There are many advantages in being in the instrument manufacturing industry. Sabian is a company that has been around since 1981 and has had to battle many obstacles in order to get where they are.
One of the greatest advantages of being in the instrument manufacturing industry is that your demographic is so large it is almost impossible to fail. Sabian has been smart with their targeting. They appeal to both men and women, and although through my experience of drummers/percussionists being predominantly men, Sabian has made a point to encourage women to play. They have sponsored such events as the “Hit Like A Girl” contest, which is a global contest encouraging women to show off their “chops”.
Another advantage is that drums and percussion instruments have no minimum or maximum age limit. They provide products for people of all ages. The approach they take is that no matter your age, if you are drawn to drums, then play. Sabian cymbals are relied on by those who use them for their career as well as people who play drums for a hobby. They are used by people from death metal bands to church bands, and have a sound and cymbal for everyone’s needs no matter their beliefs.
Their psychographic is still quite wide but is more specifically targeted to consumers who are in the middle to upper-class who are more liberal with their money. Although they offer a small collection of cymbals for those in the lower-class. They focus on the leaders of various communities by sponsoring them, and in some cases making custom series for the artists. Thus, bringing the attention to the leaders fans of the company and corresponding cymbals used.
The drumming community is enormous, and its reach is worldwide with hundreds of thousands of communities to join on social media and in person. Some are more specific with the brands used, series used, genre played, the country where you live, and what city you live in (some groups get even more specific). Sabian sponsors leaders in these communities which allows them to solidify their name as a trustworthy brand. The people they sponsor are not only in bands but are session/independent percussionists as well. In fact, they have 57 pages filled with artists they sponsor. Take a look!
A suggestion I would make for them in order to be more involved in their communities is to not only sponsor the leaders of large communities but leaders of smaller ones as well. Tapping into smaller, tighter communities and sponsoring their leaders would reflect hugely on them as a company and their appreciation of their consumers.
Since they are involved with communities worldwide and their target audience being so large, a couple problems have risen. Their two biggest problems are; people being unable to find the cymbals that suit their needs, and the fact that cymbals break but not everyone has the money to replace them.
The solution to their first problem was a marketing campaign with the slogan “What’s Your Sound?”. With that slogan they provide a profile for each series of cymbals they have. On top of that, they provide hundreds of videos to show artists what the cymbals sound like, and description of whether it has a bright, dark, washy sound, etc. This campaign won Music Inc. 2008 supplier excellence award for Marketing: Ad Campaigns.
The solution to their second problem was an extremely smart decision. Cymbals take a lot of beating and musicians don’t want to spend thousands on cymbals that sound good but are thinner and will revert to using thicker cymbals, sacrificing the sound. Their solution to cymbals breaking was adding an unlimited 2-year warranty to all brand-new cymbals. This is perfect for many reasons. The first being that drummers who are in bands have relief that they can play however they want, even on the road and have the stress of playing “too hard” lifted off their shoulders. The next benefit of this is that consumers will likely pick Sabian over their competitors. Other cymbal companies such as Zildjian have a 2-year, one-time replacement policy. It is smart of Sabian to find Zildjian’s weakness on this especially because Sabian was started by members of the Zildjian family after some internal turmoil amongst family members.
I personally use Sabian cymbals because of the two solutions they provided. I found the cymbals that work perfect for me and I can play in comfort knowing I am covered for the first 2 years. Allowing me to not have to spend $1200 on cymbals every year, but every two to three years instead, therefore giving me more bang for my buck.
Do you think the 2-year unlimited warranty is an effective move for other companies to adapt?
Hit Like A Girl. n.d. https://hitlikeagirlcontest.com/. 31 May 2020.
Sabian. n.d. https://sabian.com/artist/. 31 May 2020.
Sabian. n.d. https://sabian.com/warranty/. 31 May 2020.
Zildjian. n.d. https://zildjian.com/warranty-page. 1 June 2020.