When we originally launched the forum, one of our objectives was to give another platform to the smaller UK-based businesses to reach the guitar community with their (relevant) products and services.
Personally, I'd rather buy from someone that I can talk to, who's not hidden behind layers of PR, and who's getting most of the money that I'm paying rather than also supporting a distribution network, an advertising budget, an HR function, and all the other costs that support the large Corporate.
We charge nothing for providing the platform because we expect our community to benefit from the contributions of those businesses to the wider forum. That's primarily contributions of knowledge, expertise, experience (etc) much of which may not be directly relevant to your product.
Over the years since our launch, we've seen a few businesses come and stay - and prosper - and a few who've appeared briefly before a spectacular crash and burn.
Mainly it's a difference between those who take the time to contribute to the wider forum, and those who just push out PR style "look at my new thing" posts. The former is give-and-take and will be well received, the latter is just take (and won't be so well received).
It can also be a difference between how they respond to questions or criticisms. We don't typically censor posts here. If someone says your product is rubbish, then that's an opinion that they're entitled to hold and post (personal insult is a different matter). Engaging with the community reinforces the credibility of the business and the product. Taking an aggressively argumentative approach tends to have the opposite effect, and will remain uncensored for all to see even if you subsequently leave the forum.
A final point is that Google loves our content. A thread here, with a lot of user/customer comment will be given more weight in their rankings than a couple of reviews on your own website, and - as a customer - I'd place more value on the sort of content that we generate here.
So, welcome (again), take your time to plan your engagement here, where you can add some value, and how you want to engage with your potential market effectively.
(We also welcome contributions of product that can be raffled here to raise funds for our on-going costs, but that's not an alternative to the engagement model!).