I’ve been quietly rooting for Gibson for a while now. When I first started playing guitar, I was all about the Gibson Les Paul. It was the late 80s and early 90s, and by far Gibson was king. I would Gibsons at shows all the time. I remember finally getting an ‘authentic’ Gibson Les Paul Studio in the late 90s and I was super stoked.
But then, things were changing. Bad business decisions and being out of touch with current trends and a variety of legal battles and natural disasters have plagued the biz. Finally, with a new CEO, I was excited to see the come back. The last few months, I’ve been seeing more shops with sweet Gibsons and the quality appeared to be coming back. I was expecting a strong upswing over the next few years.
Then.. the video. I guess, if you’ve been under a rock, you might not know what I’m talking about, so might want to watch this first:
This video, was creepy, oddly stressful to watch and frankly – aggressive. As someone who enjoys marketing I was fascinated about how bad this direction was/is. There were people throughout the chain that said “yes, this is great”, and what it did was isolate the guitar community, target builders and disrupting market. It was a bully move.
But it didn’t end there. A few days after they pulled this video, it was followed up with a lawsuit – where Gibson is suing Dean/Luna Guitars. You can read more about this here.
Now, instead of a creep presence, the gear community went on the attack. Memes started flooding the interwebs. Basically, punching the bully in the nose.
Now, I understand the importance of trademark infringement and the anger resulting in Chibson (Gibson counterfeit guitars). I get that. But going after builders with similar body shaps, is ridiculous. There is no confusing a Dean flying V and a Gibson flying V. It’s not a straight rip off – and as I understand it, the body is not trademarkable – only the headstock. But it’s the aggressive move that angered people.
Gibson should be working on their community, creating excitement and creating a ‘vibe’ with their brand. Not threaten other business. Dumb play.
Today, Gibson released a press release.
So does this press release fix things? Not sure. But it’s a start. It’s important to acknowledge that they screwed up. But I feel like this company is losing market share.. by the minute, and they can afford mistakes like this.
Their marketing should be about community first. And I’m talking about the gear community first. Analyze the trends and take charge with positive action – and not by strong arming. Honestly.. they should see what Fender does as a start.
Let me know what you think!
3 years ago
It’s the bully after they lose the fight. They got denied a few days ago on the premise: they lost the suit against Warwick and Framus. They haven’t dropped the suit against Dean. They know they are very likely to lose 90% of that suit, and are keeping it open just on the off chance that they’ll win some tiny part of it, and defray the legal costs. So, like a bully when the bully finds out their target has friends it’s “Guys, Guys Let’s talk about this”. I don’t even mean this as a metaphor- they’re saying it, just in legalese. As far as I’m concerned, they have shown their hand- it’s going to be litigate, publicly position, pivot, and repeat.Reply
3 years ago
Hey – Another knock off market is in Gibson PUP’s. I’ve personally contacted Gibson about this – $200/$300 PUP’s for $20. They take them down & put ’em back up the next week under a different heading. I enjoy rig rundowns. Great ideas from innovative local musicians. Keep it up & Thanks – JBReply
3 years ago
Started playing metal and thrash back in 82 as a teen. Gibson LP and SG. Great guitars but way overpriced and not affordable to most. Pissed me off is when you pay $1500-$2500 for a gibson when it arrives from factory they are unplayable. Need to spend another $200 for a set up and file down frets, so sharp they rip your fingers. Problem with gibson is they got so big and forgot about their customers and only cared about the bucks. Now I understand it’s a buisness but it’s the reg players that keep you in buisness. How many guitars do slash, zakk, page actually buy from you, you give them to them for the advertising gibson reminds me of blockbuster video, they were the biggest once, where are they now. When my kids started playing bought them LP and sg replicas dean, stagg, Brownsville which play awesome. I would never buy another guitar from gibson again. Overpriced if your not a Rockstar. Their so called affordable epiphone models all suck. Input Jack’s and electronics always break and go out. Start thinking about your blue collar players and put out an affordable model great guitar, we are the ones who buy most of your products anyway. Say what you want about dean but their cheapest model the vendetta blows away your so called affordable eppi models. Never had to have a pro set up with a dean, awesome playing out of the box. That’s my two cents anyway.Reply
3 years ago
With Gibby itâ€™s two steps forward, three steps back. Their tasks: establish the benchmark for quality, in all lines including entry level, â€œbe Gibsonâ€ and assume the role of leader. Again. And execute. Deliver. Prove by delivering.
NAMM in Anaheim was a statement, I thought. A room of table after table of Gibson guitars. Reps and Techs talking, showing, making the case. More of that, please. Take the Gibsonâ€™s off the high spots on the walls where they gather dust and no one can reach, and put them in the hands of the people who will play them.
3 years ago
first off, if that dude in the video showed up to date my daughter, Iâ€™d smash a Les Paul over his head and be done with both him and the guitar. But alas, she knows better. And by the way, Gibson rips their own stuff off with Epiphone. Wanna play a sketchy guitar, an Epiphone will usually disappointReply