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Interview with Lohanu Ukulele’s founder Joseph Chung
Posted on April 13, 2022
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We sat down with Joseph Chung, the creator and owner of Lohanu Ukulele. Lohanu is one of the most popular ukulele brands on Amazon with thousands of 5-star reviews. Lohanu sells their ukuleles in bundles that include both the instrument itself and all the equipment you need to play the ukulele. The bundles also include helpful video lessons that teach you the basics of playing the ukulele. Lohanu’s ukulele bundles come with an Unconditional Lifetime Warranty for both the ukulele and its accessories. You can buy Lohanu’s products online in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.
Read more about Lohanu, their ukuleles and ukulele bundles on Lohanu’s website www.lohanu.com.
How and why did you start Lohanu?
I studied music at the University of British Columbia in Canada where I majored in composition. My main instrument is the piano, and upon graduating, I taught piano and also worked at a music store. While working at the music store, I came across the ukulele as many people were asking for them. So, I started to play the ukulele myself and fell in love with it. I started to teach the ukulele at various elementary schools as a lunchtime and after-school program. This turned out to be very popular among the kids.
In 2016, I got into selling products on Amazon and started the Lohanu brand selling ukuleles. At that time, sellers on Amazon were not including accessories with the ukulele. However, based on my experience, I knew that people eventually needed to purchase some of the accessories like bags, tuners, strap pins, straps, picks and ukulele lessons. As no one was offering them, I decided to bundle up all the accessories and online video lessons as a package to make it a great deal. Many people were attracted to this offer and we gained a lot of sales and over 8,000 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon around the world.
What makes Lohanu’s ukuleles special and different from other brands?
As I mentioned, most music stores sell the ukulele and accessories separately. Lohanu was one of the first brands to bundle up the accessories and online lessons along with the ukulele on Amazon. This set us apart from the other brands back in 2016. However, nowadays, pretty much all other brands on Amazon have started doing the same by bundling the accessories together. I guess that’s how business works.
In a way, this kind of competition is good because it creates a higher standard of value at a lower price. This in turn is good for the customers. However, I still think we at Lohanu have the best accessories for the ukulele. For example, nobody includes a leather pick and a paracord ukulele hanger which are very useful accessories. I also personally think my video lessons are really good as they are based on my experience of teaching over 500 students.
Another thing we focused heavily on was customer service and warranty. We strive to provide 100% complete satisfaction and offer an Unconditional Lifetime Warranty with all of our products. Whatever goes wrong during the lifetime of the ukulele or any accessory, we replace it for free. No other ukulele brand offers this kind of warranty, which sets us apart from the competition. We also have some accessories that no one else is selling, such as the ukulele hanger. We are constantly thinking about what extra value can we provide, so we decided to include the beginner video lessons in our bundles as well.
What kind of ukuleles, accessories and other products does Lohanu offer?
Lohanu has 3 ukulele models. Our flagship model is the Sapele laminate wood ukulele in soprano, concert, tenor and baritone sizes. We have a Sapele laminate wood cutaway with an electronic tuner and pickup. This model is available in concert and tenor sizes. Finally, we have our Spalted Maple Armrest Glossy Electric (MAGE) series in concert and tenor sizes. All ukuleles come in a bundle with our accessories and ukulele lessons. The MAGE series is a very beautiful and unique model as no two ukuleles have the same design.
What ukulele would you recommend for beginners?
We highly recommend the LU-C model, which is the concert size, for pretty much everyone who is over 9 years old. Most people don’t need the electric pickup option and just want the normal-looking brown wood ukulele. Although the soprano is the original ukulele size, we recommend the concert size because it is only 3 inches longer than the soprano and gives more spacing to the frets. I find the soprano is too small for many adults.
For all adults, both men and women, we definitely recommend the concert size. The concert size works for kids 9 and up unless they have small hands. In that case, we recommend the soprano size (LU-S) instead. For men with larger hands, we recommend the tenor size (LU-T) as it is 2 inches longer than the concert and has a bigger ukulele body.
Why do you think the ukulele is such a popular instrument nowadays?
Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, the ukulele is very easy to learn. You can learn five chords very easily, even within a week or two, and you can already play many popular songs with just five chords. Other instruments take much longer to learn. So the entry barrier is very low. The ukulele also just sounds so good and happy, even just playing the open strings. Every time you play the ukulele, people around you start to smile. It creates a good mood.
How do you market Lohanu’s products?
To be honest, we haven’t done much marketing at all. We’ve only done some advertisements on Amazon and the rest was through word of mouth, which is the best form of advertisement. And it’s free!
We found that when we provide a great product at a great price and provide great customer service with an extensive warranty, people are very happy. When people are happy with their purchase, it is only natural for them to tell their friends and family about it and write great reviews. It seems almost too simple of a formula, but it works and that’s what we’ve done. If you are in business, then I recommend doing the same. Our business motto is basically the golden rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Or in more simpler words, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated’.
Can you say anything about learning to play the ukulele with Yousician?
I think Yousician is great for learning the ukulele and other instruments. The lessons are very well planned and recorded, while the instant feedback of your playing encourages the student to focus and improve their playing. I love how Yousician has increasing levels of difficulty in linear order and there are well-known popular songs that people can play along to. I think Yousician is a great product for anyone who wants to learn and improve their playing.
Traditionally, we had to learn an instrument through real-time private or group lessons, and this still is the best way to learn. However, it can get expensive for some people and it may not suit their schedule. With the development of technology, an app like Yousician can go alongside or even replace private lessons, depending on the person. You can basically get a whole year of access to Yousician for all 5 instruments at about the price of a month or two of private lessons. And you get more value out of Yousician as you have access to thousands of lessons and popular songs. So I highly recommend people to learn ukulele with Yousician!
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