Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Mr. Paul

Changes at the "new" Gibson

Recommended Posts

He's gone if you thought he was the savior or a slime bucket is your opinion, He's not the CEO anymore so... there ya go.

the word business was included

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

On the other hand, I think the biggest issue really is the decline in peoples interest in learning to play. (which we've all read those articles. With people like Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, and their ilk, dominating the industry, I can kinda see why. no offense to those folks who like these performers, but personally I don't find any of that music even listenable never mind yearn to play/learn the songs.)

 

 

Not arguing here. Just wondering was there ever a time that acoustic stuff dominated ?

Aside from MTV unplugged surge in the 90’s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL at the image of local stores run by "idiots." I think more along the lines of two Denver stores that are still around and central figures in the local music scene, Denver Folklore Center and Old Town Pickin Parlor. Stores where a repeat customer is greeted by name. Bought my first Gibson at one before they got the boot. Both are in nice parts of town where you can take your kids in spite of Henry's ridiculous comment about local music stores being in seedy neighborhoods.

 

Henry gets his due for saving Gibson, I'm rooting hard for the company to succeed moving forward in a very different market.

 

Loved the J45 Studio I played a couple weeks ago, also like the price point of the new G45. Heard with interest JC's comments about retooling and a renewed focus on quality control.

 

Encouraging news moving forward, which in business is the only direction that counts 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL at the image of local stores run by "idiots." I think more along the lines of two Denver stores that are still around and central figures in the local music scene, Denver Folklore Center and Old Town Pickin Parlor. Stores where a repeat customer is greeted by name. Bought my first Gibson at one before they got the boot. Both are in nice parts of town where you can take your kids in spite of Henry's ridiculous comment about local music stores being in seedy neighborhoods.

 

Henry gets his due for saving Gibson, I'm rooting hard for the company to succeed moving forward in a very different market.

 

Loved the J45 Studio I played a couple weeks ago, also like the price point of the new G45. Heard with interest JC's comments about retooling and a renewed focus on quality control.

 

Encouraging news moving forward, which in business is the only direction that counts 😉

 

Well ok. Idiots is a bit thick

 

I’m no Henry fanboy. I could care less

 

Just grated on me when folk think that they can order three pairs of shoes and send the two that don’t fit back again and say why not it’s a free service.

We all end up paying

 

If I can I will absolute buy stuff from an actual shop

I am a frequent online shopper also.

I’m on the side of the actual stores not the virtual ones

 

But my particular line of work highlights the store with the negative attitude.

 

Be a Rocky not a Paulie

 

That’s all I’m saying.

I too look forward to positive things coming with the changes ahead

 

A good music shop is heaven on earth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not arguing here. Just wondering was there ever a time that acoustic stuff dominated ?

Aside from MTV unplugged surge in the 90’s

 

yea there was, but not recently. Take a look at some of the video archives from the 70s with guys like Jim Croce, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, and some of the other bands in those times that were riding the top of the charts. (Pure Prairie League Dan Folgerberg, Eagles, America) IMHO, There was plenty of it back THEN..

 

These days,, not sure,, still there, but not main stream, guys like Jason Isabel, for example. Doing it like it used to be done, and doing it right, but, not a house hold name by any means. The great music is still out there, but you gotta look for it.

 

The MSM is NOT going to push it out to ya.. they're too busy falling over them selves to stick a mic in Lady Gaga's face to ask about her views on the political climate. Eeesh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Martin Guitar Company acknowledges that the Kingston Trio and the folk boom they started in the late 50’s caused their sales to skyrocket. Years later Martin did tribute models to the trio acknowledging this. All acoustic sales increased from that era. Not sure any similar acoustic guitar phenomena since the folk boom (which carried into the mid 60s) has occurred since.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Martin Guitar Company acknowledges that the Kingston Trio and the folk boom they started in the late 50’s caused their sales to skyrocket. Years later Martin did tribute models to the trio acknowledging this. All acoustic sales increased from that era. Not sure any similar acoustic guitar phenomena since the folk boom (which carried into the mid 60s) has occurred since.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

Arguably, Clapton's appearance on MTV for their 'Unplugged' series in 1992 was the proverbial shot-in-the-arm that drove a resurgence of interest in acoustic guitar music and the instruments that make them. A recent volume of Acoustic Guitar magazine documents this quite well.

 

I would venture that most acoustic guitar makers owe a lot of their business (and the accompanying interest in their instruments) to that album / video.

 

Before that, a lot of music was characterized by hair bands and leftover punk/new wave, along with their Kramer and Peavey solid-body guitars.

 

So there's that...

 

Fred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No denying Clapton’s Unplugged appearance rejumpstartted acoustic sales that had declined from the Casio keyboard surge in the 80s. In more recent times, acoustics have also had increased sales from manufacturers turning acoustics into acoustic-electrics, making them palatable to use in otherwise electric environments. But, what will be next?

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that unplugged session with Eric Clapton gave us home boys a lot of material to wood shed on didn't it!! Guy is, has been, always will be... Genius..

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is complicated and not easy to explain in a couple of paragraphs but I will try.

 

Back in the 50's the mom and pops would buy a few guitars from each manufacturer and then advertise they were authorized dealers for all the major brands. They had as many dealerships as possible to discourage another store from moving to their town. They had one J-45 and a couple of Martins and a Telecaster in their tiny store and when you saw their ad in the yellow pages and asked for a Gibson they would trot out a J-45 they had for years and said the could order whatever you wanted.

 

Henty sent his sales reps across the country and found this system in place and though it worked for the dealers it didn't work for the manufactures. He told all of his authorized dealers they had to represent the line in their stores or lose the dealership. The small guys were being pressured by Martin and Fender to do the same so the had to make a decision. Martin had great acoustics and no electrics. Fender had cheap electrics and no acoustics. Gibson had it all.

 

Most dealers chose Martin as they didn't have to buy electrics and most chose Fender as they didn't have to buy a full line of acoustics. They instead told people they didn't like the price or the quality of Gibson and they dropped them.They blamed it all on Gibson. It's much more complicated that this but there is not time or space to go into detail.

 

The people that chose Gibson and represented the whole line were rewarded with a protected territory that no one else could sell Gibson in. It's just like the automobile dealership model.

 

Then Elderly sent out a catalogue. This crossed all territories and the war was on. They had the entire mid-west to sell in and they didn't need to have a store with overhead or license fees and all the overhead. This was a huge problem for the dealers that invested in full line inventories as they had all of the overhead of a store and a competitor that was price cutting the heck out of them. Henry went to war to protect his authorized dealers and protected their territories. This was fine until Musicians Friend came out with their monster full line color catalog that was shipped all over the country and Canada. They sold strings,picks,straps, amps Oh hell they sold it all. At huge discounts.

 

The business as usual had changed. In order to compete big stores started selling their stock on line with huge discounts to compete with the catalogs and that made it possible for a customer to buy a guitar at a huge discount and not go thru their local dealer. Not all towns had music stores and the new mass marketing was driving dealers out of business and Henry had to modify his marketing plan. He came up with the MAP pricing strategy trying to protect the mom and pops from the predatory discounting that was ruining the dealer network. He knew there were huge parts of the country that had no stores at all and that people were relying on the catalogs and large dealers to supply their equipment needs. What to do? Let a few on line dealers advertise across protected lines to service customers that had no store to visit. They had prices they could advertise and all should be well???

 

Restrict the on line dealers from ruining the brand equity by offering rock bottom prices which were ruining dealers that were invested with inventory. Henty tried to control the pricing so that a mon & pop could make a profit in their territory.

 

It's against the law to price fix so he couldn't control to much but he could control advertising of his product. In a failed attempt to save the small dealers from extinction he introduced advertising restrictions.

 

You will find a million reasons to not understand the logic in this but remember this. You are consumers and you are trying to get the best guitar at the cheapest price and you don't care if someone goes broke in the process. Just get me a J-45 at the lowest price. Henry went broke trying to solve the problem. His loyalty to the small dealer cost him his company. Did the small dealer appreciate this. No.....

 

What will happen? There will be no local dealers in a few years. They will be replaced just like all of the other Main street business in the world. There is a reason why 30% of the music stores closed their doors last year. Henry was swimming upstream and he paid the ultimate price for it. There will be several huge warehouses full of guitars and an 800 number and that will be your retail experience.

 

Henry loved the idea of sitting around the back room and playing several guitars before you made a decision. This was a place to learn and share ideas. Just another dinosaur. Let the discussion begin.

 

Pretty much the time line of the Music Store Business Model. I used to work in them.. I couldn't make enough money so I had to move on.

 

I disagree that Guitars were the downfall of Gibson though.. It was all the other nonsense Ventures & Companies they got involved with that they never made successful or profitable... Some of the Companies they bought didn't do much of anything at all... Same Products for years. No R & D, & nothing New & Exciting to Sell?

 

Like the saying goes, "The only thing you can count on is Change". Like it or not...

 

I've bought several Premium New & Used Guitars online in the past 10 years... The new ones come in the wrapper Brand New. Other than the Factory & the Setup Guy at Sweetwater no ones touched them.

 

I've purchased Used Guitars from Reverb.com & so far haven't had any problems. Although, Pay Pal acts as the Intermediary in Disputes. Most of the time they side with the Buyer... But, I only buy from Sellers with 100% Ratings.. Skip the ones who don't.

Edited by Larsongs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if Taylor will be known for it's genius 10 years from now? They should be. They have:

 

#1: A large amount of guitars in retail stores.

#2: A very well organized product line.

#3: A very well put together web site with lots of pictures, information and even videos to watch. Post-sale, too. Technical articles galore. The total package.

 

They build these wall-sized displays for their retailers to show off their guitars. They fill the wall with guitars. Are the customers going to buy on the spot? Not all of them. That's not the point for Taylor, though. The point for Taylor is that anyone looking for guitars in this area will have tons of Taylor guitars to test drive and hopefully fall in love with. Whether they buy from the store, online retailers makes no difference. They still get the sale. So, by building that wall, they've leveraged their brick & mortar retailer.

 

What about the retailer. They surely do not want to be curators, right. Well, the theory goes that it will increase traffic and increase chances of sales. Heck, they are going to increase sales just by having a vast inventory to show and sell. Anyone who knows a lick about retail knows that a segment of the consumer base is buy on the spot.

 

So the next question is value. Was it worth it for the retailer to build(pay for) the wall and stock the shelves. Probably not. Is it worth it to Taylor to build(pay for) the wall and stock the shelves? Perhaps. They, ultimately, are the ones who benefit from this no matter what happens as long as guitars move. It's a high priced gamble, but one that begins to make sense when they start to think of it as part of their marketing machine.

 

In the end, it would not surprise me one bit to know that Taylor figured all of this out and made it financially easy for retailers to have the wall and stock the wall. Maybe even to the point where the ownership of the inventory is not the retailer's until it sells or gets stolen. Retail has changed. Should Taylor sell more Acoustics than Gibson or Martin in any market? Not according to Martin and Gibson fans. I don't know the numbers, but I bet they out sell them in this very nice, mid-sized market. All's I know is that I have a Taylor that I never, ever would have purchased had it not been for the facts that I tried it and loved it only after failing to score a non-dead sounding Gibson that day back in 2015.

 

I hope Gibson and Martin figures this out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two points:

 

> Mars declared bankruptcy in Sept 2002, and closed their doors a month later. Henry had fully established his relationship with Guitar Center a year before that.

 

> There's only one reason that such a wide cross section of Gibson dealers felt compelled to end their affiliation with the brand at the same time - Henry radically altered stocking requirements to the point where it was not tenable for the dealers. This was a calculated choice made by Henry, and one which essentially dismantled his existing dealer network. He certainly was not forced to go this route - it was a fully informed decision, based on the big-box/online marketing vision he wanted to pursue.

Thankfully, the other major players did not follow Henry's lead, and retained their dealer networks while establishing a similar big-box/online footprint.

 

I appreciate the concern here. The simple fact is that a business doesn't wake up one day and say we're broke. Mars knew they couldn't sustain their business model for a couple of years. I had to go to Florida to quarterly meetings for several years and it was obvious to all in the meetings that it was only a matter of time before they had to close down. Guitar Center knew this and actively courted Gibson. Not that it made any difference.

 

I loved going to the meetings as they knew how to treat a guy. They had a limo meet me at the airport and they had me in a very upscale hotel. The meetings were always short and to the point. I never had to sell. They were there to buy. After a long lazy lunch we always got on a very expensive, big,fishing boat and headed out on the water. There were always several very attractive young ladies serving drinks and food. They always had very, very, very skimpy string bikinis on. When we got back to the dock the girls had to put on a shirt as there were laws against their bikinis. It was a very welcome sight for a guy from the frozen north. I never told my boss about the hospitality but always complained about the difficulty of the meetings.

 

I think we may be missing the point here. Henry is gone. He tried and he lost. The new guys have their turn and we need to figure out how to help them. If we look at Gibson's history we will see a long string of failures. Henry is in good company.

 

Please look at the whole company when you form your opinions. The electric division is huge compared to Montana. Epiphone is even bigger. Montana never drove the company. They were always a big drain on the resources. Montana always struggled to compete for company resources.

 

The entire company is a history of the changing the culture. The company almost went broke when music changed from the mandolin to the banjo. Gibson adapted but it was difficult. Then the banjo gave way to the acoustic guitar. Gibson swam upstream and made arch-tops. It took them a decade to finally go to the flat-top. They were always on the edge of going under. They kind of got it together with the electric guitar but fought tooth and nail against the solid body. It took Les Paul to figure the out for them.

 

Well music has changed and the culture of the country has changed. All of our rock stars are eligible for social security. Where are all the young guitar gods? They are in their mom's basement playing video games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new guys have their turn and we need to figure out how to help them.

Yes indeed, as typically the front end of an endeavor is the most challenging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are all the young guitar gods? They are in their mom's basement playing video games

 

amen Brutha..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are all the young guitar gods? They are in their mom's basement playing video games

 

amen Brutha..

 

True, and these are the same kids who one day will grow up to be dissapointed, when they realize their own kids are not interested in making music on computers anymore. Also, it's not that long ago since parents despised their own long haired offspring for making distorted, loud music on electric guitars, instead of playing Mozart on a grand piano.

 

New generations will always want to break new ground, impacting music and culture in general in new ways, needing new tools to do so. Following in the footsteps of their parents, and embracing the same music and heroes, are not for the young. They need to find new and fresh music and idols to follow, not dead, or soon to be dead artists, no matter how undisputedly great

 

With that said, guitar music is not dead, but it is not the force it once was. That's okey and nothing to be upset about. Luckily for Gibson, guitar music will hang around for a while still. There are still companies making violins, after all...

 

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if Taylor will be known for it's genius 10 years from now? They should be. They have:

 

#1: A large amount of guitars in retail stores.

#2: A very well organized product line.

#3: A very well put together web site with lots of pictures, information and even videos to watch. Post-sale, too. Technical articles galore. The total package.

 

They build these wall-sized displays for their retailers to show off their guitars. They fill the wall with guitars. Are the customers going to buy on the spot? Not all of them. That's not the point for Taylor, though. The point for Taylor is that anyone looking for guitars in this area will have tons of Taylor guitars to test drive and hopefully fall in love with. Whether they buy from the store, online retailers makes no difference. They still get the sale. So, by building that wall, they've leveraged their brick & mortar retailer.

 

What about the retailer. They surely do not want to be curators, right. Well, the theory goes that it will increase traffic and increase chances of sales. Heck, they are going to increase sales just by having a vast inventory to show and sell. Anyone who knows a lick about retail knows that a segment of the consumer base is buy on the spot.

 

So the next question is value. Was it worth it for the retailer to build(pay for) the wall and stock the shelves. Probably not. Is it worth it to Taylor to build(pay for) the wall and stock the shelves? Perhaps. They, ultimately, are the ones who benefit from this no matter what happens as long as guitars move. It's a high priced gamble, but one that begins to make sense when they start to think of it as part of their marketing machine.

 

In the end, it would not surprise me one bit to know that Taylor figured all of this out and made it financially easy for retailers to have the wall and stock the wall. Maybe even to the point where the ownership of the inventory is not the retailer's until it sells or gets stolen. Retail has changed. Should Taylor sell more Acoustics than Gibson or Martin in any market? Not according to Martin and Gibson fans. I don't know the numbers, but I bet they out sell them in this very nice, mid-sized market. All's I know is that I have a Taylor that I never, ever would have purchased had it not been for the facts that I tried it and loved it only after failing to score a non-dead sounding Gibson that day back in 2015.

 

I hope Gibson and Martin figures this out.

 

Everything about Taylor says they should be great Guitars & in a lot of respects they are. Some are even beautiful to look at.... I've played lots of them in all price point ranges .& gave tried hard yo live them. But for me they just don't have the Mojo of a Gibson, Martin or Guild...... But that's just me....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything about Taylor says they should be great Guitars & in a lot of respects they are. Some are even beautiful to look at.... I've played lots of them in all price point ranges .& gave tried hard yo live them. But for me they just don't have the Mojo of a Gibson, Martin or Guild...... But that's just me....

That is what I'm talking about. Their marketing machine, of which a large part to them means to get their guitars into our hands. It makes us want to like them. There are so many to test drive. I'd love to be infatuated with the Taylor lineup the way I am with Gibson. Alas, I don't even like their 614 now.

 

Now imagine if Gibson did the same as Taylor? A wall full of Gibsons? Oh, my.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...