than 74 countries, ASOT is broadcast on over 150 FM radio-stations and globally through satellite and internet radio. ASOT is one of the most popular dance radio shows in the world.

Armin’s own radio platform ArminRadio.com feeds the rest of the world (powered by Spotify) along with those who download the show through various torrent players. Compelling content is key to the success of the show and the brand.  DJ’s and artists of all kinds compete to be featured on the show with either promotional tracks or new releases.

Armin has created a monthly ASOT Radio top 20 download through itunes. He also produces monthly podcasts. Armin also produces his own annual album release of new material. This must make him one of the hardest working musicians in the industry.

Events are the other key to the ASOT brand. Armin must be one of the busiest artists around. He tours and holds events, often live recordings of his show, all over the world. This simultaneously makes great content and propels the ASOT live brand and generates great revenues.

One of the many straplines of the show is that the music is “for you, by you”. Fans vote on weekly tracks to be the Future Favourite, Tune of the Week and the top ones get featured on the show. He also creates a weekly Twitter handle where fans can give feedback on what they have heard in that week’s show. He also promotes his email address which he claims only he reads. Customer engagement and customer feedback is central to the success of ASOT.

No coincidence then that the anthem for ASOT 700 is “Together”. Armin very much believes that the radio shows, the live shows, the music are chosen one way or the other by the audience. “Together we will make a great Show 700” he has being saying.

Armin is very putting customer experience and customer sentiment first. It’s all about them for him. He knows where his money is and he knows that everything starts and ends with the customer. Without them he wouldn’t have got to mega-brand status in music with it’s very fickle nature, especially in the dance world.

Armin loves birthdays of the brand too. A State of Trance 600 involved a 10 week world tour with 12 shows in 11 different countries. Drawing a total of more than 200,000 visitors and millions of online listeners to ‘The Expedition’ world tour, including sold out shows in Madrid, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Minsk, Sofia, Beirut, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Miami, Guatemala, New York and finally Den Bosch.

Armin van Buuren ended his successful A State of Trance 600 world tour with the grand finale in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. Nearly 30,000 visitors from 80 different countries travelled to the Brabanthallen for the final event of the tour, which was the biggest trance event in Europe.

Every year, at the end of December, the listeners are able to vote for their absolute favourites of the show, from which the ‘A State of Trance Top 20 2014’ is compiled. One week later, in the last episode of the year, Armin blends the best tunes of that year into a 2 hour year mix that is also released as a 2-disc album. He never misses a trick to give his fans new and fresh content in every form they could possibly want.

Armin has his TV Channel Armada TV, his own shopping network, ArmadaMusicShop.com, his own record label Armada Music where he publishers his own music as well as other artists. There is no end to his entrepreneurialism.

He must also be a marketeer at heart. he has many customer centric brand sayings. he even has a responsible one that the music “is for your ears not your neighbours”.

Social media wise A State of Trance is immense.  1.2 million followers on ArminRadio.com whcih is powered by Spotify, 1 million followers on facebook, 300k on Twitter,  300k on YouTube, 1.3 million on Google+ (which must be rarity to have more Google+ followers than facebook ones).

He’s on Tumblr, he has 300k followers on Instagram, 120,000 followers on SoundCloud,  the list is endless. Well not completely, I can’t find him on LinkedIn! I can though find his record company Armada Music on the company pages although it could do with an update as the last one was 9 months ago.

Armin really gets the fact that he has to share unique and  compelling content with his fans for them to share. There isn’t a relevant social media platform that he’s not on. There is no end in sight for the brand which appears to just be getting stronger, larger and more multi faceted. Here’s to the next 700 shows.

 

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