HMV kicks off new brand direction with online overhaul

HMV has overhauled its online presence with a new, more editorially-focused site as it looks to re-exert its brand authority and customer experince through online channels.

The site, created by Manchester-based agency Code Computerlove, replaces a temporary one the store had been using since its acquisition from its administrators Hilco Capital in April, and has been designed to build engagement with customers via a more editorial-focused approach.

The move marks a new “creative and strategic” approach to the brand’s online strategy, which is a vital part of its future direction under its new ownership.

HMV chairman Paul McGowan said: “Everything we’re doing with HMV is focused on engagement, content and curation – all the things that HMV lost sight of in recent years.

“The passion within the business for the products we sell, the specialist knowledge and ability to recommend and guide our customers – from store staff to the team in head office – is second to none and the new hmv.com. brings that to the forefront.”

The brand has recruited an editorial team to manage the site, while staff across the company’s chain of 142 UK stores will also be encouraged to contribute with content.

The aim is to develop the site to become more personalised to individual visitors’ tastes, with content and ads becoming tailored to a specific user’s interests and past purchases.

Meanwhile the site’s transactional features will also be developed over time, with more ways to buy across all categories – music, games, films and TV – introduced.

HMV general manager Caroline Pesch said: “As a hub for entertainment, a key element of the site is the sense of community and ease of use for finding local and relevant information. In addition to editorial features and reviews store staff can post their own picks and tips based on what’s happening on a local level. This is just phase one of the new site; as it develops we will be introducing lots more new and exciting functionality. The volume of content available will grow daily.”

The site will be populated with a range of exclusive content including footage, interviews and backstage photos from events, which have seen acts from Beady Eye, Paul McCartney, Vamps, Lawson, Matt Goss, and Manic Street Preachers.

The news follows the launch of HMV’s digital music store last week, which incorporates 30-second track previews into music articles and lets customers find and purchase MP3 downloads across all platforms including PCs, Android, Apple and Windows Phone. The new site will integrate with the music store.

The site, launched today in the UK, will roll out to HMV Canada and HMV Ireland early next year, with each to have its own local content along with the internationally-generated content.

Hilco Capital acquired HMV Canada in June 2011 and HMV UK from its administrators in April 2013.

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