Impericon are one of the most important players in the alternative music scene when it comes to band merchandise.
Martin Böttcher founded the now medium-sized e-commerce company in 2004 together with Ulrich Schröter in Leipzig. In the Redfield Podcast, the qualified business informatics specialist talks about the beginnings and first steps in the merchandise business. Predominantly at home in the area of hard music, Böttcher and Schröter first imported T-shirts from popular scene bands to Europe and later expanded the business with licenses, tour equipment and online trading.
The merchandise experts have largely remained true to this business model, and even a trademark dispute couldn't slow them down in 2011. With the involvement of customers, they changed their name from Imperial Clothing to Impericon and have been growing ever since. While, according to Böttcher, they are active in a very specific niche in which there are only a few competitors, they have noticeably expanded their range in recent years and have also initiated a real change process internally. While the most famous artists used to be hard metalcore bands like Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon or Heaven Shall Burn, merchandise items from popular rock stars like Metallica, Led Zepplin and AC/DC are now also available in the online shop, alongside streetwear and fashion contributes to the now low double-digit million annual turnover.
Böttcher and his team recognized early on how important their own brand is. They had customers model for their catalogs, had their own stands at music festivals and established their own events such as the Progression Tour or the Impericon Festivals.
In an interview with Alexander Schröder, Martin Böttcher reports on the first growth drivers, his view of the industry as well as a sales channel like Amazon and which international plans worked and which failed. Together they consider whether private labels make sense for Impericon, whether band merchandise can learn something from fashion trends and how he thinks about his own offline stores.