Sunday, February 2, 2014

JBL Doesn't Execute A Sound Strategy

                JBL has a strong reputation for superior sound.  They have been a trusted name for speakers and headphones for decades.  In fact, the company was actually founded way back in 1946.

However, judging from this recent advertisement for Synchros S700 headphones, experience might be seen as a detriment and not an advantage.  The ad takes direct aim Beats Electronics, the company founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and responsible for the immensely popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  The signature look of Beats headphones is highly-fashionable, thanks in large part to numerous celebrity endorsements of the headphones.  Beats by Dr. Dre are chic.  Not so much for JBL headphones.

To fight combat this, JBL employs the smart brand strategy of being the opposite.  They argue substance over style.  Their headphones have superior sound compared to the Beats. 

Unfortunately, JBL does a poor job at pitching this argument.  Despite making strong claims to be substance over style headphones, JBL never actually backs that up with any reasons other than an ambiguous hint of "live stage technology."  In fact, they wind up claiming to be exactly what they are supposedly rejecting, a real stylish pair of headphones. We watch as the actors donning JBL headphones are the center of attention and admiration as they walk down the street, appearing to know something that everyone else doesn't.   

Keeping this secret won't help JBL in their battle with Beats.  They need to make there marketing proposition as clear claim as the notes streaming from a set of headphones.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.  Also, some relevent bonus coverage on this subject from Seth's Blog.

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