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5 Great Lessons every Product Manager can learn from Boutique Pedal Maker Strymon

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2016AfBlgStrymon700

Many will know by now that I am enamored with Strymon Guitar Effects Pedals. It goes without saying that their products perform exceptionally well, but it’s all the branding touches and attention to detail which needs to be recognised, celebrated and held up as a benchmark example to all.


"Left brain artists. Innovators. Thinkers."


As I see it, Strymon are the Apple of pedal makers - in terms of their stupendous quality control and joined-up-thinking for all areas of their operation. And while Apple is wont to blow smoke up your posterior every now and again with a little of the superficial over the functional - by contrast everything Strymon do is wholly comprehensively honest and totally transparently clear:

 


Composition - Harmonized Product Design


The pedals themselves are encased in very high quality anodized aluminium jewel-like boxes. They convey clarity of purpose, and utilize very clever font selections to distinguish and classify each product category. The colour selection is smart and modern, and you end up with very easily identifiable objects. The colour and name association prompts high recall-ability and everything just exudes quality and class. These pedal are upper echelon in terms of pricing, but compared to their equally pricey competitors it somehow seems you are getting more when the design and attention to detail are this good.

 


Projection - Comprehensive Website


In the Guitar, Amps and Effects sector - the vast majority of websites are disappointingly woeful and inadequate. Standing out like a shining beacon is the Strymon web presence. The way their pages are structured and the wealth of detail and manner of how it is conveyed is so head-and-shoulders above everyone else that it puts every equivalent brand to shame - even the likes of Apple. Nowhere else do you get to experience so much about how each individual pedal works, and what the sonic possibilities and greater potential are.

 


Demonstration - Interactive Guides


You get both interactive diagrams where you can view the device from different angles, click on all buttons / dials / controls / ports to reveal their primary and secondary functions, and play Audio Samples for each of the key presets and configurations. You totally know what each device is capable of, and what sounds / tones you can reasonably expect to achieve well before you acquire each device. There are several big players in the same sector offering similar competing products, not quite as good in my opinion obviously but also much much more poorly presented and demonstrated. Every product manager should take note how of how Strymon go about their business and challenge themselves to try to match these lofty heights.

 


Explanation - Smart Manuals and Instructions


Strymon’s colour-coded approach carries through to their exceptional downloadable manuals and included quick-start guides. The one that comes with the newest Riverside pedal is particularly genius as it shows you Example Settings to easily dial in great tones. You marvel at the simple elegance of this and wonder why no one has done this before - but no one has - Strymon are just that much better than everyone else, and they care just a little bit more.

 


Encapsulation - Uniform Packaging


Up until the Riverside, the packaging has been largely monochromatic black and white. With their newest pedal, Strymon have finally hit their stride with their packaging too. It makes total sense to maintain the colour-coordinated look which works so well for the individual pedals, guides etc.. Having the box in the same colourway helps reinforce the association with the product functionality and you can be sure of the high level of quality when everything matches up so well, and know that you have acquired the correct pedal for your specific purposes. Unboxing after all is a critical part of the relationship-forming experience - it serves to underline and emphasise further the smart innovative approach, and always quality-centric focus of the brand. This is how everyone should operate really - props to Strymon for showing us all the better way ...

 

 

 

 

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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