Big Rick Stuart
Fender Study Finds Half of New Guitarists Are Women
The “Taylor Swift factor” was not a one-time blip, says Fender chief executive
Fender worked with consultancy Egg Strategy to survey a representative sample of guitar players in the U.S. and U.K., adding on British data to a similar survey it conducted across North America three years ago with much the same results.
Women consistently emerged as half the customer base, though the company did not release a breakdown of the gender data by age or other demographics. Those initial findings led the company to seek relationships with female artists, highlight more women in marketing campaigns and rethink its marketing strategy around a massive new audience that it’d previously been ignoring.
It promoted a new millennial-focused line of guitars in 2016 with the women-led bands Warpaint and Bully, for instance.
“The fact that 50 percent of new guitar buyers in the U.K. were women was a surprise to the U.K. team, but it’s identical to what’s happening in the U.S.,” Fender CEO Andy Mooney tells Rolling Stone.
“There was also belief about what people referred to as the ‘Taylor Swift factor’ maybe making the 50 percent number short-term and aberrational. In fact, it’s not. Taylor has moved on, I think playing less guitar on stage than she has in the past. But young women are still driving 50 percent of new guitar sales. So the phenomenon seems like it’s got legs, and it’s happening worldwide.”