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THE VALIDITY OF COOL: LESSONS TO LEARN FROM $500 HEADPHONES - Tech.co

THE VALIDITY OF COOL: LESSONS TO LEARN FROM $500 HEADPHONES - Tech.co

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Published by Lindsey C. Holmes
I often wonder how $500 headphones can sell in a recession. Do you? I rarely justify the expense of my Apple gear, and now I don’t think I will with my headphones. Beats By Dre has made me understand the power of a cool brand a little better this week.
I’ve been working from the Olympics for the last several days, and Beats By Dre head- phones are EVERYWHERE. The story of the age-old rivalry between two popular Asian swimmers a few days ago was fueled only by who had the best swagger walking out of the locker room sporting their very hot Beats. Did you see the metallic gold ones on Park Tae-Hwan? Sick!

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I often wonder how $500 headphones can sell in a recession. Do you? I rarely justify the expense of my Apple gear, and now I don’t think I will with my headphones. Beats By Dre has made me understand the power of a cool brand a little better this week.
I’ve been working from the Olympics for the last several days, and Beats By Dre head- phones are EVERYWHERE. The story of the age-old rivalry between two popular Asian swimmers a few days ago was fueled only by who had the best swagger walking out of the locker room sporting their very hot Beats. Did you see the metallic gold ones on Park Tae-Hwan? Sick!

Read more...

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Published by: Lindsey C. Holmes on Dec 04, 2012
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THE VALIDITY OF COOL: LESSONS TO LEARN FROM $500HEADPHONES
Lindsey C. HolmesAugust 1, 2012Tweet
I often wonder how $500 headphones can sell in a recession. Do you? I rarely justify theexpense of my Apple gear, and now I don’t think I will with my headphones. Beats ByDre has made me understand the power of a cool brand a little better thisweek.I’ve been working from the Olympics for the last several days, and Beats By Dre head-phones are EVERYWHERE. The story of the age-old rivalry between two popular Asianswimmers a few days ago was fueled only by who had the best swagger walking out of the locker room sporting their very hot Beats. Did you see themetallic gold onesonPark Tae-Hwan? Sick!
Here are my 5 do’s for being a cool brand
:
1. Do actually have a good product.
Previously, no matter how cool (or metallic!) theylooked, I could not justify this $300-$500 expense. I’m not a music producer, so whywould I need studio headphones? After testing out the quality – the noise reduction, thechoice between wireless and wired, and the big bang for me, the mic – I was sold on
 
a good product. Quality is cool.
2. Do
g
ive me more bang for my buck.
I wear my headphones wired to listen to musicwhen I’m on the plane and unwired to simply block out the baby that always conve-niently ends up in front of me, and I turn up my mic when I get off the plane to sched-ule my airport pickup. Then it’s back to my music – all while looking super cool. Theyhave justified the cost with a multi-purpose feature set. Quantity is cool.
3. Do
 
look the part.
Good design is priceless. We love the iPhone because it’s sleek. Yes,it’s a good product, but so was the Palm i705. Remember that? Thought so. It wasn’tsexy. Give me sleek. Give me sexy. Give me the option to express my personality, mycountry, or my Olympics team pride through something as simple, yet prominent, asmy headphones. A strategically placed red B for Beats or metallic gold, Union Jack, orstrategically-placed stars make these headphones cool.
4. Do have product evangelists.
How can you make your product so good that peoplewant to sell it for free? Evangelist programs are springing up at top brands simply be-cause they work. Word of mouth andinfluence marketingare the most efficient and ef-fective forms of marketing.Brand-sourced evangelist/ambassador programs provide free product testing andR&D. But wouldn’t it be really cool if Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, or theRizzle Kicks(anadorable British hip-hop duo floating around the Olympics) was your brand ambas-sador? Celebrity endorsement just wins.
5. Do be a fan of your own product
. I have learned so much about the Beats By Dre“cult of cool” this week. From the marketing team to the support agencies to executivesthat visited in their suits, everyone used their Beats in tandem with their personal gad-gets. Beat headphones replaced white iPhone buds, served as a quiet sanctuary amid thechaos, and became neck jewelry for stylish dudes. Hiring people that believe in your brand is organic and effortless, making sales easy. Easy is very cool.When you’re cool, whether you have a celebrity endorsement or just lots of brand love,you can sell $500 headphones in a recession.

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