G7th CaposThe original Performance Capo, the model that launched G7th Capos back in 2004, changed the way many musicians thought about their capos. Designed by G7th founder Nick Campling, the Performance model had a unique mechanism to deliver near-infinite adjustability, an antidote to the tuning problems associated with capos. The recipient of multiple awards, the design was embraced by artists from prolific songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Richard Thompson to Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Despite the accolades, however, artists sometimes commented on its bulkiness—which is why G7th came back a decade later with the new Performance 2. Also designed by Campling, the G7th Performance 2 has the same wrap spring clutch that gave the original its stability and range for adjustment, but in a smaller, lighter format. In addition, the mechanism has been flipped to deliver a much faster and truly one-handed squeeze-on/squeeze-off functionality. Now on the market for about a year, the new model has been taken up by pros including Tim McGraw and Bob Minner, as well as untold beginners and hobbyists.
Performance 2 capo improves on a game-changer
“The reception has been incredible,” says Séamus Brady, head of marketing and artist relations for G7th. “G7th sells many hundreds of thousands of capos each year because players appreciate better tuning, better neck protection, and better tone. Capo users aren’t just aware that they can have better—they’re embracing it.”
Based in Leicester, U.K., G7th broke into the accessories market to almost instant acclaim, earning awards from Design Week and Acoustic Guitar magazine for its inaugural model. The company went on to win a prestigious Queen’s Award in 2009, earning a visit to Buckingham Palace and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. Still under the leadership of Campling, along with Managing Director Noel Sheehan, it’s expanded from its original Performance line into two other main offerings: the Nashville and Newport, as well as several special editions. G7th’s simple tagline—“The Capo Company”—signifies that “we don’t make straps or stands or anything else,” states the company website—“just the best capos in the world.”
Underscoring the appeal of “just capos,” a recent round of trials revealed that by highlighting G7th products as “must-have” accessories—displaying them in depth and at eye level—retailers increased ROI on capos between 250% and 400%. Why? Brady suggests G7th’s focus on premium quality plays right into a market that’s as informed as it ever has been. “Recent years have seen a huge rise in demand for premium accessories and a dramatic increase in capo use,” he says. “Because these players can get a ton of information from the web in seconds, they’re discerning about products offering enhanced and relevant benefits. If the customer is a kid just starting out, they’re in safe hands with such a thoughtfully-designed capo with a lifetime warranty. If the customer is buying a fine instrument, then you’re selling them something of equivalent quality, which really works, looks great, and won’t let them down. Either way, the whole G7th range is still very much within impulse purchase territory.
“As a company we’re very clear,” he concludes. “Everything we do has to be innovative or a significant improvement on an existing design. We don’t find markets for our capos—we make capos for our markets.”
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