Not every company is Apple… Not every company can do what Apple does i.e. launching just about anything as if it was a revolution, and get their fans to approve. Gibson tried once again to play it like Apple. They tried for a couple of weeks to create a hype around this so-called revolutionary instrument. But comments before, and after the unveiling of the Firebird X showed that once again the fans won’t buy these marketing arguments.
I don’t agree with Jon from Guitar Noize about the fact that just like Microsoft, people want Gibson to fail. No I think the fans are stuck with the clichés about Gibson guitars, and they forget that Gibson was, and still is a pionneer in guitar innovation. Mostly because major innovations from Gibson are now standards in the guitar world.
I think that Gibson is like many automobile companies. Let me explain! People don’t expect Porsche to build Volvos, they don’t expect Volvo to build Ferraris, and they don’t expect Renault to build… Well wait… Actually they hope that Renault would build some real cars! Let’s go back to the point… Fans are expecting Gibson guitars from Gibson, period.
And I think that Gibson has something to learn from the car industry. Most automobile brands use to expose concept cars at trade shows. These concept cars aim to share a vision of the automobile of the future, and to expose the technology innovations. But none of these concept cars are destined to be build in series (not even limited editions), and to be released on the market. Instead what they do is to incoporate some design, and technology features in the cars built for the market.
That’s what Gibson should be doing. The Firebird X should be considered as a concept guitar showing Gibson’s vision of the guitar of the future. And then they should integrate some of the features in series.
Is this Firebird X a revolution? I think it is a technology challenge but nothing revolutionary except maybe the bluetooth controller system that is a unique feature to my knowledge. As for the rest of the features you will find them on Gibson robots, or on other guitars from other brands (onboard effects).
The big mistake from Gibson marketing dpt is almost the opposite of last years Gibson Hendrix fiasco. While last year they didn’t prepare their customers, and fans for that release… This time they tried to create a hype about a supposed revolution! But what revolution? One of the keys of Apple’s success is to make technology accessible (in terms of usability) to the majority out there including grand-ma who could use an iPad for example. Though I’m a huge fan of innovation in general, loading a guitar with effects, and technology is not exactly making it accessible to the majority when this majority is fighting to learn how to make these 6 strings scream or cry.