In a year filled with anniversaries, including Yamaha’s 125th, the firm is also celebrating a decade of its Tyros line with a series of promotions and events.
To mark the anniversary it has produced a limited edition Tyros4 finished in Black and featuring extra memory capacity and additional voices, with a signed certificate of authenticity.
It is also embarking on a nationwide tour taking in the most successful Tyros dealers over the last ten years – 15 shows in all.
“The tour is 15 dates from Edinburgh to Eastbourne and each event is held in conjunction with the local dealer,” explains Richard Ashby, marketing and product manager of Yamaha’s Electronic Keyboard division. “As well as an evening concert, there are daytime seminars for Tyros beginners and advanced users and those players wishing to upgrade from a previous Tyros model or other make of keyboard.”
Yamaha also hopes to put Tyros centre stage in the schedule of popular organ/keyboard festivals and exhibitions throughout the year – events often attracting upwards of 500 hobbyists at any one time.
Constant promotion, product evolution, the popular Yamaha club magazine and fan weekends combined with substantial dealer support includes in-store promotions which are particularly popular with older consumers.
“Tyros users tend to be the more mature player who perhaps played organ in years gone by,” says Ashby. “Having said that, many people who have played keyboard for some time ultimately trade up to the top model, and an increasing number of younger users are now being won over by the incredible sonic capability of Tyros and are using the instrument in a variety of different ways.”
Yamaha regularly supports Tyros with marketing campaigns such as last year’s DVD promotion in conjunction with 40 dealers, who were able to mail out thousands of DVDs to their databases.
The origins of the brand can be traced back to the decline of the highly profitable organ market, which left a gap that Yamaha felt it could fill with the Tyros range, successfully reaching out to former organists while also bringing in keyboard players and semi-pro performers.
Since then it has consistently been the single biggest grossing/earning product for Yamaha and its dealers in the UK and throughout Europe.
“We hit on a winning formula of great sound and easy operation from the first model and both of these elements have evolved as each model has launched. The combination of retaining a familiar operation but incorporating the latest technology such as Super Articulation has proved extremely popular,” adds Ashby.
It’s the traditional former organ dealers who have so far seen the most success and financial benefits from the last ten years of Tyros.
“Tyros could not be the success story that it is without the ongoing support of a dedicated and knowledgeable retail base. The reputation of Tyros is constantly broadening the user base, and that is bringing new stores into the Tyros dealer network for the first time.”
The demographic across the European Union varies – in the UK it tends to be sold largely to the 60-plus home user or very serious affluent hobbyists who are remarkably tech savvy, whereas in mainland Europe professional and semi professional gigging musicians form a much larger percentage.
Reaching out to this semi-professional sector is an area that Yamaha’s EKB and professional music division is keen to explore.
Recently this has seen Yamaha’s DXR range of speakers being promoted throughout the aforementioned Tyros tour, which is also taking in a variety of keyboard and organ festivals. The firm will be working on reaching new (slightly younger) semi professional players and professional customers, while continuing to support the traditional Tyros customer.
This younger demographic has gravitated up through the mid-market single keyboard route and includes those semi-pro gigging players. As in mainland Europe, there is a twin track of customer demographic emerging.
The product is not only Yamaha’s biggest single earner but it’s also not widely known that Yamaha’s most cutting edge and latest music production technology is often pioneered in Tyros. This technology, for example the sound engines, mega voice feature and many style programmes often then find their way into other music production, keyboard and electronic drum products.
There is a worldwide team of developers who work on developing technology and content for Tyros on an ongoing basis.
Ashby concludes: “This marketplace is incredibly stable and has not really suffered so much during recent tough trading conditions. It is in fact growing, albeit slowly. These mature hobbyists are also very brand loyal but on the other hand they are very discerning and thoughtful about the purchase and their own music making.”
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