Estimates put the number of guitar players in the world at about 50 million. Something like 20 million of these pickers, strummers and shredders are Americans.
Fender®, a name synonymous with rock n’ roll dreams, was founded in Fullerton, California by Leo Fender in 1946. Recently Fender began selling the world's first guitar that is also a Rock Band 3® video game controller. According to Fender’s website, “the Squier Stratocaster blends state-of-the-art gaming and guitar technology with the authenticity of Fender design and engineering, The controller elevates the gaming experience to the level of real music making by letting users play the actual notes and chords of their favorite songs while racking up high gameplay scores.”
Aligning with the Rock Band phenomenon is not Fender’s first foray into nurturing a new generation of guitar gods wherever they might be around the world.
Fender's headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona with manufacturing facilities in Corona, California (USA) and Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico). To maintain and control costs over the years, Fender introduced Squier instruments in 1982, which have been produced in several nations, including Japan, Korea, India, China, Indonesia and Mexico.
The Squier brand’s main focus and most successful approach has been to be the “value brand” alternative to its big brother, Fender. Squier versions of signature models including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars provide an official” cost-conscious alternative that has enabled successive generations of guitar players to pick up an axe at a reasonable cost. In Fender’s words, Stop Dreaming, Start Playing ™
Squier is considered the launching pad for guitar players and owners who are expected to eventually upgrade to the more expensive Fender guitars. Nonetheless, Squier has established its own fan base over the years. Oftentimes this is because the lower cost emboldens guitar player to customize their guitars in ways that might be unthinkable with their higher priced counterparts. Many famous musicians for whom price is irrelevant cling to the brand.
The world of Fender sound also includes a history of amplifiers whose distinctive tones and cabinets have defined generations of rock, jazz, country, pop and all combinations thereof.
Today many of these Fender tones are available to the masses of guitar players on the recently released AmpliTube Fender app for Apple’s iPad. Developed by IK Multimedia and Fender, the iPad app enables guitar players to use their favorite gear anytime and anywhere, including the ’65 Deluxe Reverb™, the Super-Sonic™, the ’65 Twin Reverb™, the ’59 Bassman™ LTD and the Pro Junior™.
With the AmpliTube Fender for iPad app anytime, anywhere joins stop dreaming, start playing as yet another way that Fender will continue to nurture and grow a new generation of guitar players. It will also rekindle the youthful dreams of an older generation of pickers and strummers who have now begun or are now resuming their guitar playing.
Pricing for entry-level users through global manufacturing, integrating core capabilities with the latest technologies, creating and leveraging strong brands in multiple ways for multiple generations. Fender’s formula is working and holds valuable lessons for entrepreneurs and large companies alike.