The Internet has changed a lot of things in the last few decades, but you wouldn’t think buying a piano would be one of them.
When Brandon Herrenbruck announced that the Turkey Creek Steinway Pianos store was closing, many of its customers called and texted right away.
They were sad to see the store go, but Herrenbruck was quick to point out that Steinway still will be represented in Knoxville.
“I’m just closing the store,” he said. “It’s going to look different, but they (customers) will still have the opportunities to see and play different instruments. While the physical store is going away, I’m not.”
Herrenbruck’s strategy is actually based in customer changes.
Looking at their company’s Knoxville sales over the past five years, they noticed that customers were prepared to travel to Nashville to see a more-extensive range of pianos. And some would willingly travel to the New York factory where Steinway has handcrafted pianos since 1853.
“We were watching the way people and customers in general shop for a piano,” Herrenbruck said. “They do so much research online, whereas historically customers came to our stores to learn about pianos.”
Herrenbruck decided to develop a sophisticated, multimedia website at steinwayfamilypianos.com. The current business plan has prioritized publishing relevant content on the website and using search engine optimization to connect with customers. He wants to be easily contactable via email, instant chat and Skype video before a customer even sets foot in one of the stores.