In an interview with Guitar World, Fender’s CEO Andy Mooney spoke of the company’s ambitions for the new models, saying that the survey actually took Fender’s big dogs by surprise.
“That was a big ‘aha’ for us when we did the first research,” Mooney said. “45% of the guitars we sell every year go to first-time players, and half of those first-time players were women. That was a shocker.”
Mooney also noted that Fender actively changed their marketing strategy to attract more female guitarists by experimenting with different acoustic designs, which we’ve seen recently with the brand’s Acoustasonic series. He also threw a jab at the toxic bro culture which pollutes many guitar stores, noting that stores are often intimidating to both beginners and female guitarists.
“Part of why I think we didn’t realize it and didn’t have visibility to it was: a) women were opting more often to buy an acoustic guitar than an electric guitar for the first guitar, and b) they were more likely to buy online than in a traditional store. And I think we’d all agree that guitar stores can be intimidating venues for any beginner player. And even more so, I think, for women because of lack of female sales associates.
“So that insight fundamentally changed what we did in artist relations. And then product development from the point of view of developing signature guitars: we’ll introduce more signature guitars for female artists next year than we’ve done in our entire 70-year history in a very broad range of genres and personalities. So we’re pretty excited.”
It’ll be interesting to see just who cops a signature axe when NAMM rolls around in a few months time. We’re putting our bets behind Tash Sultana and Courtney Barnett to receive signature models given their longstanding relationships with Fender – time will tell.
Read the interview in full here.