Fender wants to teach you guitar (for free) during quarantine.

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My brother, Trey Schafer, is a twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter and producer creating music in Nashville.

I’m obviously biased but he’s absurdly gifted and folks are beginning to take notice — if you type his name into Spotify you will see he sports over 60,000 monthly listeners.

Growing up with him, I was always astonished at how quickly he could pick up musical instruments, and learn to play them well, in a matter of an evening.

However, for the rest of us (AKA those not gifted with my brother’s ear for music) learning something like the guitar can be as frustrating as trying to thread a needle whilst going 70 in a dune buggy…

Enter Fender.

Fender has been making guitars since 1946 and has been the biggest name in rock n roll for the better part of the last century.

Though, despite their tremendous and lengthy success, they haven’t allowed themselves to become “stuck” in an era.

(Something we can’t say for all brands who are 74 years old).

They’ve stayed true to who they are, while constantly innovating.

For example, a good while back after recognizing just how hard it is to pick-up a new instrument, they launched an online education platform called Fender Play — which teaches folks how to play guitar and other musical instruments from the comfort of their own homes.

With Fender Play, they ingeniously went from being a “hardware” company to a “software” company overnight.

Then, disaster struck.

As you know, the Coronavirus happened and folks are now forced to stay inside under quarantine.

While Fender is able to still sell their instruments and equipment online, they can’t drive retail sales because places like Guitar Center have been forced to close.

Fortunately, somebody at Fender is clever as hell and came up with a wicked smart idea…

Fender’s wicked smart idea.

I’m not sure who the hell is responsible but someone somewhere asked a very good question…

“Why not teach people guitar while they’re stuck at home with nothing to do?”

And, a campaign was born.

Recently, Fender announced they would be giving 3-months of Fender Play away for free to the first 500,000 people that signed up.

And, while they’re obviously taking a major hit on Fender Play sales, at least initially, they’re creating some serious sales opportunities for themselves down the road…

To begin, they got 500,000 email addresses practically overnight –– today, an email address is practically a “pending sale”.

Additionally, folks will need a guitar to take advantage of their three free months of Fender Play… too bad nobody knows someone that sells them…

And, finally, if folks get hooked on Fender Play, they will without a doubt buy a $90 annual subscription once their three months are officially up.

Well played Fender. Well played.

(See what I did there?)

While our world is in shambles, the move might not be to sell more but to instead give the world something free whilst teeing your brand up for sales down the road.

But I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

Stranger than fiction by Honey Copy is a curation of stories about bat shit crazy marketing ideas that have made brands some serious cheddar. If this story made your mouth water, why not let me tell you when I write the next one?

Originally published at https://www.honeycopy.com on May 5, 2020.

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I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

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