Falling for the Marketing...

in #luthierlast month

It feels like it was a lifetime ago, but I do remember these type of things very clearly. In truth, as someone who lived off retail, I had to not only understand "the marketing" but embrace it with both arms.

If you can't hear the difference

I'm sure there might be one or two who think I'm probably the one that doesn't get it, the musician who's ear must be getting old, because I don't seem to understand quality audio. But, allow me to make my point here.

Even if...

I grant you there is such a thing as an audiophile. Someone who is just so obsessed with the sound coming out of speakers, that will spend three family cars worth of franklins to achieve perfection, but how big is that market?

Let's say you decided that you are going to start selling custom toothpicks. Customizable toothpicks. Pick the color, the length, etc. Clients for such a thing might exist out there, I'm sure there are a few crazies in our midsts, but would you spend valuable resources on establishing "your million dollar idea" to sell to Rupert and Mckenzie? all that for two customers?

Is it clear?

The target audience is not those who can distinguish the sound. That market is too tiny, too insignificant for the bottom line. The Target is those who want to hear the difference, the ones who claim they can, the ones who want to belong to the exclusive club of connoisseurs, the equivalent of cork sniffing for audio.

The slogan

I'm thinking about this because I had a good friend visit me on the weekend. We talked about plenty of things, but when we talked shop, guitar things, I realized, very clearly, he had fallen for all the "marketing".

When he heard the slogan "If you can't hear it, this is not for you" it triggered a need to belong, instead of skeptic rejection.

Is it worth breaking the spell?

I feel like I would not be happy with myself if I sell my instruments using these tactics. If I begin by telling you how I got 1962 bumble bee capacitors to compliment my PAF replicas done with Alnicos extracted from pre-world war stock, I would not only be officially a scammer, but also a disgusting charlatan.

But that's the nature of this business it seems...

It's a rough road for those of us that don't sell snake oil.



I used to read about the audiophile stuff and there's a lot of hype out there with crazy prices. I remember a wooden volume knob for $500 that claimed to improve the sound. You can get a whole system that sounds good for that. The gains from spending more will be small, but people still buy it. There is some of that around guitars too. I've heard that people are faking some components so they can charge more. I think you should just sell based on quality.

there was a brand of guitars, cant remember the name at this point... that claimed they had mammoth tooth nuts and thus the sound was amazing...


haahahaha i just had to laugh