Keeping with the theme of our current print issue, #244, “The Music Issue,” here James Chung, CEO, Triple Fat Goose (aka TFG), a men’s sportswear brand based in Sayreville, New Jersey, USA, discusses how music is integral to his brand’s image and marketing. Interview by Christopher Blomquist

Which (marketing) concepts do you follow at the moment in the fields of music in terms of your own events or sponsorships?
Given the widespread and growing presence of social media in today’s markets, we have steered our focus away from traditional sponsorships and events. Instead, we want to develop relationships with our artists and their fans by offering opportunities online. Ultimately we hope to acquire more “followers” who might someday become customers. It may just be semantics, but in growing TFG, this concept has become an integral part of our digital and overall marketing strategies.
Our main online platform for promoting TFG is the site It is a proprietary online network where bands apply to join our TFG Rep program. Once accepted, each band receives a profile to which they can add photos, videos, a bio, etc. In addition, each band can create a unique coupon code for their fans to use at If an item is purchased using a band’s code, the shopper receives a discount and the band receives a commission on that sale.
A rocket to the moon
A rocket to the moon

We are giving independent artists an opportunity to earn cash and grow their business as well as ours. They earn money that can be used to fund new projects – recording albums, paying for hotels while on tour, developing new merchandise, etc. They receive exposure on to a wider online audience of shoppers who may not have been familiar with their music. And they have an opportunity to participate in our offline events as well.
Through TFG Rep Events, we host networking mixers for bands of all genres, media and music industry personnel and fans. The events feature headline performances, open mic sessions and often promotional giveaways. We hold these events quarterly.
Beyond the TFG Rep Events, we work to promote bands by featuring them in our photo campaigns, seasonal lookbooks and special endorsements, release remixes of their songs through our website and in discussion is producing limited edition custom designs for selected artists.
Our music-related marketing initiatives, both online and offline have proven to be effective. Ultimately, we are seeking collaborators who appreciate our designs and are as passionate about their art as we are. We try to cater our marketing approach specifically to the needs of each artist - whether it is an online contest, a performance at one of our events, or styling the artist for a video shoot. Our goal is to build a genuine connection between the artist, their fans and TFG.

What role do these music-related marketing concepts play in terms of the brand image and what makes them so important?
Brand imaging is essential in developing a fashion line and assuring it reaches the right audience. Our music-related marketing efforts support this idea. We try to collaborate with artists whose style is compatible with our brand image. Basically, the bands promoting and wearing our products become representatives of the TFG lifestyle, whether it be at live performances or via online channels such as Facebook and Twitter. It is fundamental to our business that we find the right artists to convey our brand image to our customers and to their fans.

What is the return of investment you get out of these efforts - are there any examples? (increased Web traffic, Facebook users, new target groups, etc.)
Though has only been active for a short time in beta format, we have seen tangible returns on our efforts. The strong presence of independent artists and their fans on social networks has opened doors to a number of new target groups across a wide demographic. Furthermore, through the TFG Rep program, online contests and promotional merchandising with bands, we have increased our followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. We are creating a buzz and a demand for our brand – consumers are seeing our products on their favorite artists, industry professionals are applauding us for our efforts to change and impact music culture and the fashion world is taking note of our forward thinking.

The Gold Magnolias
The Gold Magnolias
Do you think that these music-related concepts reach out to new/other target groups that you maybe wouldn't reach via traditional ad campaigns? Why or why not?
Yes, we have definitely reached new target groups through our music-related marketing concepts. We haven’t married our brand to one music genre – we are supporters of independent artists from pop to hip-hop to punk and rock. Through these bands, their widespread fans and our online initiatives, we have been able to engage followers across a wide demographic and on a global level. To achieve these results via traditional media would prove costly and inefficient.

Do you think music-marketing plays a bigger role in these times of social media marketing –as videos and clips are easy to forward and spread in the internet? How are they different from traditional ad campaigns?
I think the key word here is “viral.” A successful online campaign can go viral and quickly accelerate how fast a message spreads and increase the audience it reaches. Anything–a brand, a musician, a product–could become the next big thing simply by a video’s circulation on the Internet. Music marketing, in particular, is playing a bigger role these days because social media is frequently providing new tools to promote artists. Interactive videos, for example, are likely to reach the next level of commercials and videos, enabling viewers to purchase what is in the video simply by clicking on the video image.
We take pride in bringing fashion to these artists and curating "the next best thing."  We have worked with TFG Representatives to create video look books, filmed interviews and performances with artists like Nitty Scott, MC, The Dear Hunter, and Four Year Strong, and we will be introducing more creative videos in the near future.