We’re proud to share that Kurt Listug, co-founder and CEO of Taylor Guitars, has been featured in Business Insider, among a group of 200 prominent CEOs who were asked how their companies are handling the tall task of running a successful business during a time of historic economic flux.
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has created major obstacles for businesses of all kinds, musical instrument makers included. Fortunately for Taylor Guitars, we make a habit of thinking proactively and meeting challenges with flexibility and creativity, the same innovative mindset that has driven our guitar designs for over four decades.
If Taylor has weathered the storm effectively over the past two months, it’s due in part to Kurt Listug leadership. From the company’s earliest days, he was tasked with developing business strategies and infrastructure that, over time, would not only make us major players in the world of acoustic guitars, but also position Taylor as one of the most respected business entities in the music industry.
In the Business Insider feature, editors asked CEOs three main questions: How will the way you operate change because of the coronavirus? How will your industry change? And how will the world change? Executives from such giants as Airbnb, Hewlett-Packard, Kohls, the New York Stock Exchange and more chimed in to answer, along with Kurt, who spoke about changes in how we build guitars, how we engage with our customers, and how the pandemic is likely to catalyze a new generation of musicians.
Read Kurt’s comments from the article below.
As far as changing the way we operate, we’re going to carry a higher level of inventory. We were already discussing this before the outbreak. As long as the company has more inventory to sell and ship, we’ll give ourselves more options. We will also schedule work differently, to provide for better social distancing.
We could operate several shifts 24/7 and have fewer people operating on each shift. More of our marketing budget will go into direct-to- consumer reach. That could mean more brand messaging direct to consumers, or even selling online direct to consumers. And we’re fast-tracking new instrument development, because trends may change more quickly.
Weak companies might not survive, both manufacturer/suppliers and retailers. The shift to buying online will accelerate. Brick-and-mortar stores will really need to create obvious value to justify their existence and remain in business.
The pandemic may precipitate faster societal changes and social-musical trends. New young artists will create new music. Legacy music and the instruments used to play them may fade in popularity, especially with baby boomers aging. New music and new forms of musical instruments may come into being faster.
The trend will continue toward greater border security, and greater trade barriers where appropriate. Especially with countries that cheat and are not trustworthy. I hope there will be less tolerance toward countries that are bad actors, for the sake of one’s own prosperity. Hopefully there will be a greater focus on fixing societal and environmental problems, and helping the inhabitants of our planet survive and prosper.