Hello there! In this article, I will be talking about the world’s most democratic, innovative and the first collaborative guitar company on this planet!
Some of you guys might have already known this company, but for the ones who have never heard of it, it is Chapman Guitars by Rob Chapman!
My relationship with Chapman Guitars goes back to the golden era of YouTube.
How we would be communicating through videos had just started forming and most users on Youtube hadn’t had a solid idea of presenting themselves in front of their audience (By the way, as I am a die-hard guitar fan, I’m talking about guitarists, gear, electric guitars and good music!) Then all of a sudden, a man appeared with a style!
This was the first video of him actually responding a need and question, just like brilliant marketers do, but in a video format.
Back in the day, guitar players would spend days on the internet forums, posting comments and arguing about guitar gear.
But with this video, he was answering a question; “Can the Tiny Terror play metal?”
“I don’t know, I’ll be trying hard but you decide if it can!” look in the screenshot above clearly shows that he was leaving the answer to his audience, collaborating with them already in the very first moments of his career.
He also added his humour every time to his videos. I believe this was a really strong and unique approach that no one ever had done before on YouTube!
His way of communicating with his audience was always so strong and he had started building a strong alliance with his followers.
In those days, he used to do guitar clinics for Faith Guitars and many of YouTube followers were also attending his clinics. The head of Faith Guitars was quite surprised about him being just a Youtube user and having many followers (Imagine this was weird 10 years ago!).
Rob Chapman would explain this with his unique attitude and the way he used social media. Later on, Faith Guitars offered to manufacture him his own signature guitar, and this was the birth of Chapman Guitars!
Instead of deciding what he would like to have on his own limited-run signature guitar, he ran to his followers, shot a video. Because he thought there would be no better way to design a guitar than asking those people who would be buying them.
Eventually, the company decided to make 500 guitars instead of 100 pieces, also they offered him his own brand! This collaborative approach was a win-win situation because it helped people to feel that they were a part of the process and proud of what they achieved.
Although customer participation in product development processes has been around for quite a long time in many industries as well as in the musical instruments industry, what Rob Chapman has achieved still remains unique in his own league.
According to his interviews that can be found on the internet, what I have understood is that he is a natural-born marketing guy, an entrepreneur and has already proven many times that he’s very successful!
One of the other reasons that I am writing this article on Chapman Guitars is that its influence on my life.
Back in the day, I was in London, UK, working, studying and trying to survive. All I remember was that I was working really hard to catch up with all these tasks and responsibilities in my life.
Like many foreign students, I wanted to do my masters so I could have another piece of paper that might help me with my career. The process was almost always boring until I decided to incorporate what I liked the most into my dissertation project, musical instruments industry! I chose Chapman Guitars as my case study and had a really great time writing my dissertation.
This little path that I had turned to has affected all my career and it’s the reason that I have become a musical instruments industry professional and keep sharing what I have learnt in this industry on this blog! If you are interested, please do not hesitate to go to the “Download” section and read my “MBA marketing dissertation, a case study of Chapman Guitars!” And forgive my way worse abilities in the English language in my dissertation! 🙂
It’s a great feeling that I chose Chapman Guitars as my case while it was just about a small company with a limited number of instruments and I am now able to see it has shown huge growth in business!
Thank you, Rob Chapman “The Monkey Lord“ for being a great influencer in my professional life!
Many thanks for reading and see you in my next articles!