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Fender business news.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by muzikman7, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Sounds like there's finally another company paying attention to Carvin's business model.
  2. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Sounds interesting but I would like to the prices. Carvin is great quality and with $1,500 you can get
    a bass with features like exotic top, matching headstock, inlay blocks etc. I dont see that happening with Fender so let see.
  3. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    The direct to consumer model has worked for many other businesses. Cutting out distributors and retailers from some of the supply chain will definitely aid with Fender's bottom line. But they're also going to have a whole new set of challenges facing them as they begin to work much more closely with the end users of their instruments.

    I'm taking a wait and see approach. Clearly, this sort of development can make for some interesting options in terms of instruments that aren't readily available on the market at this time. But will this mean the days of wheeling and dealing with a Fender dealer will come to an end? We'll see.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Wow! This is potentially huge for the musical instrument business as we know it today.
  5. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    I have real mixed feelings about this. It's one thing for an online vendor to open company stores (j. Crew) but another thing entirely for a business that was supported and basically built by its distribution channel to go into competition with them. There is a very long list of companies that are no longer in business that that went this route. Usually it's some young inexperienced marketing genius who pushes things in this direction. It always works well at the start and profit expectations are exceeded.
    Distributors are profit driven businesses. When was the last time you saw new Carvin product on their shelves?
    No matter what the Fender board thinks basic marketing principals will prevail. You can't have your cake and eat it to. Either you put your support behind distribution or you'll be in competition with them. Privately owned distributors will be the first to minimize the product line. These businesses can't possibly keep every configuration on the shelf. All it will take is loosing a few orders to the manufacturer and they will be forced to rethink what they invest in to protect their profits. Large multi location stores will be having to make harder decisions. Distributors like GC are so far in debt with Fender that they can't change. This could actually be sort of a salvation to them if they ultimately become the only other major source. I'm sure this was evaluated as part of the move since it's a classic move to strengthen GC and secure the debt.
    I just hope this doesn't become the beginning of the end of Fender. It's a tough market right now and VC is all about growth and profit.
    I hope I'm wrong but I see this as a desperate move marketed with hype and spin that's easy to see through.
  6. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom SUSPENDED

    Nov 30, 2005
    "This includes 'custom-configurable' guitars, like the famed Telecaster and Stratocaster that can be made to a user’s unique specifications. Such orders will likely take about two to three months for delivery."

    Sounds great!
  7. Jookbox

    Jookbox Registered Drummer

    Mar 16, 2006
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    F64 I think you are way overthinking it. People even buy new cars on line these days. So pretty much everything will go that route sooner or later. Best to get a jump on the competition.

    You know what my favorite part of this Ness is?

    I will never ever ever ever ever ever have to read another stinking idiotic thread or post about (cue whiny four year old girl voice) "Why doesn't Fender offer the relic roadworn jazz bass with a P pickup at the neck with a tug bar a gold pick guard and stack knobs in Sherwood green? They would sell forty gagillion of them. Fender is dumb."

    Oy if I have to read one more I will throw my computer out the window.
  9. Kharkfum


    Aug 21, 2013
    The thing that most alarms me about that article is that none of the people running Fender right now seem to really be musicians, in any meaningful sense of the word. And all I can think back to is what happened in Detroit when the car guys got pushed out by the bean-counters. When the money people make all the decisions, you generally tend to make poor choices and alienate your core business. Just my .02, of course.
  10. My take is that they're going to have a lot of upset online vendors which will no longer be getting referrals from them. They're pulling the rug out from under an established distribution system of partner companies.

    Fender better be ready to make good on order fulfillment quickly, and they're going to have some very upset music companies to deal with.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Leo wasn't a musician and nobody minded him. Besides, I think that's rather presumptous to assume nobody in charge is a musician just because they may not be the greatest at it.
  12. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I think the next step for Fender is as the article put it "lifestyle brand"

    They're going to make this bigger then just guitars, everything from apparel to furniture.
    Then if they can pull the money to buy out a large retailer such as say GC (easy target) and re-market those stores as Fender stores and offer everything Fender they may just have a win on their hands.

    That would be my guess as to what the underlying plan is.
  13. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    The idea is to sell Fender as a brand not a brand of guitars.

    If they do that successfully they win all those folks who don't play guitar but like the look as customers on top of the existing customer base and that is a much larger market.
  14. antonspon


    Mar 27, 2013
    "Fender as a brand". Ugh. Used to be they built instruments, not brands. Being so big and greedy to get bigger, they may yet lose the plot...but there will always be those who are happy just to have the "brand" on the headstock, I guess, so who knows?
  15. peledog

    peledog Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Good step - let the consumer decided what he/she wants. All the other stuff about 'brand' is all marketing - which is fine - but for musicians - custom builds rule.
  16. Transforming a business from one system/model to another is not an easy task both in terms of complexity and effort. This idea of theirs might be spot-on (I get your point but it's hard to tell from our distance exactly what they have in mind) but execution is an altogether different thing. What we will see from them is a test of their approach as much as their concept.
  17. BigOkie


    Nov 28, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    I just bought a new Volkswagen Passat with a, wait for it. . . . .Fender sound system. That wasn't a goal, I was going to buy a Passat diesel, but the one they had on the lot had the stereo in it. It is an expen$ive option, not worth it in my opinion, but there it is right on the dashboard--the Fender logo.
  18. Babaghanoush


    Jan 21, 2011
    Ohio, USA
    If they're going to take custom orders, shipped directly to consumers, they better up their quality control. If you order a customized guitar, you expect custom quality which in my experience has been spotty.
  19. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom SUSPENDED

    Nov 30, 2005
    Fender isn't a Lifestyle Brand, it's a Legacy Brand. Harley, Gibson, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Old Spice, the Yankees. They're all brands that people embrace on an emotional level because of what their history represents. They sell a myth and style. They're about evolution not revolution. That's why Fender is bringing back models like the Starcaster. It's the same reason Nissan is bringing back Datsun and Jeep is bringing back the wood paneled Wrangler.

    Look at what happened last year when they discontinued the Twinkie. People went crazy as if a part of their childhood was being destroyed. That's the kind of response all Legacy Brands dream of.

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