Funny thread. People facepalming over morons who buy beats, then people facepalming over marketing that is, essentially, going after that market and trying to sell them something that is better, and still facepalming. As far as celeb endorsements go, I'd much rather tiesto get paid than Will.I.Am (I mean have you seen the best buy beats video? hilarious, Will.I.Am gesturing like a politician on cocaine, about kids 'geeking out over the connectors'). I mean at least tiesto knows how to use frequencys other than LOUD LOUD BASS BASS. I mean he's at times integrated an electric violin into his shows and mixing to great effect, albeit that was a long time ago, before he went all house-y.
Seems to me the problem is, most headphone companies that make products that objectively, rape beats, by every measure, and yet they still don't move the quantity of stock like beats. The thing is marketing is what helps move product, and makes money, and AKG have at least done a lot more than monster in terms of R & D (I mean AKG could use a 20 year old blueprint they've probably got lying around and still have it thump the beats in terms of sq, wheras monster do what, sell cables that sound the same as coathangers?). And really, the more people who get into sound, who appreciate quality, once people make that jump out of 'consumer grade' quality, and if they notice a difference, that's it, job done. They'll have the itch for a long time. They might even show up here looking for advice. Problem is all the high end headphone manufacturers are only interested in the headphone side, not the marketing side. Monster rock at the marketing side, and suck at the engineering side. You would think if you engineered something awesome, then marketed it well, you could do better than both, and best of luck to AKG imo. While this is a passion industry, it's still an industry, and without balance between all the parts (Engineering, production, customer service, marketing, retail presence), you end up with less than stellar results. I'd much prefer AKG take some of beats market away, and then have some of the other heavyweights follow with products they can actually sell to consumers, which would of course, make downward pressure on pricing for all, economies of scale, etc, etc.
You can maintain quality and scale up your production if you do it properly, in fact companies that maintain a high end presence whilst selling at the low end are usually dominant in their areas because they benefit from the 'halo' effect, while being able to trickle down technology as the economics dictate. Samsung & Sony make some of the best lcd panels for televisions to phones, most coming from one or two plants, and lots of them go into other companies tv's, but because they can do it on a huge scale, they can sell an awesome, better color, high end panel, that they shoved all their R&D $$$ while at the same time selling panels to get shoved into $300 pieces of crap. Apple sell millions of phones which are of high quality, made in asia for cheap, IPS screen, decent-ish dac (for a consumer product they could have cheaped way out), they keep putting in more tech every time while keeping the price the same or lower while making their margins the same or higher. These companies spend more on R & D now than in the past, and I can't see why AKG couldn't potentially follow this route. It comes down to the company in question really.
Then you have intel, nvidia, ati, all the tech companies, who are always pushing innovation, making better products, short cycles, vastly more complicated than headphones (Compare 2 speakers and a headband (basically), to a GPU with 3.5 Billion Transistors packed into the space of a coin, which puts out heat, which also needs to interact with software, which also has to compete with a competitor who is trying to constantly 1 up you all the time, and then in 12 months you release a new one that has to be an order of magnitute better than the last one), and you know how they do this? Trickle down. The high end is meant to be where you blow R & D, spend tonnes, then over time you trickle down your tech, and eventually the 'consumer grade' catches up to two years ago 'leading edge'. The GPU in your average phone now is essentially high end desktop tech from 3 or 4 years ago. Beats shouldn't be popular, but they are because the headphone companies suck at marketing to the consumer end of the spectrum, and maybe if they did some more like AKG are trying to, there wouldn't be kids growing up thinking Beats by Dre sound 'good', which is a tragedy unto itself.
Sounds like you didn't read my post. It's very unlikely AKG is investing in both good marketing and good engineering. That's just not the pattern you see in business with this kind of marketing. Of course sometimes you see it, as in with Apple. But AKG is paying more for advertising with this new kind of campaign (for them) because it is cheaper than engineering. Plus, they haven't done much engineering for a long time. .
Marketing tactics like this should be a red flag for consumers of a low quality product. You'll be right most of the time.
Edited by rhythmdevils - 8/8/12 at 9:28pm