The new Gibson CEO is...

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Lunacy the Faded, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    James Curleigh, a proven retail giant with lots of positive financial results amidst past marketing activism.

    Most do not know about the political advertising campaigning. When he started at Levis he was "instrumental" in that cause. JC was called in to start at Levis by his peer Charles 'chip' Burgh who needed to balance out the cause and effect of new policies. Chip has high-up connections with Gillettes corporation, who also got on board with it.

    Gibson is another big 'mens influence' brand possibly going to be subjected to "aggressive social responsibility policies" under James Curleigh and camp. I dont want the guy to prove to be a wolf in sheeps clothing, ill admit he is very charismatic and seems to mean well.

    The problem I see with those policies are that music and political influence is at the artists discretion, not from the brand of instruments they play and should stay that way.

    Taking a stand with political/social views by choosing what jeans to wear or grooming products to use has never been as big of an influence on the general public as music, so a trojan horse may have been brought into the Gibson corporation.

    Take a historic instrument brand to do the same type of television commercials then everyone who has used the instruments of said brand becomes associated with that media. That can take away from lyrical individuality in music played on Gibson instruments. Some bands are political and some arent, but the general idea is to express your own self with music. Using an aggressive social responsibilty policy on Gibson guitars is not good for self expressing bands.

    The bad thing about making those kind of niche ad campaigns is that it would start to push the identity and heritage of Gibson away. The reputation was built from exposure with colossal live music acts and being on as many recordings as possible. Gibson became legendary from their focus on musical artists having the right tools for the trade.

    Just "the more you know", I hope for the best.
    Thank you

    https://www.retaildive.com/news/is-activist-advertising-the-new-frontier/516914/
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  2. JCarno

    JCarno Active Member

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    But thanks anyway. :cheers:
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, man, interesting piece.

    And "aggressive social responsibility policies" ...

    Who knows, hehe, maybe they're going for Norlin 2.0. 5-piece necks, 7-piece bodies, you name it - they'll glue it:D
     
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  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    Meh, I play guitar, not social issues or ad campaigns.
     
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  5. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    I havent seen that trend, the luthiers had more of a say in how the production went this year-- consistent

    As of right now Gibson is still just about their instruments
     
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  6. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I know. I've got a big <shrug> for most of those sorts of campaigns. I buy material goods, not ideologies, myself. "No, his mind is not for rent ..."
     
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  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    For perspective, Henry Juszkiewicz was extremely active in partisan politics, never saw it reflected in the guitars.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. TheX

    TheX New Member

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    Henry saved Gibson from the trash heap, we should be thanking him.
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Amen, but "...How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is To have a thankless child!”
     
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  10. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    He did save them ... only to drive them back to the brink.

    As with any leadership, one can find good and bad things to say, especially a tenure as long as HJ's. I think he kinda went off the rails with regards to consistent QC in the last, oh, ten years or so; and I think his focus on innovation was out-of-step with the majority of Gibson's market. I'm not saying those innovations were bad, but given that Gibson has owned several other brands for quite some time, perhaps the innovations should have been trialed there, rather than alienating a portion of his core market?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  11. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    He did - and I do.

    But, a lot of people forget one of the strategies he employed that helped to save Gibson, or perhaps they're unaware of it:

    The new management were struggling to make Gibson competitive in a market where their product seemed out of touch with the consumer - in a sea of super strats with locking trems. They set about making cost efficiencies, and cut the RRP dramatically, without sacrificing quality. The public rewarded them by buying fewer Gibsons - even though they could get the same guitar for less money.

    Henry worked out that Gibson's customers saw themselves as buying status, getting a piece of history, a legend, something iconic - and cheapening it didn't work. So they put the prices up. The sales went up. So they did it again & again - the exact same instruments costing far more, and they actually sold much better! This became front page news in the business world, and in an age where stories didn't 'go viral' no one cared about the public finding out about this new business model, so they talked openly about it. For a while Gibson were famous in the business world - how to increase sales, just by putting your prices up - it still seems pretty counter intuitive.

    All of this might explain why Henry became so fixated on Gibson as a 'lifestyle brand'. Recognising that aspect of the brand helped to save it.

    So, yes we need to thank Henry for saving Gibson, but as consumers, let's not go overboard... ;)
     
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  12. alligatorbling

    alligatorbling Active Member

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    Henry tried to take Gibson into the future while gibsons fan base is most fond of the past.
     
  13. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    If he'd stuck with Gibson being the trad brand, and doing the innovation under the Kramer or Steinberger brand names the company also owns, I think it could have been a win/win.

    Steinberger, especially, is a name that connotes "innovation" -- the perfect brand for things like autotuners. Take basic Gibson designs, play with materials or design under the Steinberger name (Etuner, richlite, FBX-style electronics), and keep the Gibson brand aimed at its traditional market, with traditional woods and builds.
     
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  14. TheX

    TheX New Member

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    Henry is why they still exist.
     
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  15. alligatorbling

    alligatorbling Active Member

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    I didnt say he wasn't. I just said that he tried to make guitars futuristic and they were not well received. Many shops offered to remove the robotic tuners and install regular ones upon purchase of a new gibson.
     
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Not all of us. As a guy who owns a dozen Gibsons, the innovations don't bother me. The fact that he shoved them down our throats was disturbing though.
     
  17. alligatorbling

    alligatorbling Active Member

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    Ok a good chunk of it. At MLP when the futuristic designs started coming out the forum lit up with criticism.
     
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  18. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    The main objection I had, and have, is that the changes weren't offered as options. Had they approached it that way, I think the market would have been friendlier.
     
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  19. alligatorbling

    alligatorbling Active Member

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    totally agree. i did not want the Min-ETune system on one of the SGs I used to own, but I wanted a new SG. I ended up buying one and removing the Min-ETune system and installing traditional tuners. The truss rod cover even said "Min-ETune" my god why?!
     
  20. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    When I go to the car dealership looking for a Corolla, I don't want to be force-fed backseat Internet stuff -- I got no kids that young anymore. Same thing -- I know how to tune a guitar, why should I have to pay $200 for something I don't need?

    I just bought used Gibsons and skipped all that mess.
     
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