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Originally Posted by BDB
But Kleenex was named for another capital city, Kleenex, Arizona! smile
"By the time I get to Kleenex, she'll be rising....." grin


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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
An interesting thought,

This thread actually sparked a conversation with a customer today. This customer is an attorney and he brought up the point that the name of a city, county, or country cannot be owned as a brand in the way that a name like "Kleenex" or "Coca Cola" can be owned.

I don't know the law, but apparently one could use the name Boston or Essex in a way that would not infringe on the rights of these pianos distributed by Steinway because it is impossible to own the name of a place.

I was thinking along the same lines.

When I lived in Switzerland in the late 1990s, Swissair was going bankrupt. In about 2002, they tried to restructure by essentially letting Swissair go under with all the liabilities, and morph one of their regional carriers (Crossair) into the new flagship. As i recall, they paid a marketing firm 5 million Swiss francs to come up with a new name, and they came up with "Swiss!" Much to their chagrin, they discovered that they couldn't trademark, or otherwise own, the country's nationality! (People with common sense were saying, "duh..."). So, they named it Swiss International Airlines.

The morale of the story is, I'll bet Boston's full name is something like "Boston Piano."


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by BDB
But Kleenex was named for another capital city, Kleenex, Arizona! smile
"By the time I get to Kleenex, she'll be rising....." grin



Now THAT is funny. thumb laugh

Last edited by Rich Galassini; 08/25/15 07:08 AM.

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I consult and have consulted many piano manufacturers, distributors and dealers, primarily on marketing pianos in North America. I closely follow marketing efforts of the entire industry.

Over the years Steinway & Son, like most major companies, executes both long- and short-term marketing strategies. I am not and never have had Steinway as a client, directly.

That said, over the years S&S has by far, IMHO. developed and executed absolutely brilliant strategies. Among them are the all Steinway School; the development and marketing of two sub-lines that went from $0 in sales to millions/year is very short order; and a Concert and Artist program that has "cornered" a lot of concert venue sales; and controlling retail sales prices, to a large extent

Personally, I have a lot of problems with most of these strategies. However, they are apparently legal (or no one has challenged them successfully), and very effective.

I consider them to be in Tier 1 of marketing! Nobody does it better....


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Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?



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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?



Right, or the alphabet soup of some manufacturers' various product lines, or the tiny "c" as the dot of the i in "Baldwin" (to denote Chinese manufacture) back in the day when only some of them were made in China. Transparency is an issue throughout the industry and Steinway actually does a better job of differentiating their lines with the use of three easily understandable and distinct brand names.

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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?

Good point Plowboy !! Consumers obviously need to do their homework in order to understand the differences. Those who do will be informed buyers and those who don't may be duped into purchasing an instrument based on name recognition only.


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Originally Posted by sophial
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?
Right, or the alphabet soup of some manufacturers' various product lines, or the tiny "c" as the dot of the i in "Baldwin" (to denote Chinese manufacture) back in the day when only some of them were made in China. Transparency is an issue throughout the industry and Steinway actually does a better job of differentiating their lines with the use of three easily understandable and distinct brand names.
Yes - Steinway does a better job - except that "transparency" in their marketing materials isn't necessarily 100% IMHO. smile


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As I've followed this thread the old adage about "what's in a name?" keeps coming to mind. The last few posts have me thinking of another one: "caveat emptor," or, let the buyer beware!

I agree with the points Steve made above re. Steinway's brilliant marketing. Steinway has effectively achieved a hegemony in the marketplace. They've done it and maintained it over the long haul, and there's no reason to think they won't continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

In that the Chinese domestic market for pianos is voracious--probably the largest in the world, or at least has the largest growth potential at present, or both--I suspect that some quality Chinese producer may at some point surpass Steinway, at least in that marketplace. And perhaps that maker will be Steinway itself--they already have a foot in the door, and produce "steinway" products in China.

Combining the demand for pianos and national pride, it's not inconceivable to think that one day an "Essex" could be the most sought after piano in the World. I quote Essex because it could easily be a Boston produced in China, or even a "Steinway" itself (or a Baldwin, or a Hailun, etc).

There's been much speculation here, given Steinway's relatively new ownership, about whether production of Steinways might move overseas (or out of NYC). Common wisdom is that Steinway wouldn't do that, because it would prove to be a mistake; however, the instant Steinway determines that building Steinways in China would earn more money than might be lost in sales to those who don't want a "Chinese Steinway," then it would be a good business decision to do so. I'm not saying they would, or will, do so--simply pointing out that there are reasonable scenarios under which doing so could increase profits.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by sophial
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?
Right, or the alphabet soup of some manufacturers' various product lines, or the tiny "c" as the dot of the i in "Baldwin" (to denote Chinese manufacture) back in the day when only some of them were made in China. Transparency is an issue throughout the industry and Steinway actually does a better job of differentiating their lines with the use of three easily understandable and distinct brand names.
Yes - Steinway does a better job - except that "transparency" in their marketing materials isn't necessarily 100% IMHO. smile


Agree, but please point out a company that demonstrates 100% transparency in their marketing materials smile

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Originally Posted by sophial
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by sophial
Right, or the alphabet soup of some manufacturers' various product lines, or the tiny "c" as the dot of the i in "Baldwin" (to denote Chinese manufacture) back in the day when only some of them were made in China. Transparency is an issue throughout the industry and Steinway actually does a better job of differentiating their lines with the use of three easily understandable and distinct brand names.
Yes - Steinway does a better job - except that "transparency" in their marketing materials isn't necessarily 100% IMHO. smile
Agree, but please point out a company that demonstrates 100% transparency in their marketing materials smile
Excellent point. Of course, that doesn't make it right. ha


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
There's been much speculation here, given Steinway's relatively new ownership, about whether production of Steinways might move overseas (or out of NYC).


They already have (since 1885) the factory in Hamburg. If demand diminishes for some of the high end models, perhaps they could go Hamburg-only?



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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
An interesting thought,

This thread actually sparked a conversation with a customer today. This customer is an attorney and he brought up the point that the name of a city, county, or country cannot be owned as a brand in the way that a name like "Kleenex" or "Coca Cola" can be owned.

I don't know the law, but apparently one could use the name Boston or Essex in a way that would not infringe on the rights of these pianos distributed by Steinway because it is impossible to own the name of a place.


Oh, trademark law.

A trademark lets people know, "when I am buying a piano, it is the same Boston piano I always heard about." Thus you can use the name Boston for baked beans, because a customer is unlikely to get confused by that, but not for another piano, because that will confuse them.

Here is Steinway's [i]Boston[/i] trademark. And here is the trademark for Essex. If someone started selling pianos under the Essex name (or even under a name that is confusingly similar, like Steinweg), then Steinway would have a case to sue them.

For common words, like Windows or Apple, the name can be used elsewhere, as long as it won't confuse customers. Which is why there is an Apple recording studio (that the Beatles used), and an Apple computer company. When Apple computers became more advanced and gained the capability to record music, they got sued by the Apple recording studio.

The name Boston can be used in other places, of course. For example, it appears that there is a company that sells tea using the Boston name. Few people would see that and wonder if Steinway were now selling tea. But don't try selling Bostom pianos.


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I can't imagine anyone with a bit of piano sense confusing a Boston with a Steinway. Steinways are obviously so much better.

Furthermore, it doesn't matter where the piano is made, it matters how it's made. If Steinway moves half their production to China, and as a result, the quality and consistency of their piano increases, would I complain? No, it would be a good thing!


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Originally Posted by phantomFive
I can't imagine anyone with a bit of piano sense confusing a Boston with a Steinway. Steinways are obviously so much better. Furthermore, it doesn't matter where the piano is made, it matters how it's made. If Steinway moves half their production to China, and as a result, the quality and consistency of their piano increases, would I complain? No, it would be a good thing!
Particularly if the prices were reduced accordingly !! grin


Last edited by Carey; 08/25/15 04:40 PM.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Is there more brand confusion between Steinway, Boston, and Essex than say C Bechstein, Bechstein? Or Seiler, Eduard Seiler, Johannes Seiler? Or Schimmel Konzert, Schimmel Classic, Schimmel International, Wilhelm Schimmel?

Good point Plowboy !! Consumers obviously need to do their homework in order to understand the differences. Those who do will be informed buyers and those who don't may be duped into purchasing an instrument based on name recognition only.


Exactly.


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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Incredible.
Dara, your opinion is amazing. Our clients - including those on Vancouver Island - are bright enough to figure out where a piano is built, regardless of its name. would you be more comfortable if we'd named the Boston "Tokyo" or "Kyoto" - or something like that? That would have been tough, since the manufacturer had yet to be identified when the name was chosen.

I can assure you that no trickery or deceit was intended; it is interesting and enlightening to me to note that this is what your first thought is. As far as "falsity" goes, are you more comfortable with a brand putting its name on multiple tiers / quality levels? In other words, do you think it would be more "honest" for us to put "Steinway & Sons" on all three lines, but perhaps distinguish them by model numbers or letters? A Series, B Series, C Series, etc? something like that?


Bob Snyder,
Just catching up here as I've been away for a week. It seems you felt the need to jump in and express that my opinion is "amazing". I quoted and responded to the OP on this thread with my viewpoint. I wasn't speaking to you.
By the way, I don't live on Vancouver Island, though I am familiar with some places of that very large island, and used to live in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, many years ago.
I have enjoyed playing several Steinway pianos over the years and once recorded a solo piano album on a Steinway D , at the University of Victoria , long before it became an "All Steinway School" - which btw isn't true !

It always seemed to me that the naming of the Boston and Essex brands was rather bogus, typical of many other attributes I've distilled about Steinway's marketing and pressure presence.
Your 'holier than thou' type comments seem to fit the Steinway agenda, irrespective of the quality of their instruments.
Your swipe at Keith Kerman in the same posting you felt the need to belittle my opinion and his, says what about your representation of Steinway ?
You may be doing honorable work, but just by posting on PW once in awhile, as a district manager, don't think you can fool all the people here with your attitude.

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Dara, while I understand how you feel about the subject I think you fail to see how Bob Snyder would feel about the words "falsity" being employed. Sales representatives will always respond strongly to implications they are deceitful.

I didn't take his response to you as disrespectful. I think he just has a hard time seeing your point of view.

His question about; is it more honest to just plaster Steinway on any piano they want to sell or is it more honest to try to separate the brand into a set of "family" members is one I would answer with: give new brand names to ancillary lines.

Almost all the industry has done one or the other.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 08/31/15 12:10 AM. Reason: punctuation

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So, I was just driving home from the gym, and the song on the radio was by a band named Boston... wink


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"Ziegler" would have been a good name (as in Henry Z. Steinway).

More pizzaz than "Gertz."


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