Fender Musical Instruments Corporation Essay
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
Fender is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. The privately held company was founded by Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender in Clifornia in 1946. The company specializes in solid body electric guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, and solid body electric bass guitars such as the Precision and Jazz models.
Fender instruments are widely considered to be the standard to which most other electric guitars are measured. As marketing manager, I have been asked to develop a brand extension within Fender, in this case, we have decided to move into percussion instruments, specifically drum kits. We will be developing 3 new models of Fender drum kits, a six, seven and eight piece kit. The six piece kit will be made up of a snare drum, four tom toms and a bass drum. The seven piece kit will be similar, with the addition of another tom tom, and finally the eight piece will be similar to the seven piece, with the addition of a second bass drum. All drums will be sold without cymbals and hi-hats; however all will include a kick pedal for the base drum.
The objective of this extension is to begin moving Fender into new instruments, especially to develop a line of percussion instruments, with the future goal of developing a percussion department within the company, which will in turn lead to the manufacturing and sale of bongo drums, conga drums and tambourines. We feel that this area of the market for musical instruments has a clear niche gap within it that Fender can fill. With our excellent reputation within the industry, we feel customers will have the brand loyalty to purchase Fender drums. We also feel that with our world class team of developers and creators, and having the resources to use only the finest wood, we can create a drum kit that will be used by the most influential and talented drummers in the world.
This will of course lead to worldwide sales of Fender drums, increasing sales to unprecedented levels, which in turn will give us the chance to employee a greater number of people, all while creating a whole new division within the organization, greatly adding to the legacy of Fender instruments. Our target market is the total number of potential buyers for our product. Among this broad group, we have our primary and secondary target markets. Our primary market in this case will be those most likely to buy our new product. This will mainly be drummers and musical institutions, for example music schools, colleges and workshops.
Our secondary market, those who have the next greatest potential to buy now or in the future, will be musicians of all instruments; non-musicians who we hope will to purchase a kit and learn to play; and advertisement companies or agencies. Our primary market is simple, drummers drum. They need a drum kit, and if we can convince them of the superior quality and craftsmanship of Fender drums, we hope they will use Fender exclusively. A similar approach is being taken when marketing towards musical institutions.
Our secondary market however will be more difficult. Despite the fact that drums are used in many forms of music, musicians in general who we will target will specifically be guitarists, bass players and singers. We feel these players might be interested as many will already be playing music in a similar style to heavier, drum-orientated sound, as opposed to a classical trumpet player for example. We also feel that these players will very likely be familiar with the Fender brand, again as opposed to a musician playing an instrument in which Fender does not specialize. They will therefore be familiar with our high quality level of workmanship and reliability.
We will have many well established brands to compete with within the marketplace. Companies such as Pearl, Tama, Evans and C&C are highly regarded within the drumming community and have spent years building u brand loyalty among their customers. Of these companies, Pearl and Tama will be our strongest competitors. Pearl is a multinational company, founded in 1952, specializing in percussion instruments. They cover a huge range of kits, including six, seven, and eight piece kits similar to the kits we will be producing. Their Vision, Masters and Session models are widely popular and well prices. Tama is a sub division of the Hoshino Gakko Group, a company specializing in Tama drums and Ibenez guitars. Like Pearl, Tama produces well crafted, highly priced drum kits and have a great reputation worldwide for quality.
Fender Drums – Marketing Strategy
We will be selling our three kits (six, seven and eight piece) directly from our Fender stores worldwide for $1499, $1799 and $2199 respectively. We have spent many months analyzing our competitors’ marketing prices and feel that these prices offer a great deal for customers. For example, Pearl and Tama sell their six piece kits for $1599 and $1649 respectively. This places our product at a lower price range than both. We have also reached a deal with Sabian (manufacturer of hi-hats and cymbals) to sell our six piece kit with four of their cymbals as a bundle deal.
Regarding this deal, we will receive $50 less per kit than when sold separately, however we feel Sabian to be a highly regarded company who customers have built up a great relationship with and therefore we hope to garner some of their brand loyalty to introduce new players to our product. Our seven and eight piece kits will be sold individually only for the foreseeable future. Our seven piece kit is being sold at the same price as those offered by Pearl and Tama, while our eight piece kit is $100 cheaper than Tama’s eight piece kit.
Ours is $50 more expensive than Pearl’s eight piece kit; however we feel our product to be vastly superior to theirs, and therefore do not anticipate this slight difference as being problematic. We will also be offering out 100 kits initially to established artists as endorsements. These kits will be distributed, free of charge, to 42 pre-selected musicians, in the hope that by being used by these artists, other musicians who are influenced by these drummers will be eager to also purchase a kit.
In addition, our seven piece will contain a 13 x 10 tom tom and our eight piece will include a 20 x 16 bass drum. We will offer a range of spin off products which can be attached onto each kit, including a cowbell, tambourine and jam block. Each kit will be available in three colors (red, green and black) and will be sold with safety casing as an additional extra. They will be branded with the Fender logo on the top right portion of the front of the bass drum.
Our products will vary to competitors’ products in many ways. Our drums are different sizes, therefore giving out a slightly different tone and sound. All drums a headed with smooth emperor drum skins, which resonate for longer and give a crisper, more accurate tone. Only the finest maple and rosewood will be used to ensure the most satisfying sound and timbre.
Our products will be available from all Fender stores throughout Australia, Europe and America. We hope, over the next 12 months, to establish a relationship with stores throughout Asia and South America to sell Fender drums. Our products will also be available from our online store, as well as through third party sellers such as Amazon and EBay. Our products will also be available for both use and purchase at many trade fairs throughout America and Australia over the next six months.
We have many options when considering methods of promotion. As the leader in musical instruments worldwide, with 312 stores, this gives us a great starting point. All stores will stock our kits, displaying them front and center within their stores, to be sure customers will be quickly aware of them. We regularly host trade fairs across the world, which will also give us another means of advertising.
We will be taking our advertising in many of the world’s most read magazines (such as Rolling Stone, News and Time), newspapers (NY Post, Sydney Morning Herald and British Times) and websites (BBC, Dailymail, and TMZ). We will advertise and promote through television and radio also. I feel our greatest promotion will be through Sponsorship. We have signed 42 of the greatest drummers currently playing to use our kits. Drummers like Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails) and Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) all have huge fan bases of drummers, who we hope will be eager to try and purchase our kits once they realize their influences are also using them.
Our competitors also use many of these means of advertising, however we feel with our larger budget, and many more stores internationally, we have a much larger platform to promote from. We will begin promotion as of September 2014, hoping to garner enough attention to our product before the Christmas rush of product purchasing begins. While our product is not a ‘seasonal’ product, we feel it would be a good time to release these kits.
In closing, regarding which of the 4Ps will be the most influential initially on our product, I believe it will be our product itself. Our price is very competitive; we feel strongly this will not be a problem. Our promotion will be huge, using magazines, radio, TV, internet, billboards, instore advertising, sponsorship and trade shows among other means. Our placement options are huge. With our worldwide brand, we can sell our product worldwide. However, our product itself, with its world class development, beautiful tone, ease of use, gorgeous design and competitive price will stand up for itself as a leader in drumming products, and over time, we hope will be the number one drum kit on the market.
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