So tell me this, if the margin is not already super thin, why not just spend 1% or even 0.1% of the total R&D cost to make their products a tiny bit different/better quality from the rest to get an edge in marketing? If there's no need to worry about profit, wouldn't it make so much more economical and financial sense to invest in a little quality control and design improvement?
If I am correct you raise two points here, better marketing and an improved quality control, right? However, I think you need to see the two as mutually exclusive in today's market. Better marketing does not equal better quality control. I think we can all agree to that. If the aim is to get an edge in marketing as you say then surely this edge must be significant enough to beat the market leaders in terms of marketing and brand recognition? If so, then you are asking companies like Sunrise to compete with the likes of Monster (Dr. Dre series) and Skullcandy. Sadly, in today's market, this means either getting a celebrity endorsement or using all the colors of the rainbow, preferably with some fur, on your products.
BUT I agree that there are companies who manage to get an edge without taking that route. An example is Sennheiser. They are hugely popular in the Netherlands. But the difference is that, whereas Monster (Dr. Dre series) and Skullcandy have most of their succes to thank to above mentioned marketing, Sennheiser is popular because they managed to be present in every single major electronics store here, sometimes as the sole brand besides Monster, Skullcandy and your Sony's and Philips. Now I am not saying that Sennheiser does not do an excellent job in product design, what I mean is that their succes is largely accrued to a solid brand recognition as a "Hi-Fi" brand.
Now where does a company like Sunrise stand? It can't compete with the likes of Monster (Dr. Dre series) and Skullcandy but it is also in no position to go head-on with the likes of Sennheiser (in Europe) or Audio-Technica (in Japan). However from the two, I hope their ultimate goal is to be in the same league as the latter two. For this to work they need to create a brand first, and that means creating a reputation as a quality producer of IEM amongst geeks like us.
Now this relates to your second point, better quality control, and this is a point where I do agree with you. However this is an area where I think Joker has the upper-hand and I let him do the talking, and having read his post I must say his argument seems pretty solid too me :)
Anyway, that was fun.
Edited by LooptroopRocker - 5/9/11 at 3:21am