It’s just three years since Stageworks launched in the MI industry.
However, Matt and Rick Chambers, the entrepreneurial brothers who run the business say they are frequently told it seems like longer – which is no small tribute to the impact of their marketing.
And while it may seem a slight on the company’s innovative products to point to its success at marketing, it’s meant as a compliment. The Stageworks products themselves – three so far: the original Stageworks non-slip pedal mat, the Rimma drum stick holder and the recently launched G-stand guitar stand – are inventive and original, but the marketing effort behind them really stands out as quite exceptional in an industry that has a nasty habit of letting good products wither on the vine through want of promotion.
Matt and Rick Chambers handle two sides of the Stageworks business together, yet separately. Matt looks after the sales and marketing, while Rick handles the design. Somehow they also find time to run a record label, recording studios and management company, but the jobs get done and all sides of the business are going well, they report.
So distinctive has the Stageworks approach been that it is starting to attract attention from outside. “We get a lot of people coming to us with new ideas,” says Rick Chambers. “In fact it’s turning into a bit of a Dragons’ Den. They range from crudely drawn ideas to already patented, fully formed ideas that people just don’t know how to market.”
Over and above the obvious marketing routes, the company leverages its position in some useful ways. For example, Rick uses his role as a pro drummer to introduce other pros and their techs to the products and, as a result, Stageworks has gained some very impressive users.
Matt admits that the limitations of the company’s promotional budget means it has sometimes been a slog to get the message through to retailers, but says the company now has a full time rep on the road.
“Jamie Owen is now on the road for us and the response to him has been very positive. He’s been well accepted as he doesn’t walk in with a huge catalogue and it means we now converse with the stores and understand the problems they are having.
“Our products need a bit of presence and they need to be explained. It’s needing to explain the difference between, say, our Rimma drum stick holder, which has a patent and is completely novel, against another drum stick holder, which doesn’t do the same job, is the same as everybody else’s and costs just £5.
“We’ve worked hard to develop support for retailers here with a dealer locator on the website and demo products for the stores, so they can can have the product where people can see its advantages. We also make regular price promotional offers for our retailers.”
With distribution in over 20 countries, Stageworks is aiming for 30 and is gearing-up for more product launches to bring its complement up to sufficient volume levels to balance the low prices of accessories generally and generate volume sales both for itself and its retail customers.
A new drum product is promised for later this year, but the brothers are keeping quiet about the launch. One thing is guaranteed – it’s not going to be a me-too product from this innovative young firm.