It seems Gibson is ready to erase bad memories with their newest employee

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. ben smith

    ben smith TDPRI Member

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    I believe positivity breeds positivity but i can't understand what a CEO of a jeans company can do for gibson? does he even play guitar? is he going to save gibson because he wares a leather jacket? they need mark because he actually plays guitar very well. so on second thoughts with mark there i think gibson are going to put out some beautiful stuff maybe? that is very interesting indeed. you cannot beat the early 90's gibsons! i loved my sg custom my biggest regret selling it. full (2).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  2. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    Right on, concentrate on the quality of the guitars everyone wants. I bought a LP Studio a couple of years back and the finish was pretty poor and cheap looking....................less than I’d seen on several relatively cheap copies.
     
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  3. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Afflicted

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    Ok yeah,I get that but it could also be along the lines of “no one on earth has had as many guitars through their grubby mitts as you, what makes a good feel or what has changed that isn’t quite right?”
     
  4. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    They need someone who understands business, any business. Look at the accounts, see what sold and what bombed, as per my earlier post, ensure the quality of what sold is top notch. Look at the costs associated with the various products. If they’re too high, find out where, if anywhere. If they can be cut but without compromising quality, do so. Remember that a happy workforce is a big part of maintaining quality. Before looking to slash costs by slashing people, see if you can, instead, increase productivity with the staff you have, talking to them will often help see the systems’ shortcomings. There are two or three sides to a company. There’s the creative design side, which should be driven by Sales telling them what the customers want or, more importantly, what might be enough to turn prospective customers into real customers. There’s the technical design side who work out how to provide what the customers are asking for and then the ‘bean counters’ who decide whether the financial input needed will be worth the result. Can be a bit of guess work, Sales will almost always see everything as a ‘dead cert’ whilst Accounts see it as a ‘dead duck’.
    Pull all of these together and most businesses can be turned around, especially if you’re in the position that Gibson is, i.e., a major player in a specialist market where appealing to Jo public isn’t necessary and the competition is known.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  5. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Isn't he a 'brand experience' hire?

    That basically means he's a marketing face. Not a designer or decision maker in that realm.

    They've hired a guy that has lots of market 'face-time' and a solid industry reputation to do more of the same for Gibson. My guess is that you will see him at NAMM or in other customer-facing capacities for the company. Which will be an improvement over Henry J, who was basically repellent as a marketer.
     
  6. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like he might be the guy talking to the dealers to really find out what’s selling, what’s being returned, and why, and what people are askiking for and developing brand experiences via promotions, special runs for dealers, that kinda stuff. Those are my guesses anyways.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  7. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    I think Gibson already knows what sells and what doesn't. They currently sell around 100 million dollars worth of guitars each year. Their challenge is to increase those sales figures to Fenders which is around 250 million in the pure guitar business.
    I think they hired Mark for customer engagement, if you compare Fender's outreach to Gibson's you can see where the differences are. Under Henry they didn't even bother to go to NAMM, Fender on the other hand finds every new band that plays one of their guitars and promotes them, they developed fender play, and they really try and engage with new players and keep them motivated.
     
  8. Tony Forman

    Tony Forman Tele-Meister

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    Gibson has no value to me. I think all of their solid body guitars are poorly designed, and their pricing is just ridiculous. As I've said before, if I had the choice between a Gibson Les Paul and a Squier Affinity Telecaster; I would take the Telecaster. That's how little value Gibson solid bodies have to me. No Youtube "face" could convince me otherwise. No matter how much schtick he's flogged in the past.
     
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  9. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    A friend of mine who spends a lot of time at Norm's got the inside skinny. Mark is going to be the #5 guy in Gibson management. I'd imagine that he's going to be involved in a lot of decisions sitting in that chair.

    - D
     
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  10. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Gibson dwells on making the same mistake over and over and over.
    To make something better, you only have to change a couple of Small things.
    Gibson is hell bent on completely re-inventing Everything by committee.

    The higher ups Govern by reading reams of useless and needless Marketing Reports while the folks in the Trenches come to work each day only to mutter: Are you kidding me? Under their breath.

    Good luck Gibson. I own four of your Les Pauls. The oldest is a '61, the newest is a '79.
    Learn from your Success.
     
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  11. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson's guitar business, including Epiphone, is far bigger than Fender's. And it's been said here many times in the past year, but it needs to be said again: Gibson's guitar business is already profitable. It was the investment in consumer electronics companies that brought them to bankruptcy court.
     
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    If you really want to know what a guy from Levi's intends to do for Gibson, watch the whole thing.

     
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  13. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson's guitar business is not larger than Fenders. Fender is the largest guitar company in the world. Henry had built up a fairly large company around Gibson's guitar business but almost all of that revenue is not guitar related. They sold just over 100 million for 2017 and that includes epiphone, Kramer etc.

    I have never said it wasn't profitable but Fender has always been profitable, even when CBS was selling their Music division the Fender guitar business was profitable.
     
  14. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson has long had a rough relationship with dealers, feeling like they're elite and people come to the store to buy les pauls and SGs (and for a while they did). I talked to a dealer almost 20 years ago and said "why so many epiphones and so few les pauls", and the dealer said pretty much if you want to sell a few les pauls, you'll be selling a whole lot of crap (amps, etc) or they'll take their wares somewhere else. So, they were pushing on dealers to widen their lines without listening to what the market actually wants. Works well when you have leverage, but all of the dealers I used to go to that were mom and pops no longer sell Gibson.

    I'm not a fan of Phil McKnight's, but he described a situation where Gibson was stranding dealers in service/warranty issues and telling the dealers to take care of it on their own dime (there's no real money in selling guitars, so that's a bitter pill).

    I believe the comments above are right, this guy has an audience and they'll use his credibility.

    As far as the Levi's ceo, he's installed and he talks a lot of fluff. I have no idea what they do to improve their condition other than imitate fender straight up and eliminate the batch and design problems they've had here and there. As much debt as they're servicing, will KKR ignore that and try to get market share and harvest later (that doesn't seem to work that well) or will they go for margin?

    I think they're toast.

    If their ship sinks, I'll buy their deals as they go down. If they feel like they can charge more for the same thing, then, no thanks.

    They're not alone, though. Tokai had a good presence making better than gibson guitars for a while, and their top line guitars are probably better than gibson's custom shop for about half the price (the guitars with numbers in the 300s, etc). But their standard series has some quality problems, and I've seen them first hand, just like gibson's. Bridges off center on guitars that they shouldn't be off center on, and bad body hump (not just at the joint, but the entire fingerboard on the body getting higher than the rest. It looks like tokai's focus (Even though they're tiny compared to Gibson) is to offer a lot more $400-$500 chinese-made guitars.
     
  15. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson Guitars and to a large extent Epiphone have been cash cows for Gibson Brands, the most valuable assets the company has.


    This spiel that the Guitar division was in some dire straits is a lie that keeps getting repeated by the same voices over and over....and over.....and over...

    The facts are in every major music journal out there, Gibson's problem was buying up dying electronics & assorted other brands then failing to put forth the capital to make them worth it while milking the Guitar division for the failures around it.


    If Gibson guitar was spun off from Gibson brands it'd sell for more than the company as a whole would sell for right now.


    Bigger news will be them trimming the fat, the guitars will always sell. Just look at the Japan market...Gibson's 2nd biggest customer which is incredible considering the size of Japan. In Japan you can get Gibson copies, pure copies, with just the name changed on the headstock at better prices. Yet the Japanese buy Gibson guitars like freakin' hot cakes. The name, the designs, are coveted by many.


    I concur with what's been stated, Gibson should always have had a spin off company since the 90's if they wanted to enter a different market for guitars like the X series or Dusk Tiger. Though they're not desirable to the Gibson audience if they had a fancy cosmopolitan sounding name with a boutique disposition they'd sell.
     
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  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    The more I think about it, the stupider it is. Its a full on admission that a) you don't know your product, b) some used guitar salesman knows more than THE vintage maker with the longest, largest legacy in electric guitar making, c) you don't have a business plan, d) you are about to commit brand suicide, by admitting that vintage guitars are superior, and your new product will never match them, ...I could go on.
     
  17. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Seems like a lot of negativity in this thread. Mark Agnesi recently started his own YouTube show and on the first episode he showed his guitar quiver. He has a thing for R9s and I seem to recall a custom shop Junior, as well. So maybe it's not fair to categorize him as a vintage collector. He obviously LOVES Gibson, knows their history in and out, and is a real guitar player who gets it. Trust he would NEVER have supported auto tuners and other nonsense.

    I think Mark having some influence on the direction of the new offerings can only be a good thing.
     
  18. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Those who suggest Agnesi’s job will be going around doing workshops, NAMM, etc., i suspect you’re right. If they’re smart, they’ll use his knowledge of guitars and of the marketplace to guide them in deciding what models to bring back, and with what features. Otherwise he’ll be gone soon.

    Gibson, like many guitar makers, was run by finance people from outside the music industry who saw the company’s value as the name that could be used to market other products. Norlin did this when they owned Gibson, CBS did it with Fender, and so on. I’ve seen this in many industries. Those of you who are backpackers: Remember when Camp Trails and Kelty made unique products, and weren’t just competing Chinese brand names?

    Both Fender and Gibson have repeatedly tried to come up with new cutting edge designs, forgetting that will spend several thousand dollars on a Gibson or Fender not just for the hardware but for the connection with history. No one wants a custom $4,000 Coronado or Ripper. They want a Tele or a Les Paul that looks and feels like the rare 1960s guitar their hero played.
     
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson and Fender are privately held. Do you have actual evidence to back up those figures you quote?

    I have had access to trade magazine figures from dealer reports of sales of new guitars that indicate otherwise. I also had access to disclosures in Gibson's Chapter 11 proceedings.

    I don't see how you could possibly know whether or not Fender has always been profitable.
     
  20. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    If you go here http://www.tdpri.com/threads/is-the-vintage-market-going-away.844834/page-4
    skip down to my post #72 it clearly states Gibson's guitar revenue was 122 million an increase of 10% over the previous years 110 million. (i'll admit I understated gibson's revenue by 22 million).
    That's from music trades.
    Fender is a bit more complicated but there have been enough interviews with Andy Mooney and others in Forbes and Music Trades to determine 50% of fender's sales come from guitars and amps and 20% from accessories.

    As for Fender's profitability during the CBS sales you can go through the NAMM oral histories for the various executives involved as well as articles at the time to get the financial picture of the complete CBS MI business (which was much larger than Just Fender Rhodes)

    And I have the bankruptcy documents and trade magazines too.
     
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