Listen: Tuning Up: Gibson Guitars Sings Sweeter Song
"AH from wondering I'm David Brown and this is business wars daily happy Friday France. Maybe one of the things things you look forward to on the weekend is going to hear some music or perhaps playing some of your own today to celebrate our three hundred episode of business wars daily. We're going to take take a look at two icons of the Guitar Business Gibson Guitar and fender recently our sister show business wars to deep dive into their decades long rivalry and today we're going to catch you up on where the two are now. Gibson guitars been on a rocky road to say the least the company was founded in nineteen o two and named after Kalamazoo Michigan Inventor Orville Gibson over the decades it became known for its high quality instruments particularly guitars played by Les Paul Elvis Presley Jimmy Page and bb be king among many others less Paul of course had a guitar named after him but in recent decades Gibson Star began fading in the nineteen eighties instrument sales slowed as kids chose synthesizers and video games over guitar strings over time that trend continued by the early two thousands more and more musicians composing and making music digitally under CEO Henry Jessica Gibson attempted a risky strategy to try to reduce Gibson's reliance on selling mainstream mainstream guitars. He wanted Gibson to become what he called a music lifestyle company with that as its New Strategy Jessica wits lead Gibson into buying buying an assortment of consumer electronics businesses making head bones turntables in speakers but what about guitars will according to the Nashville Tennessee and between twenty ten in two thousand fifteen the company's sales grew from three hundred million dollars to over two billion dollars but the business model was hollow just go lewitt's had also tried to reinvent his electric guitar business pioneering several attention-getting innovation some of which like a rocket shaped guitar and electronic robot tuning. Learning machines were mostly rejected by guitar purists. Many Gibson loyalists complained that quality dropped prices rose in by two thousand fifteen profit margin's dropped to a meager four percent meanwhile Gibson's most famous rival thunder was doing quite well founded by a Radio Repairman in an instrument lover named Leo Fender Back in Nineteen forty-six vendor is famous for its stratocaster and telecaster guitars. The company also invented an electric bass. Call the P. Base the precision bass which became a foundation for rock and roll like Gibson fenders instruments appeared in the hands of world famous artists from country to our beat Iraq in the nineteen eighties eighties and nineties fender custom crafted guitars for Jimmy Page Eric Clapton Jeff Beck Merle Haggard Stevie Ray Vaughan and the list goes on while Jessica Woodson his team were pursuing doing an aggressive strategy that took the company away from its core business fender to was expanding but in an arguably healthier less flashy fashion the company added Digital Products Guitar Students along with upgraded amplifiers and other basics by early twenty eighteen gibson was in debt to the tune one of half a billion dollars and filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy protection some wondered whether this would be Gibson Swansong or if the one hundred sixteen year old company could be saved last October Gibson name new leadership and the company emerged from bankruptcy now. It's getting back to basics. No more rockets shaped guitars electronic robot tuners crazy futuristic takes on its mainstay. Les Paul Guitar Today. Gibson offers two basic lines of its classic classic guitars modern and traditional many players feel like qualities returning and that the guitars while still expensive or no longer wildly overpriced and under engineered appeared. The company is slowly getting. It's Mojo back. Fender is at the top of its game but keeping an eye on Kitson. Hey Vendor knows its biggest. Competitor isn't down for the count to make sure it would compete with Gibson. Fender has sharpened up its budget minded imports made in Mexico and China. Those instruments were designed to undercut Gibson price in rival. I Will Gibson's affordable brand episode on at the same time fenders producing high quality more expensive guitars right here in the United States of America. It's not easy for icon at companies to maintain their relevance for more than a century but with help from their fans that's just what both Gibson and fender have managed to do at least at least for now for more on the twists and turns of one of America's great musical rivalries check out our series Gibson guitars versus fender our sister show mm-hmm business works from wondering this business wars daily at this week's episodes were written edited and produced by Elaine Appleton edited and produced by Emma Cortlandt are executive producers Marshal Louis created by for Non Lopez or whatever I'm David Brown and we'll see you next week."