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INTERVIEW: Simon Godin, Godin Guitars

Daniel Gumble
INTERVIEW: Simon Godin, Godin Guitars

Seagull Guitars has long been a valuable asset to its Canada-based parent company Godin Guitars. Respected for both its build quality and commitment to offering true value for money in the mid-range acoustic market, Seagull has recently been subject to a re-brand, which saw the frim take the unusual approach of drafting in a third-party marketing specialist to assist with proceedings.

So why mess with an already acclaimed, successful brand, especially in a climate where market stability is arguably more vital than ever? Daniel Gumble caught up with Godin Guitars vice president of marketing, Simon Godin, to find out more…

Daniel Gumble: For years Seagull Guitars has been a longstanding asset for Godin. Why did now feel like the right time to re-brand what was already a successful brand?

Simon Godin: “The Seagull brand was launched in 1982 by my father Robert Godin in the Village of LaPatrie, Quebec. Now, as head of the marketing department, I decided it was time to update and  begin reintroducing our Canadian-made guitars to the world, as we are now living in different times and guitar players today range from the casual strummer to the seasoned pro. In short, a guitar today can also be about lifestyle and personality.”
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DG: What was the philosophy behind the re-brand? What were the key characteristics you wanted to embody?

SG: “It is clear that we have learned how to make great quality Canadian guitars that give value for the dollar and also age well, but we also want to highlight the virtues of these instruments in regards to youth, enthusiasm, and accessibility. No matter who you are, where you live, and what or how you play, there is a Seagull guitar for you.”


DG: When did you begin work on the re-brand and how long has it taken to come to fruition?

SG: “We started last September after a few months of working and designing the new logo. Now we have just launched the new website, and so far the feedback from dealers and customers is very positive.”


DG: You recruited an outside marketing company to help shape the re-brand. What can you tell us about the company and what they brought to the table?

SG: “They are very proactive and they know today’s market. We have asked them to bring a new and fresh vibe to create a lifetime with the instruments; they had a great idea of mixing people’s images with the Seagull models.”  


DG: Were they solely to assist with the re-brand, or have they been involved with the marketing campaign surrounding the product?

SG: “Yes - all the marketing direction has been their idea.”  


DG: Do you think you will work with a third-party on future projects?

SG: “Yes. It’s very good to have an outside perspective and a different vision. On our end we are strong at making amazing quality instruments, so having this outside perspective is key.”


DG: How important is it to Godin to keep evolving the brand’s identity to ensure that it remains relevant to contemporary musicians?

SG: “It’s very important to continue evolving the instrument for the music of today.”


DG: What can you tell us about the new, re-branded range? Where are they manufactured and what price point they will arrive at etc.

SG: “Although we are presenting a new logo, theme and in some cases, finishes – we are still building our guitars exclsuively 100 per cent in Canada with mainly indigenous woods and we cover price point from lower-mid range €400 all the way through to plus €1,000.”


DG: What will you be doing to promote the re-brand, both domestically in Canada and internationally?

SG: “We are updating our direction with a strong focus on social media and lifestyle for the new Seagull instruments, targeting artists that will fit this new outlook.”


DG: Seagull Guitars has always prided itself on offering high quality, mid-range instruments at highly competitive price points. Is this something you have sought to maintain with the new range?

SG: “Absolutely. Seagull won’t change any of that, but we are also focusing on appearance such as new colors, shape, etc.”


DG: When will the re-branded models be available in the UK?

SG: “All new Seagull guitars are available now exclusively from 440 Distribution in the UK and Ireland.”


DG: What else does Seagull have in the pipeline for 2016?

SG: “New models and colors, and reaching a new generation of guitarists.”

Tags: godin guitars , seagull guitars , interview , Interviews , simon godin

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