What Will Be The Beat In HTC?
Like it or not, Monster has done more for the recent success of headphones than any one else. They've moved headphones from just another audio accessory, to a major stand-alone audio category in the mind of the popular culture. Headphone sales have climbed strongly over the past three years in the face of economic turmoil, and Monster has played the major roll in that success.
I'd say it's mostly been an exersize in marketing and supply chain acumen so far, but the deal with HTC may change all that.
The Technical Pitch Can Win
In a recent InnerFidelity poll I asked the question, "HTC pays $300mil for control Beats Electronics. What will consumers get out of it?" The answer, "Just the rapper's logo is enough ... people are sheeple. Money spent on actual improvements will eat into profits" is winning almost two to one over all other answers combined.
I'd like to say you guys are a bunch of pessimists, but I'm afraid it is the realistic answer in a world run by MBAs and motivated by quarterly profits. However, I'd like to offer an alternative: in a world where believing the sheeple will get shorn is the norm, actually putting some good stuff in the product may win.
Take Dyson, for example, this guy enters the extraordinarily mature market for vacuums, and cleans up. How? Simply by making a better vacuum and telling people about how it's better. No celebrities ... no dancing girls ... just a simple pitch describing a better technology.
Now, the pitch doesn't go on at length about how it works, it just drops a few crumbs of technospeak, and then sucks you in with its truthiness. You leave sub-consciously convinced that it's a better vacuum. The technical pitch to sheeple might work just as well as the celebrity pitch. The important thing to note with the present article is that with this type of marketing Dyson actually has to have made a better vacuum. Once they do, though, they can sell it simply and powerfully on the basis of being better.