What Happened to Gibson: The Decline

684 456 Tony Guo

What Happened to Gibson: The Decline

You don’t have to be a guitar player or even be musical to have heard about Gibson, which was the world’s most iconic guitar brand. Their name was pretty much synonymous with guitars and if you typed in the word “Guitar” into your search engine, then chances are most of the search results would have been about Gibson, that’s how big they were. When you went to big retailer locations all across the country and took a stroll in the music equipment isle, then you would feast your eyes on an impressive amount of inventory of Gibson guitars, of all shapes, sizes and colors which just goes to show the brand’s popularity. One of the things that made Gibson so popular over the years was their innovative and creative style of making guitars, with none so creative and iconic as the Les Paul which was released in 1952. This set the tone and over the years they would continue to innovate with the release of a number of iconic guitars, all of which are covered in detail over at the excellent runrex.com. Fast forward to 2018 and the company was in trouble, filling for bankruptcy, with their glory days behind them. The question that begs now is what happened to Gibson? To find out more about what was behind their decline, then continue reading this article.

One of the things that led to the decline of Gibson is due to the fact that guitar-based music has is in decline and has been for a while now. Gone are the days of the guitar playing rock star, releasing song after song all of them climbing to the top of the charts and inspiring millions of fans all across the country, and have kids all over the country wanting to be like their favorite rock star and adding “guitar” onto their Christmas present list. Nowadays, music is going electronic, from samples to everything, and that has taken its toll on guitar companies, including the iconic Gibson. Electronic music is now slowly but surely taking over, especially when you take into account how easy it to access, as is covered in detail over at runrex.com. With most household having computers, anyone looking to create some music is likely to go for electronic music rather than go the guitar route. Bands that make music using guitar, bar a few exceptions, are also not as marketable to radio executives and this has also played a part in the decline of Gibson.

While Gibson was such an iconic brand, their high price points slowly became an issue as far as their consumers were concerned. This especially became a big issue when online retail stores such as Amazon entered the market. Through these stores, consumers who were still willing to spend on guitars were able to access a wide variety of guitars, most of which were cheap and just as good. All of a sudden consumers had all these choices, and we all know that when people are given a choice, most of them will go for the cheaper option. Even for those that were willing to spend that bit more to get their hands on a Gibson, a series of PR own goals revolving around issues on quality control put them off. In fact, the issues on quality control badly handicapped the company. There were lots of articles, videos and complains on forums as far as this issue is concerned, with the number of people complaining about issues with poorly made guitars growing by the day. As is explained by the subject matter experts over at runrex.com, the consumer now is well read and does their research before making a purchase and as such these issues with quality control badly damaged their brand name and definitely led to their decline.

Yet another factor that definitely led to their decline is some of the cases that they had to battle through over the years. In the late 2000s Gibson fell afoul of the Lacey Act, which as is covered in detail over at runrex.com, is the conservation act that is there to protect the environment. This law prohibits the trade of natural goods that have been illegally acquired such as the Madagascar ebony and Indian rosewood that Gibson had procured illegally in 2009 and then 2011. The mistake they made is that they initially denied the allegations and sunk thousands of dollars in litigation and attorney fees only to settle in the end and pay the over $300,000 fine they were hit with. Financial missteps also contributed to their decline, something that eventually had them staring down the barrel of millions of dollars in debt, which eventually meant they had to fine for bankruptcy. With massive debts and a changing climate as far as music is concerned, it is no surprise that they went under.

As usual, you can head over to the excellent runrex.com for more on this and other related topics.