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Thread: Can we talk about Paul for a minute?

  1. #21
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    This is all very interesting. I (perhaps foolishly) thought that everone would say, "Oh my god, FINALLY someone pointed out that Paul is increasingly looking like a total idiot (at MusiciansFriend, Wilcutt, WildWood, SoundLive, GuitarsForLess, etc...).

    He's acting the fool, and trying too hard. And it comes across. It's becoming, dare I say, cringeworthy.

    I want to love this guy, and I do!!! Yet I like him less and less every time I see him. He's become too much of a marketing guy. And he's no Steve Jobs, nor should we want him to be!

    That's all. Is that so wrong?

    Paul should focus on our guitars. **** marketing.
    Last edited by Evan; 07-19-2014 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Jobs' success at carefully scripted, rehearsed WWDC events can't be fairly compared to Paul standing in front of a small room full of guitar enthusiasts. Moreover, his audience is different. I'm not sure I'd want Steve Jobs selling me a guitar, though I love his company's computers.

    Paul is the same guy who got roadies to sneak him backstage at rock concerts so he could personally sell guitars to rock stars. He works pretty tirelessly to get around the country, and the world, to promote what he makes personally. How many CEOs do that? There is a charm to it that is way beyond slick marketing.

    And people respond well. I happen to enjoy the videos.

    As an ad agency supplier, I've sat in hundreds of meetings with creative directors, writers, art directors, producers, market researchers, marketing guys/gals, and clients on Fortune 500 campaigns for 25 years. One person's idea of a brilliant campaign is another person's idea of a POS campaign.

    The thinking is hardly uniform about what will sell, what to do, how to plan a campaign, what will or won't work, etc. Usually it boils down to the client's gut feeling about which direction to take, and then a plan is selected and everyone rolls along happily whether the advertising is good, bad, or embarrassing.

    You don't like Paul's folksy, personal approach, other people love it.

    But feedback on one's communication is usually a good thing, whether it's about your reaction to Paul, or someone's reaction to your post.
    Thank you! So, if you had the account, would you encourage Paul to take a front seat, or back seat, going forward?

    Personally, I would never say, this is absolutely working.

    Paul's folksy attitude has run its course. You don't see that? He's repeating himself within his own breath! I love the guy, but he doesn't even understand what he's saying lately!
    Last edited by Evan; 07-19-2014 at 09:42 AM.

  3. #23
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    Let's be honest, we're not a bunch of folksy people....we're sophisticates. That's Paul's segment. Sophisticates. Wealthy or no (most are perhaps wealthy), but we're a sophisticated lot.

    You may not want to hear that -- few do, strangely -- but it's a fact.

    And yes, a shocking number among us are well-versed in business-related affairs.

    And I judge Paul Reed Smith -- and I'm sure many of his customers do -- along the lines which my expertise allows.

    And I personally think that his marketing efforts have run aground. (i.e., that they've become stupid).

    I don't see that I've committed any crime by broaching this topic. Let's talk about it.

    Paul makes a fantabulous guitar, but I would encourage him to recede from the limelight.

    EDIT: I should stipulate that I love seeing Paul, and I revere him as a man, but as a businessman, I don't think he's doing any of us a favor by being a frontman, and repeating marketing lines about the "musicality" of every PRS guitar at sweetwater.com. If you're shopping for a PRS guitar, you see it OVER AND OVER. And it frankly looks desperate.
    Last edited by Evan; 07-19-2014 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    Justmund has it right. Please don't feed the troll.....
    Let the dude speak his mind and let the mods determine if its in poor taste. I don't think anyone should be labeling anyone anything around here just because they may post something you don't agree with.

  5. #25
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    Marketing: Sales are up, the product lines are well received. Margins are up through dealership control. The lucrative PS service the deep pocket market. The S2 range bring in more margin than the popular SE. I like their website and product brochures. They have access to guitar media to promo new models as we want to see them.

    Design: The SE models are up with best in class. USA models are priced better than Gibson, and much more for the money. Gibson just roll out another iteration of the same old LP thing each year. PRS has different pickup voicings, and modern build quality and modern thoughtful design.

    He's a natural communicator, sales guy, in addition to his design skills, but saying that his TED talk wasn't the best as it looked like he couldn't see the audience properly, so couldn't connect with them. I think Paul's doing a great job in the media, they use demo guys at trade fairs to go through the nuts and bolts, but he has leadership skills and brand association that you don't often see, more like a Branson. He did build this from scratch remember. I think you are confusing a well like character in the guitar community with a marketing campaign

    If you want a laugh try and find the CNN interview with the Gibson CEO when he tried to trumpet the gibson firebird X, nearly peed my pants laughing

  6. #26
    Senior Member RedGuitars's Avatar
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    Where are the mods?? Delete this thread. And the OP's account.

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Let the dude speak his mind and let the mods determine if its in poor taste. I don't think anyone should be labeling anyone anything around here just because they may post something you don't agree with.
    Thank you very much!

    I'm not trying to start trouble, I promise! This stuff has been on my mind is all.

    I've found myself caring very much about the future of the PRS brand, particularly having found myself with a vested interest.

    (Within the last 3 months, I've sold three Gibsons, and purchased/traded three PRSi -- my latest acquisition of a Purple Hazel P22 is possibly the last guitar I will ever need -- not that these details should matter).
    Last edited by Evan; 07-19-2014 at 10:26 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGuitars View Post
    Where are the mods?? Delete this thread. And the OP's account.
    Are you f'ing serious?? I just bought 3 (three!) PRSi in the last month, and you're going to play Nazi with me? Really??
    Last edited by Shawn@PRS; 07-19-2014 at 12:41 PM. Reason: language

  10. #30
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    Im quite surprised at the # of people saying to delete the thread/OP is a troll. I dont see it that way at all.

  11. #31
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    Holy Christ, I didn't expect all this anger. What??

  12. #32
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Maybe I am naive, but I never really see Paul's videos as scripted. I think he is a passionate, driven man, still on a mission, and still feels he has alot to contribute.

    From a product standpoint, although improvements can always be made, with the "rules of tone" tweaks pretty much done being implemented after x-many years across the core line, there are probably only incremental improvements in the core line at best moving forward. I think Paul's message is consistent, and it focuses on what makes PRS guitars unique. I also think from a business standpoint he well know this, so it's now or never to make damn well sure that the folks who don't already know why PRS guitars are the best know it, and why. So he hits on the same points.

    We're out here looking for this stuff. We're already in the fold - he's not preaching to us, he's speaking to the person who's going to spend $3K on a Gibby or Fender Custom Shop because they might not know they have another option, or may think PRSes are just another pretty top but not much else.

    We're talking about a man who, along with alot of talented people around him, has been able to pretty much reverse-engineer some of the "magic" from vintage instruments, and mass-produce that magic into some amazing instruments that are (at least somewhat) obtainable. I for one hope to hear him talk about it for decades more to come.
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  13. #33
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    I think Paul has shares the same problem EVH has, they both come across like they think that the person they're talking to has no idea about guitars so they seem to talk in the simplest teams. This I understand for people who really know nothing about how guitars are made, or why this wood is chosen over that wood, but if you care enough to look at you tube video's about a CEO talking about guitar construction you usually have a pretty good handle on that.
    I gave that pitch some vibrato, pitches love vibrato.

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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetydosa View Post
    Im quite surprised at the # of people saying to delete the thread/OP is a troll. I dont see it that way at all.
    Thanks, I got so much love yesterday posting my beloved P22, I didn't expect all this hate.

  15. #35
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    It doesn't appear to me that Paul has marketing or other ppl behinds the scenes directing him or telling him what to say. He is who he is, and that shows I think...take him for who he is. A sometimes quirky, but undoubtedly passionate guy about guitar building, playing, and all things guitar in general. Can't fault him for that, his passion is evident and in my opinion strengthens the brand, regardless of whether or not his public appearances or interviews are all well-polished and/or scripted. I think most times he's just being himself and has never tried to be anything but who he is. I have met him once briefly and having seen him at a few Experiences, he seems to be the same guy on and off camera, which I respect.

  16. #36
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    Well, anyway, it was nice being part of this community for a while.

    Glad you liked my P22, sorry we couldn't talk more.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Thank you! So, if you had the account, would you encourage Paul to take a front seat, or back seat, going forward?
    Evan, I think you're perhaps confusing your personal bias about Paul's approach with what does, or doesn't, work with his customers and potential customers.

    I'm not saying you don't love PRS guitars. Obviously, you do.

    But you don't personally like what he has to say, and how he says it.

    It's not surprising to me that you didn't do your market research on musical products. After all, the client or your agency's research department would give you the buzz words that customers in a certain segment want or need to hear. You may know market-speak, but you know very little of music-speak among professional musicians.

    For example, you object to the term, "musical."

    You may not realize it, but this is a term used to describe instruments in the serious music community. And by "serious music community," I don't mean rock musicians alone. I mean symphony players.

    If you go to a conservatory, or do sessions with orchestral players (I guest lecture frequently at the University level, and do lots of sessions with orchestral musicians), it is very common to describe a particular instrument as being "musical." That is, it's an instrument whose tone naturally enhances the music, that you don't have to fight to produce a pleasing sound. Not all instruments, even good ones, are "musical." One of the guys I met who teaches double-bass at a major university's music school mortgaged his house to get a particular 19th century German bass. I asked what made him get it, and he said, "It's just musical."

    Symphony players are also often described by their peers as "musical" or "not musical," regardless of their dexterity and ability to read or follow the music. It's odd to hear a professional whose whole life is symphonic music be described as anything but musical, but that's the term used at times.

    When Paul says a guitar is "musical" he means it in that sense. You hear lots of great players using this term as well, even in the rock panoply. Lots of my session guys talk this way, too.

    This may need to be explained to you, a marketing guy, but not to musicians.

    Also, I don't see you getting hate. But you do have a way of communicating your ideas that pisses people off. So...you're the pot calling the kettle black. First consider your own skills at putting forth your ideas.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-19-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrw32 View Post
    It doesn't appear to me that Paul has marketing or other ppl behinds the scenes directing him or telling him what to say. He is who he is, and that shows I think...take him for who he is. A sometimes quirky, but undoubtedly passionate guy about guitar building, playing, and all things guitar in general. Can't fault him for that, his passion is evident and in my opinion strengthens the brand, regardless of whether or not his public appearances or interviews are all well-polished and/or scripted. I think most times he's just being himself and has never tried to be anything but who he is. I have met him once briefly and having seen him at a few Experiences, he seems to be the same guy on and off camera, which I respect.
    Man, yeah, I love Paul, who doesn't? But he's gotten...vague...

    And he deserves that **** -- he's Paul Smith!!

    But when I see him phoning it in when visit ****-sites like MusiciansFriend.com, a part of my dies. This guy is a living LEGEND, and he's hawking his wares on **** sites like that...it just crushes me. This is Paul Smith! As a marketing guy (and as a musician/disciple)...it's just wrong! And he needs to step back and retain the MYSTIQUE.

    (And everyone else, saying that I'm a troll, is either insane or stupid.)
    Last edited by Shawn@PRS; 07-19-2014 at 12:45 PM. Reason: language

  19. #39
    Senior Member RedGuitars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Are you fucking serious?? I just bought 3 (three!) PRSi in the last month, and you're going to play Nazi with me? Really??
    Yes.

    I AM serious.

    Read the rules.


    http://http://prsguitars.com/forum/s...Rules-Read-em!

    You clearly don't have anything nice to say.
    Last edited by Shawn@PRS; 07-19-2014 at 12:44 PM. Reason: language
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  20. #40
    Well, it's not that he has nothing nice to say, Red. It's more that he says it in a way that is confrontational instead of respectful.

    Also, he really has no idea what he's talking about; see my post above about his criticism of Paul's use of the word "musical" to describe an instrument.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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