Case Study

Client: M&M Merchandisers/Kona Guitars

Solution: Acoustic Guitar For Dummies

M&M's Kona instruments are in the hands of more consumers than ever before thanks to the effectiveness of the Dummies brand license program. We are opening new accounts as well as new markets outside the US thanks to Dummies global reach. What started with the Acoustic Guitar Pack For Dummies in 2006, is today a complete line of For Dummies instrument packs that reach new customers and through existing and new channels around the world.

Marty Stenzler, CEO &
Chuck Franklin, COO
M&M Music

Objective

M&M's goal was to gain entry into additional retail channels and grow market share in the introductory guitarist "starter pack" market. At the end-consumer level they sought to reach new audiences by leveraging the recognition of the For Dummies brand.

Strategy

M&M would work with the For Dummies licensing team to develop a new Dummies-branded acoustic guitar starter pack. The features chosen for the pack included a custom-published book with CD, Guitar Basics For Dummies, derived from Wiley's bestseller, Guitar For Dummies. Wiley's Brand Management Editorial Team would provide the editorial and composition services needed to deliver files to a printer in China for bundling within the locally-assembled pack. M&M would launch the new pack at the upcoming North American Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention in Anaheim, California, and roll it out through online retail channels before hitting brick and mortars.

Results

The pack initially shipped in late August 2006 with very limited distribution for the holiday season. Its first full holiday season was in 2007 (shipped in August) with the addition of Electric Guitar Starter Pack For Dummies. In 2008, we secured broader distribution, sales were trebled and the entire inventory sold out. The acoustic pack was the #1 selling guitar on Target.com and #3 on Amazon.com during the holiday season in 2008. Based on the success of the first two packs, we introduced Electric Bass Starter Pack For Dummies in 2009. Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack For Dummies remained the #1 selling entry-level guitar on Amazon.com throughout most of 2009. At this writing (Sep. 2011), the range has been expanded to include Violin Pack For Dummies, Ukulele Pack For Dummies, and Harmonica Pack For Dummies — all set for release this fall.

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