International recognition for PianoShop
International recognition for Wellington’s PianoShop
A Wellington retailer’s passion and commitment to pianos has won him prestigious international recognition.
PianoShop was awarded the 2006-2007 Outstanding Kawai Dealership for Australia and New Zealand, an honour given in Melbourne recently at a special function to mark Kawai’s 80th anniversary.
The function was attended by Hirotaka Kawai, President of Kawai, and leading piano dealers from New Zealand and Australia.
The Wellington-based shop is the largest Kawai piano dealer in New Zealand, but is only small compared to the number of shops in Australia - there are at least five sizeable piano showrooms in Sydney alone.
PianoShop’s triumph, outperforming scores of major Australia dealers proves market size isn’t everything though, their exceptional customer service attitude being singled out in the award presentation.
PianoShop owner Cameron Crawford, who was pleased and somewhat humbled to receive the presentation and plaque, puts the success down to offering a fresh approach in what is a very traditional industry, particularly in innovative marketing and business strategies. “We do have a strong service approach towards providing a positive customer experience, but I think it also demonstrates our Kiwi attitude of taking a fresh look at how to do things, then just getting on with it, ” he said.
The Wellington businessman and music philanthropist is a passionate believer in the value of pianos, and is convinced they offer more than simply good music. “They relieve stress, they extend skills, offer both discipline and motivation, they are great confidence boosters, they open up new opportunities, and because they aren’t hard to play, kids can get a note instantly, offering tangible rewards for effort,” he enthused.
In fact, there is strong evidence that children learning music outperform their peers academically at non-musical learning like mathematics and languages, while another study showed that 95 percent of entrepreneurs in businesses in the United State’s Silicon Valley learnt musical instruments; piano featuring prominently in the statistics.
Many are looking at pianos as an investment in lifestyle balance, and Mr Crawford has witnessed a growing trend for people seeking pianos for their living spaces, a rebellion he believes against plasma technology, virtual reality and a throwaway environment. “A well-looked after piano will last your family for generations; it’s very real experience.”
Kawai have built over 2.5 million pianos in their 80 years of business. They are considered by many to be Japan’s leading piano maker, with dealerships around the world. The award-winning pianos they produce are recognised for their rich warm sound, and are regarded as exceptionally good value – Mr Crawford describes it as the musical equivalent of the Lexis car.
PianoShop sells new and pre-loved pianos. It has a comprehensive service centre, with master craftsmen servicing, rebuilding, repolishing and moving all types of pianos, and supports the music community including symphony orchestras, universities and leading visiting artists. It also regularly provides pianos for specific shows and concerts. Being New Zealand’s largest piano centre means PianoShop commonly freights pianos to towns and cities the length of New Zealand.