During the final year of her undergraduate degree in Music Performance at the University of Leeds, Hannah Williams conducted an empirical study of the factors influencing Bb clarinet purchasing decisions…
Inspired by her time working as a Woodwind Specialist for MIA Member, Dawkes Music and hoping to return back to the music products industry upon completing her degree, Hannah wanted to undertake a research project with a real-world application.
The project is a study of the influences surrounding the purchasing of Bb clarinets, and how this varies between different types of clarinettists. The point of such a detailed investigation was to a shed light on purchasing influences within the music products industry that are not present in current literature. This project investigates the key influences that impact the purchasing of a clarinet, and attempts to prioritise the factors which have a greater impact on decision making.
In order to explore these themes, existing literature on the clarinet, musical instrument purchasing and consumer behaviour were introduced, and primary research was gathered by conducting an empirical study involving 623 participants.
Key findings include the strong influence of brand loyalty, knowledge of brand and reputation of brand, which supports existing literature, and the limited influence of artist endorsement and word-of-mouth communication, which contradicts existing literature.
Possible areas for further investigation are also discussed, as well as future applications of this research within the musical instrument industry. Until further research is carried out, it will be difficult to do the comparative work necessary to definitively prove which factors have the greatest influence on instrument purchasing, however, this study forms a substantial base to facilitate further research within this field.
Hannah has decided to make this research publicly available, in the hope that those within the industry may find it insightful. It can be found and downloaded directly from www.justwoodwind.com/research. Any feedback is welcomed, either by contacting Hannah directly through the website above, or on LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-williams-
Hannah is currently employed as the Export Sales & Operations Co-Ordinator at MIA Member The British Band Instrument Company (BBICO), and is delighted to have returned to the industry having completed her research project.