One of the things I heard about Ibby's over here is that most people think "heavy metal" when they see one. Funny because Steve Vai and Satch arent metal, and neither is Andy Timmons.
Just like, pre-Nirvana, those odd shaped but beautiful Fender Jazzmasters and Jaguars were most associated with surf music. The Seattle scene opened up those two models to a whole different genre.
But I don't think you can usually think of Ibanez (hey, I own an Artcore) without thinking of heavy metal and at least shredding whether it be metal or something more sophisticated but hard music nonetheless.
Vai had a stint with David Lee Roth and Whitesnake so at least pop metal was a moniker he may have received at the time. Also Satriani has played with so many from Mick Jagger to Greg Kihn Band, but high caliber shredding is his calling card. It also helps associate Satch with metal with the Edge trem, and students Kirk Hammet, Steve Vai, and Alex Skolnick (of Testament).
There's nothing wrong with more ignorant people who only think metal (and '80s metal particularly) when the Ibanez brand shows up and they will tag it the same way with metal that they would with Marshall and ESP, but we all know better. The Ron Wood ESP is among my favorites as well as their X-tone line. Marshall combo amps, lower wattage, can be used for many non-metal applications though most people think of those Marshall stacks, black leather, high volume venues, and heavy metal.
Since Hendrix and the debut of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, I don't think there was a more influential player that shaped the sound and direction of metal more than Satch and his Surfing with the Alien record. It was the first time for many that we all heard somebody surpass Eddie Van Halen and incorporate such musicality to a high volume set of tracks. Yeah, there was the great stuff Vai did with David Lee Roth and there was also Yngwie Malmsteen but Satch took it to another level and it easily explained why several of his students excelled in metal.
I remember walking by the local music store in my retirement town and the record store worker ran out and brought me in. He knew I was into Hendrix, Page, and Eddie Van Halen. He said, "Do you want to hear somebody better than Eddie?" From the first track I was mesmerized and all the guitar players I knew could talk about nothing else. It was a shredder's A-bomb.