Customer Retention

SBO Executive Roundtable: Trends, Educational Techniques, and Technologies to Retain More Renters

Explore strategies for nurturing musicians and driving success in music retail and education. Learn from industry experts on leveraging technology for customer retention in the music education landscape.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, Blustream hosted SBO retailers and industry professionals for a dynamic discussion at the "School, Band, & Orchestra Executive Roundtable: Trends, Educational Techniques, and Technologies to Retain More Renters." This insightful webinar delved into the evolving landscape of music education and technology, offering invaluable insights and strategies for music retailers catering to SBO instrument renters. 

Ken Rapp, CEO of Blustream and moderator of the panel, expressed his excitement with the overwhelming turnout and enthusiastic feedback from panelists and attendees. “As a lifelong musician, witnessing the empowerment of SBO retailers to guide hundreds of thousands of students towards success through leveraging Blustream’s platform is nothing short of a dream realized,” remarked Rapp. 

Attendees departed with actionable strategies and a renewed commitment to nurturing aspiring musicians after hearing from our panel. Read on to discover key takeaways provided during the session.

Key Industry Takeaways From Our Panelists

Add a heading (35)Katie Kailus, Chief Editor of Music, Inc. Magazine shared compelling insights gleaned from her interactions with music retailers nationwide. According to her research, SBO retailers revealed a steady market, mirroring pre-pandemic rental numbers from 2019. A significant trend highlighted was the widespread adoption of online rentals, with many retailers transitioning a substantial portion, up to 75%, of their rental operations online. 

"Ordering a clarinet online and receiving it on your doorstep the next day is becoming more enticing, especially for busy parents who wait until the last minute... Outside of quick and easy shipping, parents like online rentals for the added security they provide." 

Key Takeaway: The shift towards online rentals reflects changing consumer behaviors, with convenience and security emerging as critical factors driving adoption.  

Add a heading (33)-1Garrison Grisaffi, Education Service Director at Ted Brown Music provided a comprehensive overview of key trends shaping the music education landscape over the past five years and projected developments for the future. Grisaffi has seen a significant integration and adoption of technology, with an emphasis of nurturing both in-person and online interaction within communities, providing individuals with a sense of connection and belonging.  

“Trained music therapists work with individuals of all ages, tailoring interventions based on their unique goals and challenges. Through activities like listening to music, playing instruments, singing, and songwriting, music therapy aims to improve overall well-being, enhance communication, manage pain, reduce anxiety, and promote self-expression.”  

Key Takeaway: Embracing technology, prioritizing personalized services, and promoting equity and access are essential for driving innovation and inclusivity in music education. 

Add a heading (36)-1Jeff Bertrand, Owner of Betrand’s Music, shared his commitment to creating unique experiences for instrument renters to reduce rental returns. Leveraging Blustream’s Product Ownership AI, Bertrand’s engages with students at their individual skill levels providing educational resources, instrument care instructions, and tips for enjoyment. 

“We saw an immediate return on investment with Blustream, and expect a 10x return this year. The power of Blustream’s Product Ownership AI was felt within three months, with both significant increases in revenue and increased satisfaction from our renters.” 

Key Takeaway: Leveraging transformative technology like Blustream can reduce rental returns and elevate the overall customer experience, helping to create lifelong musicians. 

Add a heading (34)Bill Steppan, aka "Professor AIM Tri Tech” shed light on the company’s journey in music retail technology, tailored to independent retail businesses. Looking ahead, Bill highlights the importance of meeting customers’ preferences through innovative technology in SBO rentals. Emphasizing the significance of mobile communication, AIM Tri Tech’s online and mobiles services help streamline processes for schools, retailers, and parents alike. 

"The most successful SBO business plans meet their customers where they are most comfortable... Our mature online contract services allow busy parents to browse choices and easily fill out credentials that can then be efficiently processed by the store for quick turnaround." 

Key Takeaway: Leveraging technology to meet customers' preferences, particularly through online platforms, enhances convenience and satisfaction, ultimately driving retention. 

Driving Success in Music Retail and Education with Blustream 

Blustream's "School, Band, & Orchestra Executive Roundtable" provided a wealth of insights and strategies for music retailers navigating the complexities of today's market. From harnessing technology to fostering inclusive learning environments, the panelists offered actionable advice for empowering and retaining the musicians of tomorrow. As the industry continues to evolve, embracing innovation and prioritizing customer-centric approaches will be key to driving success in music retail and education. 

Ken Rapp, CEO of Blustream and moderator of the panel, shared his enthusiasm for the event, stating, “The collaborative efforts of SBO retailers and the advancements in technology, such as Blustream's, are instrumental in advancing the industry, reducing rental returns, and increasing revenue for retailers.” 

Join us in our commitment to nurturing aspiring musicians and fostering a vibrant community of music enthusiasts, powered by technology. Schedule a call with our team today:  


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