Introducing The World To Another Brazilian Treasure
From the land of rainforests, supermodels, Carnival, and Antônio Carlos Jobim, one company is seeking to expose another Brazilian national treasure to a broader worldwide market. Giannini Guitars recently launched a U.S. distribution arm, Giannini USA, to acquaint American retailers with the brand’s unique history and vibe—and the equally distinctive tone of its guitars.
In 1890 a gifted woodworker named Tranquillo Giannini traveled from his native Italy to Brazil to explore its treasure trove of exotic woods. Thrilled by the remarkable abundance, variety, and quality of timbers he found there, he never left. Before long his hobby of making guitars became his passion—and profession—and Giannni Guitars was founded in 1900. Forever family-owned, the company is now in the hands of third-generation president Giorgio Giannini and his sons, Roberto and Flavio.
Giannini’s headquarters in Salto, Brazil handles all R&D efforts for guitar, amp, and accessories design. Higher-end, all solid wood instruments are produced there under the Handcrafted label by artisans who have been building handmade instruments for decades. The company has also been a producer of steel and nylon guitar strings for some 50 years and has continued to develop the division at a state-of-the-art, ISO9001-certified manufacturing facility. String sales are being expanded in the U.S. and other markets as a growing number of dealers take on this profitable line.
Starting in 2006 Giannini began partnering with factories in Asia to expand into value-focused instruments as well as tube and solid-state guitar amplifiers and a comprehensive line of equalizers, tuners, and Axcess brand guitar effects pedals. The company’s strategically broadened line adds acoustic-electric and affordably priced Asian-made versions of the signature Giannini Craviola, a uniquely shaped and voiced instrument renowned for its clarity, projection, and balance, with rich lows and sparkling highs. Other new offerings include high-value versions of classic electric guitar and bass designs, the new vintage-inspired semi-hollow-body Rigby Series, and an expanded range of acoustic and classical models.
In April 2012 the company formally launched Giannini USA, with a head office in Deer Park, New York, led by industry veterans Dennis Briefel and Tom Rizzi. Briefel explains that the company’s budding independent-focused U.S. dealer network is as diverse as the Giannini line, which ranges from high-value, high-volume instruments, amps, and accessories to distinctive, small-production handcrafted guitars. He adds that Giannini has recently developed “some really beautiful instruments that will be very received by the music community” and are “quite different from what the company has offered in the past.”
The company’s brand identity and reliable selling points focus on Giannini’s Brazilian roots, more than a century of guitar making expertise, and use of superior tonewoods sourced from around the world. “Our dealer base is still small,” says Briefel, “but it’s loyal, and re-orders are consistent.” A key to Giannini’s “very high” rate of dealer customer satisfaction, he adds, is the company’s commitment to ensuring that instruments are quality-checked, set up, and playable “right out of the box.”
Speaking of the new U.S. operation, Briefel comments, “We’re fortunate to be working with a 112-year-old entity with tons of resources behind it to make this new opportunity a reality. We see things long-term and can assure U.S. dealers and consumers that Giannini is here to stay.”
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