Conn-Selmer’s USA-Made Stimulus Program

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By Jack Barton

Conn-Selmer is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of musical instruments. One of the worst things that could happen to them is having warehouses full of unsold instruments.

And with a lot of uncertainty during the pandemic, they wanted to make their instruments more affordable for schools to purchase. And so, Conn-Selmer introduced their Stimulus Program.

During this promotion, they subsidized the cost of their instruments to get them into hundreds of schools.

But they needed to get their messaging right and inspire confidence among teachers and dealers.

Conn-Selmer stimulus program promo banner

My Testimonial

At the time, I was a sales specialist at Summerhays Music. Our Conn-Selmer rep asked me for a testimonial, which they used to help establish the program’s legitimacy with dealers and ship more instruments to schools.

Here’s what I wrote:

“This fall we had a number of schools requesting additional instruments due to COVID-19. Oftentimes in more desperate situations like this the tendency is to just go with the low-price option while sacrificing other things like sound quality and long-term durability of the instrument.

When the Conn-Selmer Stimulus program was first announced, it was an opportunity for us to help teachers and administrators save on much-needed instruments for their band programs without making that sacrifice on quality.

We’re expecting hundreds of instruments to go in and out of the store during the next few months thanks to the Stimulus program. And on a personal level, I feel better knowing that many of these schools will have Conn-Selmer instruments available for their students to play on.”

The promotion is over, and the Stimulus web page is no longer live. But, you can still see an archived version of the site with my testimonial.

Stimulus Program Results

The stimulus program ran in two waves:

  • In 2020, they awarded $1.1 million to 195 schools across the United States.
  • In 2021, they awarded an additional $1 million to schools.

Between these two waves, I was personally involved in selling hundreds of instruments to schools in our area.

In the end, Conn-Selmer built a strong level of trust and brand awareness in schools. They placed thousands of instruments in the hands of kids who would otherwise never see, touch, or play a Conn-Selmer instrument.

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