Re: Yet another luthier hangs up his tools
As an aside - Lets say for a moment that his bodies really are handmade, and fantastic in every way.
His website is ****ing awful. Lots of luthiers websites are awful, but I think this is where a lot of luthiers completely shoot themselves in the foot.
Imagine walking into a guitar shop where the guitars are all crammed into one corner of the shop and to get to them you have to clamber over the amps. Then to get a member of staff to help you you have to ring an obscure bell thats been placed over the front door for some reason.
You'd say this shop must do no business thanks to their ****ty storefront, right?
Well what is a luthiers website but an online storefront?
The web savvy generation have been dealing with volume retailers like amazon and supermarkets for years - There are established ways of laying out product that we've learned make sense and help us find what we need.
When a site doesn't lay out their info in this intuitive way, even if there aren't many products, it just feels super cheap and tacky - like the business must be a 2 bit operation run out of a shed and why would you trust an operation that small with hundreds of dollars of your money?
The only way those companies get out of that negative impression is by HUGELY favourable word of mouth marketing - it works. Sometimes. But the thing about word of mouth is that you either need to be the FIRST to get that word of mouth, and therefore your name out there, or you need to be the absolute BEST at whatever you do - to get those customers to talk about you instead of just continuing to recommend the status quo.
Or you could make a nice website and a lot of that hurdle to success is dealt with already.
I know a lot of people are going to point out that IbanezRules is far from the pinnacle of web design and still trades more than enough to keep Rich busy - Well he's doing the word of mouth thing, but he's unquestionably THE ibanez guy. Nobody knows more. All recommendations go to him. His customerbase trusts him so implicitly that we RECOGNISE that his website being the way it is, is purely the result of being so good elsewhere, that the site has to take a backseat to actual work.
Startups don't have this luxury.