Now, there are things I like about Fender. Primarily, the guitars are made for customization, and that is damn' cool if you're into that (which I plan to be one day). I don't like how guitar stores have almost become Strat-and-Tele stores, however. There's something about that level of popularity I associate with wrongness; maybe there's a poseur indie bastard in my trying to get out.
I'd link you tp my most commonly used example to show what the hell is wrong with Fender today, but their website is a pile of crap. Instead, I'll tell you: the d00d from Blink 182 has his own custom Strat
. Yes, Fender stamped their name on it to get money from all the neo-skate-punk craptastic kids.
Some might argue that this is just a way to speak to the kids who like Blink 182 and are desperately seeking a way to get into playing music and bringing their message to the world. I've got this to say to you: Ascribing any minute level of caring in that respect to almost any corporation is beyond me at this point. I'm either too old or too young or too hateful or too elitist or too cynical or too something, but I am it. They want the money, and making a copy of the crappy guitar some crappy player uses is a good way to do it. And even if it were true, Blink 182's message is, well, they're too vapid to have any discernable message, and if you're going to be inspired to be a "musician" from them, think about it first. There are far too many kids out there who think they want to play guitar until the first month/week/day/hour of practice goes by and they chuck it.
I really don't know if more people go through this with piano or guitar, but I'm willing to bet those are the two highest turnover instruments simply because of the visibility. The worst part of it is that they're all getting Fender Squiers or Gibson Juniors and so nothing worth looking at ever crops up in the used section at the stores. (There are exceptions, of course, but I'm guessing it's not some titchy kid who got rid of my Rickenbacker 330
Back to substitute's point, this is terribly detrimental to our culture, but probably not as bad for business as we would hope. The thing is, well, our culture is some sort of pocket of difference we share with okay individuals in the greater whole that is America. You'll agree with me that we're separate from these folks
, right? And while we think it's bad for business, it's thanks to the others that it really isn't that bad for the businesses. The crux of the matter is this: they do it because they can. Sadly enough, the market is there now.
On the vehicle front, don't get me started on the Hummer thing. And I don't think I know what's going on with Gucci, but there's good ol' Armani Exchange.