>> Case Study
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MMG's guitars a. differed in body styles, each of which came with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The Limited Edition was a jumbo acoustic model, the Naked Lady and the Signature Dreadnought were dreadnought models and the Summer Wages Series were auditorium models. The jumbo style provided the deepest tones and the loudest volumes but vvere arguably more awkward to play and offered less balanced tones overall. The dreadnought style was smaller yet still offered good volume. Its tones were fairly balanced but not as much so as the auditorium style. The auditorium style, the smallest of the three styles, was the quietest but offered the best balance in terms of both high and low tones.
MMG's guitars were purchased primarily by experienced male guitar players between the ages of 45 and 60. The. customers had been playing guitar most of their lives, owned multiple guitars and could easily discern between a high-quality and low-quality instrument. Additionally, these customers were generally in their peak earning years and, as a result, were less price-sensitive. With an estimated Canadian market size of approximately 299,000 guitar players in this age range,. Marr believed MMG had hardly scratch. the surface of this segment.
Sales and Distribution
By selling directly to consumers, MMG cut retail outlets and wholesalers out of the supply charn This approach allowed the company to sell its guitars for a significantly lower price than equivalent guitars offered by its competitors. Although clearly price competitive, MMG struggled to gain exposure to new customers using this distribution method. Traditional guitar manufacturers counted on a large portion of their customers discovering their guitars (by chance) when visiting a retail location, whereas MMG needed to "actively drive" potential guitar purchasers to their wcbsite to introduce them to its product line.
MMG also struggled to convince potential customers of the quality of its guitars. Though Marr knew the guitars MMG produ.d were as good as or better than the guitars produ.d by major North American guithr manufacturers, he also knew that convincing brand loyal guitarists that this was the case was a difficult challenge. Buying a new guitar was a very personal acquisition for most musicians. Often, they would visit multiple instrument retail locations and play many guitars before deciding on their final purchase. As an online retailer only, MMG needed its customers to feel comfortable purchasing one of its guitars without having the opportunity to play it first.
To put its potential customers at ease, MMG offered a seven-day "Love it or Leave it" guarantee, which allowed customers a seven-day trial period with their guitar before finalizing their decision. If they were unhappy with their purchase, they could retum it to MMG and receive a full refund.. Historically, the company's customers rarely utilized this guarantee. In fact, kwer than a dozen MMG guitars had bccn returned by dissatisfied customers since the company's inception.
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Most frequent buyers
According to Marr, only male guitar players who were experienced and were in the age between 45 years old and 60 years oldbought the MMG’s guitars. These are customers who have been playing guitars most of their lives and were able to tell whether that type of guitars were of good or poor quality since they either already had previously owned a guitar or had multiple guitars.
To add to that, these customers could be easily noted to be at the pick of their earnings and thus preferred quality to price of the guitar
However, with the wider Canadian market, Marr also felt that there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to get people to buy the MMG’s guitars and not the rest.
Distribution and selling strategy
MMG prefers doing direct sale, i.e. selling directly to consumers without the need for intermediaries such as retailers, wholesalers or even agents. This is an advantage to the MMG Company since it can be able to offer its guitars at relatively lower prices as compared to the rest of its competitors.