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60 Seconds: Brad Johnson, Guitar Center Professional

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

A: My new position is director of Guitar Center Professional and it is really all about refining the strategy for the division, expanding what has been working well for us, focusing the division on its core strategy, and leveraging the nationally recognized brand of Guitar Center. It also entails empowering the individual talents of each of our account managers and logistics coordinators. My team and I are here to support them and are working towards improving the tools and processes to optimize our relationships with our clients.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

A: Since my background has primarily been in retail store and district management, I feel I have a unique perspective in regards to creating a more unified approach to our retail stores and the GC Professional division. Working for years within our support center, I have developed many strong relationships within the company, which makes it easier for me rally different divisions within GC around GC Pro to make improvements towards efficiencies in sales processing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, gear procurement and logistics.

Also having a background as an owner of a boutique manufacturer has given me insight as to how I can strengthen the relationship between Guitar Center and the many smaller, but very important vendors that GC Pro deals with on a day-to-day basis. I understand the perception that dealing with a company the size of GC might be difficult, and my attitude is that I am here to assist and make things even more efficient.

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

A: The biggest venture is the launch of the new Guitar Center Professional Ecommerce platform, which will be integrated into our new micro site on This includes expanded product selection with four times the amount of viewable product, user-friendly experience with easy navigation, expanded product descriptions, product specifications and a feature to chat live with a GC Professional Account manager. You will also see much more collaborating with industry professionals to create awareness in the marketplace of the personalized services GC Pro offers. While we have been doing a good job of this, I really want to expand upon it.

Q: What are your short-and long-term goals?

A: Expansion. There are a handful of markets around the country where our customers and potential customers would benefit by having GC Pro in closer vicinity. We have already added 16 Account Managers over the past few months and are hiring more. Growing our installations business, and our Affiliate Program, is a short-term goal, but also long-term. This area is very important to us, as being able to partner with our installation and integration affiliates allows us to design and deliver a totally complete package to our clients.

Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

A: Some of the biggest challenges are to provide really great training to the Account Managers that we are hiring for our expansion. Hiring people, giving them tools but not giving them proper training and support does not benefit anyone. Working closely with my associate Derek Snyder and our vast network of vendor partners, we are able to train our Account Managers and support team on the latest professional audio & video equipment, best practices and industry trends. I am excited about my new position, and with this strategy in place, I look forward to growing GC Pro and offering our customers the most knowledgeable sales staff and comprehensive product selection to provide them the audio and video solutions they need.