Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

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Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by parametric »

When all the BallyHoo of the "Trade Shows" has subsided - with all the glitz and rows of smiling faces . . . . . .

How about a thought for your customers? - y'know - the ones excluded from your "Trade Shows" . . . . .

Online vids don't really cut it when considering an (often not inconsiderable) purchase . . . .

No-one in their right mind would consider buying an Axe or a Board WITHOUT laying hands on it . . . .

Due to the growth of online sales - Shops are rapidly disappearing . . . .

INVEST in your customer base. Give us a Show - or even SHOWS - where we can see and try your offerings,

ALL in one place . . . . . (make a day of it . . . . .)

The British Music Fair (BMF) was GREAT. I loved it - and miss it terribly . . . .

I feel if the Majors put their heads together over this - then the rest would coalesce in a "Me Too" kind of a way . . .

Remember - WITHOUT Us lot BUYING your kit - you'd all be on the Dole . . . . :think:

parametric 8-)


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

Flashy promotional videos are easy to make and can control the first-contact experience. They often feature musicians with mad skills or add a bit of sound processing ...(they don't do THAT..) :o .

People love the real trade show experience.. things you can lay your actual hands on and listen to with your actual ears. Music companies and music stores should work in consort, present new products, and interact with actual musicians ... not the faceless collective known as "the consumer".
Maybe music companies think that if they entice people with carefully metered-out videos, they are generating more anticipation. After the NAMM drum roll, that's the very thing that makes some offerings fall flat.

I like trade shows. They are loads of fun. Andy and I go to bi-annual rock and jewelry shows, or shows for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. We'll be going to an RV show at the end of the month. We won't be looking at photos, we'll be smelling the new RV smell and running our hands over the countertops. Same thing with instruments you can actually look at, listen to, and touch. People get excited and they spend money. They often end up buying something different from what they were planning to because they fall in love with something else. They had the opportunity to see the real thing. That's the fun of it.


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by tux »

parametric wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:36 amGive us a Show - or even SHOWS - where we can see and try your offerings,
That's so last century... :wink:
These days you are supposed to order online what appeals to you after watching the promotional youtube videos and then send back what you don't like. 30 days free trial at home beats a few minutes at a busy trade show.


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by Saul »

The main problem with large music instrument shows is cost. Here in the UK it is prohibitively expensive to put on a big show. Where do you hold it for a start? Olympia? The O2? NEC? Not only is it crazy expensive..which in turn puts up the entry fee but there are always going to be large swathes of the public who cannot get to these places.

Next you have the problem of noise. The last show I went to was the UK Guitar Show at Olympia. It was completely pointless trying any of the acoustic guitars there as you were drowned out by all the electric players with amps turned up to maximum and walls of effects on the go. It was a cacophony of noise and my ears were ringing when we left.

That was also my experience of the last big UK music fair I visited back in the early 90's. All the big names were there. It was a huge show but, you couldn't hear yourself think let alone try any of the instruments. Even testing a Yamaha SY85 with headphones I could still hardly hear it for all the noise around me.

I suppose yes it is nice to be able to pick up a guitar and get a feel for it, even if you cannot hear it. Likewise it is nice to be able to feel the build quality of a keyboard and checkout the action of the keys etc. But I have to say, overall, my experience of these big shows is expensive, noisy and stressful.

As Tux said, buy online, try in the comfort of your own home and send it back if you don't like it (Y)


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by parametric »

tux wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:28 pm These days you are supposed to order online what appeals to you after watching the promotional youtube videos and then send back what you don't like. 30 days free trial at home beats a few minutes at a busy trade show.
That is so THIS Century ;) . . . . . :roll:

Manufacturers sit on their Arses while the Customer does the running around? It's Crap.

Customer DIS-service describes it well.

Add to that - when stuff gets damaged in transit, it opens another can of worms - Who broke what - when?

Meantime - the customer is WITHOUT his purchase for an undisclosed amount of time and dependant on any number of

nameless faceless individuals who may or may not "Give a Damn".

The old "Who cares - we've GOT the money" routine . . .

NO. I prefer to get all that over and done and DECIDED, BEFORE I hand over the Money . . . .

Less Stress all round . . .

. . . . perhaps a SHOP is the only way? there are still one or two in the UK which Don't suffer from the Noise problem,

but for how long? We've well and truly shot ourselves in the foot with this online-mania . . . . .

Perhaps the VENUES need to re-think their Greed position - then put their heads together with those who wish to BUY

their facilities, and come up with an affordable option that works for ALL interested parties?

Perhaps it will still require one or two to "Go to the Wall" through falling Sales - before common sense dawns? :roll:

Who knows?

parametric


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by Saul »

It's just not going to happen. No one is going to plough money into a large music show in the UK. The cost vs benefits thing just doesn't pan out in the manufacturers favor. And they are businesses after all. Their primary motive is to make money. If they keep us happy at the same time that's a bonus but not it isn't the the prime objective.

Online sale are booming. Currently 16% of ALL sales in the UK are online and that is growing year on year. Delivery services are growing to match. I can order a keyboard any time today and have it delivered in the morning. I can unpack it, set it up, play around with it and if I don't like it, send it back to have it replaced with something different or get a full refund.

That beats the hell out of driving to my nearest store which would be 15 miles away...assuming they not only had what I wanted in stock but also available to demo, which is not always the same thing. Then I have the parking etc and the massive hassle of returning the product if there is a problem. Because buying in store doesn't afford you the same ease of return as buying online.

If I have to go further afield then we are looking at half a day gone plus the expense of getting there and back again.

Why do all that when I can simply click a button and wait until the morning?

Ideally of course we would have stores all over the place and be able to pop in, try something and buy it there and then. Unfortunately those days are long gone and they are not coming back. Overheads are too high and profit margins too small.

My local guitar store is shutting down. Reason being they simply cannot hold the sort of stock that would make them competitive or interesting enough for people to walk through the door. If you wanted to buy a Tanglewood then you would be in luck. Anything else and you need to go elsewhere. I am pretty sure the ridiculous business rates didn't help either. It's demise was inevitable :(

Even if we did have a big show it would not be much good for actually making purchases. Most manufacturers only have demo gear on show and the retail products won't be in stores for sometimes many months later. Sure you have some retailers also attending but they can't bring all their stock with them. And apparent "show bargains" are not always what they seem.

The world has definitely changed...for the better? I'm not sure. Some things are better, some are worse but that is just the way it has always been.

Maybe there will be opportunities once we are out of the EU. In some ways we will have to force opportunities and look to different ways of getting things done so, perhaps I am wrong and the British music industry will shake things up a bit and return the UK to where it once was, the centre of the music world :)


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by Patrick »

parametric wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:36 am When all the BallyHoo of the "Trade Shows" has subsided - with all the glitz and rows of smiling faces . . . . . .

How about a thought for your customers? - y'know - the ones excluded from your "Trade Shows" . . . . .

Online vids don't really cut it when considering an (often not inconsiderable) purchase . . . .

No-one in their right mind would consider buying an Axe or a Board WITHOUT laying hands on it . . . .

Due to the growth of online sales - Shops are rapidly disappearing . . . .

INVEST in your customer base. Give us a Show - or even SHOWS - where we can see and try your offerings,

ALL in one place . . . . . (make a day of it . . . . .)

The British Music Fair (BMF) was GREAT. I loved it - and miss it terribly . . . .

I feel if the Majors put their heads together over this - then the rest would coalesce in a "Me Too" kind of a way . . .

Remember - WITHOUT Us lot BUYING your kit - you'd all be on the Dole . . . . :think:

parametric 8-)
I must not be in my right mind cause I purchased my KRONOS and my MODX without ever playing one, lol.
I guess I go more by the sounds of a synth and the reputation of a company.
After playing a CASIO XW-P1 for awhile I learned that I can deal with even the worst keybeds.

I live way out in the country and it is a pain to go to crowded music stores and such.
Plus I am a recluse.

I do get that most people judge a synth by its keys, and perhaps my case is more an exception to the rule, so to speak.
But I will say that I just do not get the judge a synth by the keybed thing.
I do get it, but only to a degree.
Its like people say you cant judge a CS-80 just by hearing it.
You have to play it to appreciate it.
For me that just isn't true.
My ears are trained enough to know what sounds good and what doesn't, and it is all about the sound for me.
I would not buy a guitar without testing it, but only cause there are way more variables to its playability.



I do pretty much agree with you parametric,
I am just stating the exceptions.


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by Saul »

Certainly I would agree with you Patrick. It has to sound right or everything else really doesn't matter.

Speaking for myself personally the key action is near the top of my list just because I am more interested in acoustic pianos than anything else. It makes teasing out those little nuances just that little bit easier if the keys are of good quality.

Can't say I would feel any more comfortable sitting in a music store trying out a keyboard or guitar than I would at a music show. The ONLY time I have been comfortable sitting in a music store trying guitars was once many years ago when I bought the CPX700 and again when I bought the Epiphone CJ200CE.

I bought the CPX700 from Hobgoblin music. I was the only one in the store and the guy running it was very happy to let me try as many guitars as I wanted and take as long as I needed. No pressure, no sales gimmicks. Just let me get on with it.

The second time was at GuitarGuitar in Epsom. I was shown to a spacious soundproofed booth and the sales guy would leave me there for maybe 15 minutes at a time, only returning with more guitars for me to try out. Must have spent at least two hours there. Great service and excellent staff.

Those experiences though are far and few between. Mostly you are stuck in a room full of people. Struggling to hear the guitar over a combination of damned annoying background music and people talking.

These days I would rather browse the web. Do all the research I need. Order the product. Have it delivered next day. And then spend a bit of time in the quiet comfort of my own home carefully testing the instrument to see if it truly fits my needs :)


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

With natural wood, each acoustic guitar sounds differently. With high-end brands, you know they will be consistently excellent I suppose. Fortunately, in Washington, the Guitar Center has a private room so you can really hear the nuances. There is that guitar you fall in love with when you try it out. That happened to me.

The keyboards were in three different locations. I don't remember the categories but I made a bee-line to the one room where the arranger keyboards were. The two rooms had a really private feel even though they were stocked on the shelves with different models to try. Thankfully people were considerate. The popular sellers were out in the open area. When I tried to choose between 2 keyboards, I was able to hear the difference. Music stores have huge overhead and they are becoming few and far between.

Most privately owned music stores don't have the inventory and if you live in a small city, like I did, you don't have a choice. I would feel really compelled to shop the big music shops online if I knew I could send a large item back for free. (You can with Amazon Prime). Shipping a large instrument is expensive. I shipped back a guitar one time. (My budget is smaller so maybe that isn't a big deal to most). With a big-ticket item, it would be worth it to ship it back. I would be surprised if big web stores let you ship back for free if you don't like it.

But online music stores have some great prices, very competitive, and I would feel comfortable if I've heard the instrument before. I wonder if promotional videos have considerable sound processing? I buy music accessories online always. I buy most everything online, and usually through Amazon Prime.

I wish music manufacturers would make a BUNCH of prototypes instead of only a few so trade shows could be a regional thing, with some involvement from local music shops (trade shows like the ones Andy and I go to). That way, there could be new product exposure without it being such an exclusive thing. It would still be swamped with crowds, no doubt, but include the average buyer. It takes forever after NAMM for things to hit the shops. But, yeah, it would be expensive..maybe not doable.


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by Saul »

I don't mind paying to ship something back to the store if I just don't like the product and want to change it for something else. I have probably saved three or four times the shipping cost just by having the item delivered to me. And of course I have had the pleasure of trying it out in my own home without any noise or pressures of time and eager sales staff working out their commision ;)

If it is faulty of course then the return cost is down to the retailer who in turn is reimbursed by the distributor or manufacturer.

Every acoustic guitar is different. There are no two guitars the same, which I think is a wonderful thing :)

It's a shame that my nearest store GAK doesn't have any soundproof booths in the acoustic part of the store. Or at least I have never seen them. It can be difficult at times to hear what you are playing :(

Thing is, I like to spend a LOT of time with an instrument before I feel really comfortable with it. There are so many things you only discover after many hours playing and trying things out that you would never have discovered in a store environment.

It is sad that we have lost so many bricks and mortar stores and there are many more disappearing all the time but I cannot see a solution other than to either scrap business rates or vastly reduce them for a few years. Also we need to cut all the red tape that often drowns the small business owner and reduce the cost of startup. At the moment there is very little incentive for new people to come into the market :(


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Re: Customers (Remember them?) both existing AND Prospective . .

Unread post by parametric »

Saul wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:20 pm It is sad that we have lost so many bricks and mortar stores and there are many more disappearing all the time but I cannot see a solution other than to either scrap business rates or vastly reduce them for a few years. Also we need to cut all the red tape that often drowns the small business owner and reduce the cost of startup. At the moment there is very little incentive for new people to come into the market :(
I completely agree Saul . . . .and it's sad that this current "discussion" is OUR tiny part of the MUCH bigger problem.

It is terminally STUPID to PUNISH the wealth-creators with excessive levels of taxation.

All you do is remove the incentive (and thus the WILL) to create wealth.

Governments of all colours have been guilty of this since the 70s and there is NO SIGN that a leadership with the

necessary GUTS to make the change - will be arriving any time soon.

It's all explained rather well in this video - made around 2010 . . . So we can only guess what our 4.8 Trillion Pounds

National Debt has become a DECADE later? :o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvdoYGUvkFg

It makes scary viewing.

N.B there's a "hang" around 6'19" that continues OK around 7'09" - just wait it out . . .or move it on . . .

There's a couple of other minor ones further along too . . . :roll:

I've edited my own copy to remove this - but it's NOT on YT ;)

parametric


Last bumped by parametric on Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:26 pm.


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