The Big Brand Name Dilemma

Author: David Hines  

An interesting thing has been happening in the past ten years in the musical instruments market in this country. The dominance of the industry by what we call the "big names" is lessening as more and more quality alternatives become available in Australia.

I have been working in the music products industry my entire life, starting in a music store way back in 1980. Since then I have worked for some of Australia's major retailers and wholesalers representing all the "big name" brands. During the 80s, 90s and 2000s the only real way of ensuring that your new musical instrument was a quality one was to purchase one of these big brands. These brands used the best factories in Japan, then later Korea and now China, to produce instruments of the best quality possible. They were able to dominate the production from the best factories and most budget instruments were produced in second rate factories, resulting in a second rate product.

However, over the past ten years the production capacity of factories in China has increased dramatically as demand grows for Chinese made products. Factories which were previously "all sewn up" by the big names now suddenly had production space free and were able to offer to new brands the same quality of design and production which was previously reserved for big brand names. When we started Axiom 7 years ago we were able to secure production in many of these factories where Axiom products are often built on a line right next to some of the most famous names in the market. The quality of all our instruments has steadily increased to the stage where we now feel Axiom musical instruments are on a par with products costing far more.

Axiom Musical InstrumentsAnother factor in the difference in price is that all the "big name" brands are exclusively represented in Australia by import/wholesale companies. These companies purchase the product from the manufacturer who has in turn purchased it from the factory. It is then sold to a retailer at quite high wholesale profit margins and the retailer finally sells it to the customer with, again, a significant profit margin. That's up to FOUR profit margins on a single product! By comparison, our instruments are purchased from the factory in China and sold directly to you, the customer. In this way we can offer you a musical instrument with the same quality as a "big name" at up to a third of the price.



We will continue to refine our offering and work hard to provide the Australian market with the best value for money musical instruments possible!

Comments (2)

Fingers crossed

25 September 2020
I had an Armstrong tenor as my first sax and as a multi instrumentalists I never had a lesson, born on the same day as John Coltrane helps but I would play with my dads bands and mainly loud Rock so being able to feel the sax vibrate was a huge thing as I often had no fold back. This would help me know I had transposed to the right keys. Unfortunately my sax was stolen and I have not been able to get an Asian sax to tune or have that feel I would press the octave key and it would almost change keys so I am putting my faith in axiom. My sax is my voice instrument it can express those feelings inside unlike any of the other instruments I play. So I have my fingers crossed and if I am surprised my students and musical community will be axiom customers for life. Ps just turned 40 and a mate dragged me into a poker machine area I put in 20 and pulled out a sax so can’t wait cheers faithfully liam

Thank you.

15 August 2019
The is a very clear of the change in the availbility of quality instruments a truly affordble prices, a boon for students and amateur/hobby musicians. Thank you.

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