Fender is going to where the ROCK AND ROLL is, or according to our Wikipedia research, where the rock and roll used to have a mullet. According to Hayley Fox in the L.A. Business Journal, Fender is moving into the thick of things to be closer to The Music. This seems like a play for coolness, and a smart branding idea.
More importantly, however, is the rumor – confirmed by numerous job postings – that the company’s new strategy is to become a publisher of information more than just a guitar manufacturer.
This strikes me as strategically sound and indicative that somebody understands the future of retail around the company, which is refreshing news. The notion of Fender as publisher of cultural information about the guitar, its history, its importance, its awesomeness, and how to play the damn thing is forward-looking and definitely workable.
As you of course know if you follow my work, it’s a whole lot better than simply betting on big box retail as the driver of what’s next. I think that view is pretty risky.