It’s the day before Halloween and I’ve saved just the right ghost story to tell you. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the very appropriately named Jonny Coffin – the king of all horror related products in the music industry! Coffin is both a musician and inventor. When the coffin shaped guitar case he designed for his personal use attracted attention wherever he carried it, he realized the potential market for the product and others like it.
“It really appealed to the darker sub culture of rock and roll music. When I carried the case to the studio and shows, people always asked me, ‘Where’d you get that?” I first created a high-end version of the coffin case. I was able to generate interest from affluent clients (like celebrity Johnny Depp). The high-end pieces got me into the press and gained popularity among Southern Californian artists,” Coffin explained.
The first coffins were really more like works of art. Coffin was able with the success of these first products to create less expensive versions that trickled into a larger consumer market.
“I always knew I wanted to create a brand. It was my goal to be as well known (in the music industry) as household names such as Fender. It really helped that my product was so unique – competing with older brands that had been established for decades would have been much more difficult otherwise.”
Coffin also made extensive use of digital social networking sites. His company Coffin Case has a strong viral presence, relying on My Space, Facebook, and Twitter, for example, to communicate with its loyal consumers.
“We’re a very image heavy company; digital media works much better for us than print. We wanted our people to feel like they were part of a community. As I sometimes like to say, we’re catering to the “D” student. And our brand crosses into other popular markets too, like toys, videogames, and horror, all of whom have digital communities as well,” offered Coffin.
Right now, Coffin believes the next marketing shift is to the cellular phone. Coffin Case has begun to develop iPhone applications, for example. In the immediate future though, they’re gearing up for what appears to be a totally jam-packed Halloween. Visit Coffin Case’s Website.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.