Sunday, April 01, 2012

Help Us Re-Brand Decatur CD

They say "change is good," and we're banking on the truth of that statement in these coming months. Times are tough, as you know, and we've been duking it out with the best of 'em these past eight years. But the music-buying public is not what it once was, and in order to survive as a doggedly independent, brick-and-mortar shop, we're going to have to adapt to those changes, while finding a feasible way to lower our day-to-day costs.

We can't move. Good ol' 356 W. Ponce is our home; relocation doesn't make sense. We can't cut back our staff, because three people is already pretty bare bones. Frankly, we could use an extra set of hands around here sometimes, but the money just isn't there. The only way we can feasibly save money would be to stop selling CDs.

Let that one sink in for a moment.

Crazy, right? It sure sounded insane when Young Eliot first brought it up, about six months ago, several beers into a Decatur CD staff meeting. We laughed at the notion initially, but the more we examined the possibilities, the limitless potential, the more we realized this was the way to go--this was the way we were going.

This transition will take some time, of course, but we're working with a local tech company to create download kiosks for the store. Once they get us a prototype, we'll blog photos and describe the features in further detail. But from our talks so far, these stations are going to be awesome. You'll be able to download music straight to your smartphone, iPod, thumb drive--whatever you prefer. You can burn the music to a disc right there, email it to yourself so it's on your home machine, etc. It'll be the ultimate in convenience. Our thinking is that we've developed relationships with all of you, and there's a mutual trust there. We hope you'll be willing to come in, have a beer with us, listen to music on these stations, and download here instead of through iTunes, Amazon and similar services. You'll still be able to talk with us about what we're digging, what's selling, and so on. We think it's the best of both worlds.

After we have the machines, we'll hold a massive, everything-must-go clearance sale on the thousands of CDs here. It's going to be hard to watch it all go, but it's for the best. You'll definitely want to take advantage of the massive savings. We've also found an overstock company in Florida that's agreed to buy whatever we've got left over after the sale. Finally, we'll still do special orders, most of which we can get the next day as usual, for those of you who require a physical copy. But we won't carry stock anymore.

Going forward, we're developing a swanky vinyl room in the very back of the store (Ask to check it out next time you're in! It's almost finished.) that'll give you guys your wax fix. Unlike CDs, which are relatively easy to sneak out the door, vinyl LPs are too big to steal, so we feel comfortable having an intimate spot in the back for browsing. Once the dust settles, we're planning on installing an in-store performance stage on our west-facing wall, too. Getting touring bands to stop by is going to be a bigger priority for us in the future, and we'll be recording and releasing all of the performances as digital downloads.

Unfortunately, we've also had to come to terms with the fact that it would be foolish of us to call the store Decatur CD when we no longer stock CDs. So, we brainstormed a few new names and had a graphic-designer friend mock up a few logos. Here they are:

Obviously, we wouldn't be here without your support, which is why we want your feedback on the impending name change. Please let us know which of the three options above you like best. Customer votes will weigh heavily on our decision. And if you have any other questions or concerns, please send them our way. This is going to be an interesting time, but we trust you'll stick with us. Thanks, as always, for loving music and hanging out with us. We appreciate it more than you know.


At 1:20 PM, Anonymous CL said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger FM Fats said...

Music is all shite these days anyway.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Connor said...

Digital Decatur!

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous dagmar said...

Good luck with your transformation! Some more name suggestions:

Decatur Downloads

Decatur Music

Digital Music Decatur

At 9:47 AM, Blogger FM Fats said...

Another suggestion: Decatur Downloads of Crap Music Compressed to Near Unlistenable Levels to Play on your Lousy Headphones through your Damned Telephone.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decatur Tunes or Decatur Music seem like they would get the fact that it's still a music shop across better than some of the more abstract options. It's going to take people a minute to wrap their heads around going to a physical location to download music, no reason to muddy up the waters by making the name too abstract.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous said...

My only criticism is that your name not henge on being something so specific. Like your former name, Decatur CD, who knows where music will come from ten years from now! I think with the new direction your taking use something that incorporates all the new things your doing into one. Decatur Music, Decatur City Music, something along those lines. I've bought from your store for a long time, can't wait to see what you guys do. Best of luck with everything.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Larry Watts said...

I agree that your new name should not directly reference any particular format or technology. With that in mind, how about the multi-faceted "Decatur Grooves"?

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone just pointed out to me that this was an April 1 post.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger FM Fats said...

How about "Criminal Downloads"?

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still pretty convinced that this has to be an April Fool's Day joke since none of it even begins to make sense. Just about every aspect of that plan could be accomplished without removing every CD in the shop, save for the kooky kiosks. I mean, why would anyone go to a store to download stuff? The convenience factor is one of the major draws of downloading music! And if getting into the e-music game is the crux of the reason for such an extreme plan, the downloading aspect of things could be brought into the fold by developing a stronger online presence. Take a look at stores like Criminal Records in L5P ( or, a brick and mortar store that completely rebranded itself to promote an online catalog. It's gotta be a big, weird Andy Kauffman-esque joke...right? Please?


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