Over the last few months, we have been working on an exciting project that aims to add a certain flair to one of the fastest-growing categories in music: electronic drum kits. Super niche product development along with an enviable foundation position of just giving the people what they want meant a relatively smooth project, however, the proof will be in the eating. And we are looking forward to tasting it.
From our perspective, the biggest challenge was trying to understand the intricacies and technicalities of just what goes into a drum sound. Despite a love of festivals and 1990’s pub rock bands, there’s always going to be a certain level of ignorance and around what specific parts make up a drum kit (tom-toms, kicker, snare, cymbals), what brands are good, and what is the difference between any of them — not to mention how electronic drum kits work and what goes into putting them together. From a tech perspective, we were sure that what we wanted to do was possible, we just needed to make sure that we understood all the nuances that would ultimately be the difference between this thing being considered legitimate, or not.
It’s not like any other project in that part of the challenge is making sure you understand what you are trying to do, I suppose though, when you have such a niche product, with such passionate partners and promoters - it’s making sure you can meet them at a level that they feel comfortable working with you.
On top of that, we also took this on as part of a venture project — and as a passion project for a lot of the guys involved, it’s limited budget, time, and chances of getting this wrong.
We took a document-light and brief-light approach (again, how do you build something that you’re not sure is possible?!), and took a “we are going to need to get this wrong 3 or four times first, before we get anywhere near what we want it to approach”. Led by Comms and Tech Consultant, Louis Devine, we quickly spun up a Shopify store and started working through iterations internally, before sharing with the client.
At the same time, we run a separate sprint to work through brand and company structure issues with the delivery of a name, logo and initial brand codes being deemed essential before a site could be showcased.
Following almost three complete rebuilds, we finally settled on a design and rough hierarchy of language, products and usability, uploaded the new logo and name, and were ready for presentation.
At the same time, we were working through the website, the DSP team were busy developing the products in the studio. They also took an iterative approach, working through a number of ‘versions’ and products until they settled on a number with just the right mix.
All up, it took just under 4 months to complete the launch phase of the website, and we are still happy to apply a test and learn approach to what’s working and what’s not.
The proof will ultimately be in the eating with this pudding, however, in terms of usability, brand, and product, we think we’re in a good position.
One aspect of this project that is rare, is the steadfast commitment to ‘what the customer wants’ from the entire project team. The product is authentic and really good, made by a team of seriously talented and passionate e-drummers and acoustic engineers. From a personal perspective, I’ve been tempted to get online and pick up a V-drums kit just so I can start experimenting with new and old sounds from some really cool acoustic kits.
Where To Next?
With this launch, we have successful completed the “Launch” phase of the project. Taking in total just under 250 hours, we’re now moving into the consolidation phase, which again, lots of discussions and analysis of ‘what does the customer really want’. We have a long wish list of things to cover off, from CRM implementation and set up, through to Digital PR, along with further product development. One aspect that is really exciting is the Artist- and album-inspired packs. This insight came from discussions with e-drummers in the market, and is exactly how the DSP team wants to spend the next few months: Finding and recording the most sought-after and rare drum kits known to drummers! We are loving being apart of the opportunity and cannot wait to see where this takes us.