Virtual Guitar Shows, Forums, Instrument Registration and Social Media
South Beach Luxury Group
SOBE Luxury Group was formed years ago as a way of combining travel retail (duty-free shops) with sales of Musical instruments. Founded originally by Henry Lowenstein and Eric Garcia, both of whom had come from a duty-free retail environment where they developed luxury goods travel stores within short distances around airports and seaports, the Group developed beyond that when it was discovered that many international visitors to glamorous South Miami Beach were interested in buying guitars and accessories to take back with them to their home countries.
Moreover, the partners quickly found that there was an unusually large business in renting guitars for fashion ads of all types, including advertising for luxury watches, sports cars, and fragrances. The many luxury yacht shows in the area, as well at the famous Art Basil in Miami Beach Art show were also displaying and using guitars to create excitement and brand recognition among younger purchasers and a growing baby-boomer class of buyers with an interest in both fine acoustic and electric guitars.
Long a collector of musical instruments and having family ties to music shops dating back to the 1920’s when his grandparents were Gibson dealers, Lowenstein became interested in guitar shows, and with his partners Eric Garcia and Ron Hill, purchased the Newport Guitar Festival, which was moved to Miami Beach, and later to the Hard Rock Hotel Complex.
Lowenstein, by training is an international trade attorney, and Ron Hill, as a former chief Customs officer in Miami and with the United Nations, also had businesses which involved the commercial inspection of imported goods as subcontractors to U.S. Customs, Fish and Wildlife, Agriculture and Homeland Security. When the crisis arose over the implementation of the Lacey Act and the enforcement of CITES provisions worldwide involving endangered species used in Guitars, it was a natural for the Group to work on a solution for musicians to this problem.
While based in glamorous South Beach, the Group long understood that location and the costly preparation for CONSUMER guitar shows was the single biggest hindrance to reaching more consumers and introducing them to the newest trends in guitars and accessories. It is then that the idea came to use modern advancements in iphone apps, personal computers and the wildly important social media, to combine over thirty years of experience in music retailing, luxury goods retailing, and expertise in international trade in endangered species, to put together a group of websites that served both the music community and the luxury goods community in a broad manner. After all, it was now well established from the vast experience of advertising and marketing surveys, that people who purchased expensive guitars and accessories, also bought expensive watches, pens, clothing and fragrances, and many other luxury goods from fine art, sports cars and yachts, to a premium beverages.
The South Beach Luxury Group was born. The last step was to find an international firm of social marketers and programmers to partner with the South Beach Luxury Group so that state of the art programming and use of smart phone apps could make registration of guitars, placement of new instruments and accessories on virtual show tables, and every other type of marketing and advertising, could be as easy as posting on a social network, while actually linking to every form of social media automatically. The discovery of the Syrup group headed by Eric Ferrer was that key portion. Combined with the 13th Fret.com, the oldest guitar forum on the web, Ferrer is creating a social network combining the links and historical databases of the 13th Fret to produce the ultimate in social media for the target audience. The combined websites of South Beach Luxury Group will shortly span many nations, translating into Spanish and French, and will, indeed, change the way musical merchandise and luxury goods are marketed forever.