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Fender’s Fresh Marketing Tone
Live music is back in a big way.
Coachella just wrapped up this weekend, and barring any unexpected changes, venues and festivals are gearing up for a big summer of shows.
That’s a far cry from the last two years, when the music industry struggled with unprecedented disruptions on account of COVID-19.
For music brands, it created something of a pandemic paradox.
Concerts were cancelled, and people weren’t going out to see shows. Yet those same folks had more downtime at home and were eager to pick up a new hobby. Many saw that guitar gathering dust in the corner or saw others playing and considered buying a new one.
That represented a big opportunity for Fender Guitars – and a big pivot.
Playing to New Audiences
Traditionally, Fender’s marketing focused on convincing current musicians to opt for a specific brand.
But the brand saw potential in a new strategy.
“We want to do everything possible to encourage, engage, and create products for first-time players, to make the experience more accessible to them.”
Fender CEO Andy Mooney
Fender had some powerful metrics to back up that assumption. About 10 percent of people who pick up the guitar for the first time stick with it for life, and they spend an average of $10,000 on new guitars. And new buyers will spend four times as much on music lessons as they do on equipment.
So Fender took on two big marketing initiatives. The first was to help new players with Find Your Fender – a buying guide and content hub to make the buying process a little less intimidating.
The second effort was to launch Fender Play. The app offers tailored lessons for new and more experienced players alike for a monthly fee – call it Shredding as a Service.
Strategic free trials and smart marketing automation have driven subscriber growth and have kept players engaged with the platform and their practicing. The average member subscribes for 14 months, which Fender hopes is long enough to create a lifelong hobby.