Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) is going to host a free, in-store concert series in some of its stores this spring and summer, highlighting indie bands. It may be tempting to theorize that perhaps the retailer's losing some focus as it vies for customers, but not so fast.

According to a press announcement, the Free Yr Radio tour will benefit noncommercial radio stations, and came about after a similarly themed brand partnership between Urban Outfitters and Toyota (NYSE:TM) Motor Sales, USA at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Urban Outfitters and Toyota are both involved in the Free Yr Radio tour, too, with giveaways of a Yaris at each of the scheduled shows. Bands on the roster include The Rapture, Dinosaur Jr., and "U.K. sensation" Klaxons, to name a few.

Radio's difficulties are well known, given the cookie-cutter approach of many of the corporate stations run by CBS and Clear Channel as they position themselves for ad dollars or the fact that musical diversity and choice seem to have fled to satellite providers XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) and Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) -- or Internet radio or one's own iTunes playlists, for that matter. It's no wonder it's tough for independent radio stations to survive given this climate -- several years ago I discussed the sad demise of one venerated, once-indie radio station here in D.C., WHFS, and foresaw a tough future for radio altogether.

The type of young people who listen to indie music are just the demographic that Urban Outfitters strives to appeal to, so the idea of free shows in its stores makes a lot of sense -- with the benefit to non-commercial radio furthering the good mojo. Furthermore, the significant number of large, urban street locations the retailer has picked for its stores are good venues -- I know many of the Urban Outfitters I've been to give off a clubby atmosphere anyway.   

It also makes one think of other retailers and consumer brands that take advantage of such opportunities (or don't). Consider Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick Volcom (NASDAQ:VLCM) -- it bolsters its brand's anti-establishment theme by producing and distributing music and video that go hand-in-hand with board culture. Then there's goth retailer Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT) -- I've long wondered why it hasn't better leveraged its musical focus, although Hot Topic management recently said innovations are on the way, including a search for a chief music officer.

Urban Outfitters has never been a big mainstream advertiser; its success has relied on grassroots, word-of-mouth buzz, which I believe has also given it much more of a non-mainstream, non-commercial feel than big advertisers like Gap (NYSE:GPS). The sense of authenticity a non-commercial perception brings about is the logical strategy when it comes to the customer base that Urban Outfitters targets (although there's always the irony that it is, indeed, a commercial enterprise). It seems to me that this is yet another signal that Urban Outfitters knows what the individualistic people it wants to cater to are all about, and as a shareholder, that gives me the feeling that all is well with its brand strategy and its plans for getting the word out.    

Volcom is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Gap has been recommended by Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Motley Fool Inside Value.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Urban Outfitters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.