Music Trades Trust Network Profile - Music Instrument Distribution



The Trust Network

A proven record of helping companies expand their
global footprint


If you’re a fledgling manufacturer looking to sell globally, or say you have an established brand, but feel that your export sales are underperforming, where do you turn for help? The Trust Network consultancy is a good place to start. Since launching the Trust Network in 1992, Brendan and Ros Murray have applied their expertise to help scores of m.i. and pro audio companies significantly expand their presence in markets around the world.


Managing Director Brendan Murray’s varied career experience suits him perfectly to the role of global sales consultant. After a stint performing as a professional musician, he joined the sales team of Rose-Morris (now Korg U.K.), then the U.K.’s premier distributor. That led to a position managing keyboard sales for Casio U.K., and later as head of sales and marketing for Hohner U.K. But as export manager of speaker maker Celestion, selling into 25 countries, he gained an appreciation for the challenges of breaking in to foreign markets. In addition to developing pricing and branding strategies, selecting the right distribution partner was essential. He explains, “The same product, price, and service level could produce vastly different levels of sales in the same country, depending on the quality and motivation of the distributor handling that brand.”


Over the past 24 years, the Murrays have built their business by helping companies navigate these difficulties. For fledgling enterprises or companies looking to export for the first time, they provide a comprehensive road map. They evaluate brand “health” with an emphasis on developing a compelling sales narrative; they outline price and margin formulas on a country-by-country basis; they provide research on competitive brands; they supply guidance on supply-chain frameworks and support networks; and they uncover optimal distribution partners. For more established businesses that already are exporting, or even those with a leading market position, Trust Network offers a different suite of services, including a detailed, country-by-country assessment of market potential; local tools for expanding brand awareness; and evaluations of existing and potential distribution partners. A special area of expertise involves crafting pricing strategies that simultaneously provide incentives for re-sellers, while remaining competitive and credible in an era of cross-border shopping.


Trust Network distribution strategies are based on a combination of hard data and hard-won experience. Brendan explains, “We understand what it takes to bring products to market, and the mistakes to avoid. We also know what it takes to make a product line attractive to those who have the potential to bring it to market.” As to data, the Trust Network has developed a database of global distributors, detailing their capabilities and reach. And, after years of bringing distributors and manufacturers together, the Murrays enjoy a high level of credibility. He adds, “When we contact distributors on behalf of our clients, they know we’ve done our homework and aren’t wasting their time.”


The Trust Network is an independent consultancy with no links to individual manufacturers or distributors, thereby steering clear of any conflicts of interest. When they are retained by a client, they are focused exclusively on that company’s success. “That’s our only agenda,” says Brendan. Unlike sales agents focused on a single product line or region, Trust Network has worked with clients in every product segment, and every region. This broad-based experience translates into more effective guidance.

The Murrays describe the Trust Network as an “A-Z” service for helping companies bring products to market. However, Brendan has a larger objective of fostering industry growth. “Innovation is the single biggest driver of growth,” he says. “In past years, digital keyboards, multi-track recording, and software created substantial new revenue streams for the industry. In the same way, decades ago, Matthias Hohner’s harmonica created a new and expanded market. Helping innovators steer through the minefields to bring their products to market is what particularly pleases us. These are the companies that have the potential to give the industry a step-change in business.”


Brendan and Ros - NAMM 2016 e-mail sendsTrust Network principals Brendan and Ros Murray boast

decades of globalmarketing experience.