It has been a months-long affair, but the winner of the Full Sail and Dean Guitars “Design a Guitar” Contest has finally been chosen. During an online GoTo Meeting session yesterday, Curse Mackey, Dean’s Director of Marketing, and Eric Stewart, Dean’s Product Manager, named Team Defyent the winner of the first-ever product development challenge.
Team Defyent – made up of students Jim Engel (Entertainment Business Master’s), Kevin Gray (Entertainment Business Master’s), Jody Gross (Entertainment Business Master’s), Thomas “Guy” Petrie (Recording Arts), and Sterling Wentz (Recording Arts) – created a proposal for the Dean Defyent, a handcrafted fretless guitar with an aggressive body design.
“It boiled down to the total package. You gave us a product name that we thought was catchy, and the design of the guitar is definitely something that is Dean-centric but also stands out and would look like a new piece to our catalog,” said Curse, speaking to the winning team during yesterday’s GoTo Meeting session.
The contest kicked off in June, when 76 students from across 12 degree programs formed teams and submitted a Team Charter and Video of Intent. From there, 14 groups submitted Product Pitches, which included information on product design, target market, points of differentiation, marketing materials, and pricing information. The field of teams was then narrowed down to seven, with the finalists presenting to Curse and Dean during the Final Rounds last month.
“It’s been a great project and we’ve had a lot of fun with it,” said Curse. “Eric and I spent the last couple of weeks doing some additional research into the realities of what it would take on our end to produce a guitar from the designs submitted. Based upon everything we’ve brought in, we feel good about the winner.”
Dean plans on working with Team Defyent during the manufacturing and distribution process of their winning design, which will get started sometime next year. Photos of the winning guitar design will be made available once the prototype has been built by the Dean USA wood shop. The guitar company and Full Sail hope to make the contest an annual event.