Red Dog Music is an award-winning retailer offering a wide range of MI, computer audio, DJ and live sound products. In the last eight years, they have grown into a very successful chain with three locations in Edinburgh, London and Leeds, UK. We caught up with owner and founder Alex Marten, who has attended The NAMM Show since 2003, as he shares Red Dog’s history and keys to growth.
What is the history of Red Dog Music?
I founded Red Dog Music in Edinburgh in 2008. I was previously the purchasing manager at Sound Control (once the largest chain of music stores in the UK). In 2013, we opened our second branch in London and in 2016 we acquired Production Room, a well-respected retailer of studio technology products based in Leeds. We have now rebranded the Production Room store as Red Dog Music and rolled out the Production Room brand as areas in all three stores.
How did you personally get involved in the music products industry?
Like 99 per cent of the industry, as an out-of-work musician, I started work in a shop to buy cheap equipment! This was back in 2001 at the turnkey store in central London. I then quickly got bitten by the retail bug, and the rest is history.
What do you think is the key to Red Dog Music’s success?
Our slogan is “The Friendly Music Store” and our goal is to be the best company in the industry to buy from, sell to or work for. We strongly believe that being a positive force within the industry – treating out customers, suppliers and employees with the respect they deserve – is a purpose in itself but also generates positive feedback for the company. We are also very keen on innovation, whether that’s new ways to talk to our customers or new ways to run our business, and keeping on the cutting edge of retail and marketing technologies ensures that we aren’t left behind as the world changes.
How would you describe your online presence and the role it plays in getting new customers?
We currently run two websites: www.reddogmusic.co.uk and www.production-room.com These generate a lot of online customers, but also drive customers into our three stores and, especially with our popular blog and social media channels, engage customers with our company 24/7.
What do you see as the most important benefit of your NAMM membership?
Our main motive in joining NAMM is to support the industry that supports us. It is less about the benefits to us directly as a company (though those are a bonus!) than about supporting the organisations that help encourage more music makers and ultimately more music, which is why we’re all involved in this business in the first place.