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Old 01-15-2020, 04:26 AM
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Alistair Hay Alistair Hay is offline
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Default New years update from Emerald

I havent had much time recently to post on the forum but I'm sitting on the bus on my way to the airport to catch a flight to California for the NAMM show. Finally time to relax and reflect a little.
Firstly thank you all for your continued support, encouragement, ideas and inspiration. This community has always been a great source of discussion and debate which helps us better understand the needs of our customers and continually challenges us toward constant innovation and improvement.
I dont get a lot of time to read the forum but from time to time i do pop in.
The past year was another amazing year at Emerald and one of careful growth and refinement in every area of our business.
We are very aware that growth can lead to problems and so for that reason most of my energy went into training process improvement and quality control last year. I can definitely say we have seen great improvement in most areas of the construction process. Small little details that may not be apparent but when added together lead to a better and more consistent guitar. That is not to say we get everything perfect but as has always been our philosophy we face the problem head on and do everything to resolve the problem and learn from it.
Now as we move into this new decade we are very excited about what lies ahead. I feel like we have created a very solid foundation to grow from with a highly skilled and motivated team and a manufacturing process that allows us to build great sounding and ergonomic guitars with the freedom to customise and innovate.
From this foundation we will continue to grow and spread our guitars around the world, i will be working on some exciting new designs and i have just hired a second videographer for our team who will be giving you all a deeper insight behind the scenes at Emerald.
Its been an amazing journey over the past 22 years and as i read the book that Staci Blevins has so wonderfully written telling our story all i can think of is how blessed i have been. This truly is the greatest job in the world and I get to do it every day.
Happy New year to you all
Alistair
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:50 AM
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Thanks for your post, Alistair. Your amazing guitars have made their way into a small but growing and very enthusiastic group of supporters on Acoustic Guitar forum. If growth within the US and customer satisfaction are your goals, I'd propose that you develop a network of Emerald owners who would be willing to share their guitars with interested others. We do that rather informally in the Carbon Fiber section of AGF; but I think it could be more effectively done from Donegal County since there are likely far more happy Emerald owners out there than are represented on AGF. Since you don't have a dealer network, I believe this idea would help to overcome the largest hurdle to owning an Emerald guitar, and that is actually seeing and playing one in person. Have fun at NAMM and again thanks for your input....
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:13 AM
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Thanks for your post, Alistair. Your amazing guitars have made their way into a small but growing and very enthusiastic group of supporters on Acoustic Guitar forum. If growth within the US and customer satisfaction are your goals, I'd propose that you develop a network of Emerald owners who would be willing to share their guitars with interested others. We do that rather informally in the Carbon Fiber section of AGF; but I think it could be more effectively done from Donegal County since there are likely far more happy Emerald owners out there than are represented on AGF. Since you don't have a dealer network, I believe this idea would help to overcome the largest hurdle to owning an Emerald guitar, and that is actually seeing and playing one in person. Have fun at NAMM and again thanks for your input....
This is something we do arrange from time to time and i appreciate you guys facilitating each other through the forum. We have often thought about how to better use the good will and enthusiasm of our owners but i have never found a really good way to pull it all together. Maybe ill give it more consideration
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:47 AM
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Alistair: Here are just a few thoughts that are clearly open to tweaking. I'd suggest doing customer follow-up, say 30-45 days, after someone has purchased an Emerald. I imagine you keep a database of your customers so follow-up dates could be one of your data fields. When you do a follow-up, you could pose the question as to whether the customer would be willing to allow other potential customers (PC) to see/play their guitar. Agreement, as well location and Emerald type would be accessed through your database and email contact addresses would be exchanged. Contact would be up to the Emerald owner and PC to work out.

So here's a possible scenario. I live in a Charlottesville, VA and own an Emerald X20. Theoretically, I have agreed to show my guitar to PCs. A PC from, let's say, Richmond VA contacts you and shows an interest in a X20 but would like to try one out. Using your database and let's say a 200 mile radius from the PC, you identify that I am within that distance and am both an X20 owner and have agreed to show my guitar to PCs. You then contact me and provide me with the PC's email address. I make contact and work out the specifics. That particular PC does in fact order an Emerald and identifies me as having contacted him. The contact and sale are indicated as part of my data fields. Using the US as a model, you'd theoretically have Emerald owners all over the country who are willing to show their Emeralds. FWIW I showed my X20 to my cousin, and he loved it. Whether he buys one or not is anybody's guess, but after doing some research, he said he'd also like to try an X7 and/or X10.

I think an extra incentive to those who are willing to show off their Emeralds would be a nice perk so perhaps a credit toward one's next Emerald might be earned from any interaction between Emerald owner and PC that results in a sale. Anyhow, just a thought...

Last edited by RP; 01-15-2020 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:02 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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Always nice to hear from you Aiistair! As always, looking forward to whatever innovation/changes/redesigns are on the slate for 2020. Eagerly anticipate the monthly Select series as well as the shipping videos.

Enjoy NAMM, be both inspired and rejuvenated and continue to make great guitars!

Robert
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ongoing pondering about an X20
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:39 AM
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As I sit here in my favorite bagel shop and read this ... I says to myself I says... I will be at NAMM this week and will get to see the master crafter himself yet again. ...yay... just braggin’ ..I mean sayin’.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:30 AM
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RP
i think your on to something. I will be keen to hear others thoughts. Would you be willing to have strangers come to your home? What if Kramster showed up? Things to ponder for sure.
Kramster
NAMM wouldnt be NAMM without Kramster. I think its your turn to buy breakfast!
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Alistair: Here are just a few thoughts that are clearly open to tweaking. I'd suggest doing customer follow-up, say 30-45 days, after someone has purchased an Emerald. I imagine you keep a database of your customers so follow-up dates could be one of your data fields. When you do a follow-up, you could pose the question as to whether the customer would be willing to allow other potential customers (PC) to see/play their guitar. Agreement, as well location and Emerald type would be accessed through your database and email contact addresses would be exchanged. Contact would be up to the Emerald owner and PC to work out.

So here's a possible scenario. I live in a Charlottesville, VA and own an Emerald X20. Theoretically, I have agreed to show my guitar to PCs. A PC from, let's say, Richmond VA contacts you and shows an interest in a X20 but would like to try one out. Using your database and let's say a 200 mile radius from the PC, you identify that I am within that distance and am both an X20 owner and have agreed to show my guitar to PCs. You then contact me and provide me with the PC's email address. I make contact and work out the specifics. That particular PC does in fact order an Emerald and identifies me as having contacted him. The contact and sale are indicated as part of my data fields. Using the US as a model, you'd theoretically have Emerald owners all over the country who are willing to show their Emeralds. FWIW I showed my X20 to my cousin, and he loved it. Whether he buys one or not is anybody's guess, but after doing some research, he said he'd also like to try an X7 and/or X10.

I think an extra incentive to those who are willing to show off their Emeralds would be a nice perk so perhaps a credit toward one's next Emerald might be earned from any interaction between Emerald owner and PC that results in a sale. Anyhow, just a thought...
This makes sense. I own a Huss and Dalton, a rare beast where I live in Mississippi. I have had several guitar players come to the house to play it. They are unanimous in their appreciation of all aspects of the guitar even if the body size isn't their cup of tea. As the proud owner I am very enthusiastic when pointing out the wonderful features of the guitar. I'd think this would be even more the case with Emeralds.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:34 AM
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RP
i think your on to something. I will be keen to hear others thoughts. Would you be willing to have strangers come to your home? What if Kramster showed up? Things to ponder for sure....
I get the impression that Kramster keeps an Open Door policy at his home when it comes to showing off his carbon fiber guitars. I live in the woods so I'd probably arrange to meet PCs at a more public location, like the public library which has available meeting rooms. For anyone who uses Craigslist frequently, that's an easy detail to work out.

The largest part of the equation in my mind would be to tweak whatever customer database/spreadsheet you maintain to include possibly new data fields and have one of your office staff responsible for the extra moving parts.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:41 AM
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For one, I would be more than happy to let others try out my Emerald X7. I had it at an Irish Music camp this fall, and it was a real hit among the participants. Flutist Kevin Crawford played it for almost an hour one night in the session - but I did not try to play his flute or whistle. Not surprisingly, he was very good. Mine is a woody, and it really got people's attention...and many asked to see it and try it out. I, for one, love sharing my guitars with others.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Alistair Hay View Post
RP
i think your on to something. I will be keen to hear others thoughts. Would you be willing to have strangers come to your home? What if Kramster showed up? Things to ponder for sure.
Kramster
NAMM wouldnt be NAMM without Kramster. I think its your turn to buy breakfast!
I'm personally happy to let people come check out my X7 (stunning example as it is!) and hope to check out an X30 in the not too distant future. So far I've had one forum member come check out my X7.

But I really dislike the idea of ANY kind of commission or break on a future guitar, or any other structural financial incentive for us to become part of the Emerald sales team. If someone comes to my home to try my X7, I don't want to have any desire, no matter how subconscious, to sell them anything. And I wouldn't want them to wonder if I was pushing something on them because there was something in it for me. I'm very happy to be part of the community and share what I've got to help other folks make up their own minds about whether a guitar is a good fit for them. But I don't want to try, intentionally or not, to try to convince them of anything, beyond the preferences and biases we all inevitably bring to any such interaction. And I don't want any visitor to think that I might be.

My suggestion would be to just send out an email to your customer base saying you're considering setting up a database of owners of various models who would be open to having potential customers come check out their guitars. And ask us each if we'd like to be included. If not, obviously don't include us. If so, put us on the list. If a potential customer asks if there are any X30 owners in a certain area, you could give them a list of names (maybe just first names so nobody feels their privacy is being compromised) and email addresses and then the potential customer could get in touch with folks through email and see if they can work something out.

Pretty simple. Pretty non-invasive. Totally voluntary. No selling involved - just folks who are willing to be helpful... And, hey, if someone like that alleged guitar smuggler in Arizona ends up helping a LOT of people and Alistair feels like thanking them at some point by offering them a bit of a discount on some future purchase, he's obviously free to do so. But I just don't like the idea of enlisting us in some sort of explicit incentive system to become part of the sales force...

That's my 2 cents, and worth about that...

-Ray
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Hay View Post
RP
i think your on to something. I will be keen to hear others thoughts. Would you be willing to have strangers come to your home? What if Kramster showed up? Things to ponder for sure.
I've done this a couple of times with folks here in the Minneapolis/St Paul area - both AGF members. One has since purchased and received an X20, and the other has just ordered one.

I have another get-together slated with a third member, who already owns CF guitars, but not (yet ) an Emerald.

It's been fun - I've met some great people, and like others, I love to show off my Emerald guitars.

I'd be all for being part of something more formal if and when it takes shape - but in the meantime, anyone within spitting distance of the Twin Cities who wants to try out an X20 is welcome to contact me!
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:18 AM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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How about having Emerald instruments in select stores in the U.S.?
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:01 PM
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...But I just don't like the idea of enlisting us in some sort of explicit incentive system to become part of the sales force...

That's my 2 cents, and worth about that...

-Ray
I think your comments are worth much more than that, and I appreciate your input regarding the incentives. Quite frankly, the incentive part of the idea was an afterthought. The important part in my mind was having a network of Emerald guitar owners who would be willing to show PCs their instruments, and Emerald having a computerized system that could connect the two based on location and model of Emerald instrument...

Last edited by RP; 01-15-2020 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:53 PM
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Carbon Ware Parties
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