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Chapman Guitars - Company of the Year

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Company: Chapman Guitars, United Kingdom
Company Description: Brought to existence in June 2009 by founder Rob Chapman, Chapman Guitars has grown exponentially over the past 8 years, guided by a core ideal of collaborative design and a team of highly skilled musicians, engineers, designers and creatives.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Consumer Products - Durables - Small

Nomination Title: Chapman Guitars

Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Brought to existence in June 2009 by founder Rob Chapman, Chapman Guitars has grown exponentially over the past 8 years, guided by a core ideal of collaborative design and a team of highly skilled musicians, engineers, designers and creatives.

Years ago, Rob Chapman was teaching guitar and playing music . He made a video for MySpace and got great feedback. So he started making videos, demoing products, teaching guitar, and fans really enjoyed it. In 2007, Rob uploaded the first video to his YouTube channel. 10 years later now, his channel has over 598,000 subscribers and over 215 million views. Lee Anderton , owner of Anderton's Music Store in Guildford, saw the early videos, and asked Rob to make videos for his guitar store.

Together they made videos. Rob’s fans enjoyed his charismatic personality, in addition to his banter with Lee . Barnes and Mullins guitar company also enjoyed Rob and offered to make Rob a signature guitar. As is his nature, Rob took to YouTube and asked his 30,000 subscribers (at that time) what they wanted.

When Barnes and Mullins saw the response, they said, ‘We think you should release this through your own brand.’ They thought I should call it Chapman Guitars, it should be its own thing, and I thought for a few days about what that meant. Essentially, they had just given me a guitar company . It blew my mind, that doesn’t happen to anybody.”

Rob teamed up with Lee Anderton, and together they brought out the first two customer created guitars, the ML-1 and the ML-2, both as limited runs. The design, features, and specs of the models are all up for debate in this innovative and interactive conceptual process and the majority wins.

Until 2014, they were selling guitars only via Andertons in the U.K and a store in Norway called Evenstad Musikk , both of whom they still are with today. Then they went to the Winter 2014 NAMM Show in California and the growth began. They came away with another 10 retailers, which was a great start.

Since then , Chapman Guitars has gone from strength to strength in an industry where new brands typically have a very hard time breaking into the marketplace.

Chapman also does not use a traditional distribution business model - the guitars are made to order and are shipped directly from their factory to their retail partners . That makes the retailer itself a very important relationship and Chapman offers them a generous retail margin as an extra incentive to make sure customers experience the best customer service and assistance.

Chapman now have four lines of guitars, The Standard Series, the British Standard Series, The Pro Series, and The Signature Series, all collaboratively created. And with over 30 retailers in over 20 countries getting in on the customer pleasing action, Chapman Guitars is evolving rapidly.

At NAMM 2017, Chapman Guitars introduced 29 completely new guitars "The new designs are culmination of 18 months worth of feedback, comments, chats and meetings with the guitar-playing public. “

This year, Chapman signed an agreement with the Guitar Center. Three of Chapman's series will be available online, with a selection of the most in-demand models in stock at select locations.

As a musician, Chapman uses the company's guitars when touring with his band, Dorje, in order to ensure every model is road-worthy.

At NAMM 2017, Rob Chapman, for the second year in a row, won the user-voted Guitar Personality of the Year award. “From lessons and demos, to industry insight and behind-the-scenes looks at his colourful life, Rob continues to sit at the very core of the guitar world, and we can’t get enough.” NAMM

Rob Chapman built a following, then a business, and is happy to continue with natural organic growth to stay true to the core values he embodies.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Brought to existence in June 2009 by founder Rob Chapman, Chapman Guitars has grown exponentially over the past 8 years, guided by a core ideal of collaborative design and a team of highly skilled musicians, engineers, designers and creatives.
-The design, features, and specs of the models are all up for debate in this innovative and interactive conceptual process and the majority wins.
-Chapman now have four lines of guitars, The Standard Series, the British Standard Series, The Pro Series, and The Signature Series, all collaboratively created.
-Chapman Guitars has gone from strength to strength in an industry where new brands typically have a very hard time breaking into the marketplace.
-Rob Chapman built a following, then a business, and is happy to continue with natural organic growth to stay true to the core values he embodies.

Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2017? Product Innovation