I just noticed that the "big consumer electronics shop" in my city just changed completly its audio and home cinema section. A year ago, they had a small room with quite a few speakers you could listen to. Nothing high end, but you had stuff like Mission, Jamo, some lower-end B&W and JMLab. Electronics were Marantz, Philips, Cambridge, Pioneer. You usually had a system worth way less than 1000€ playing and it often was enjoyable. Today, about the only thing you have is Bose. The small room has been scrapped, the Bose system is in the middle of the shop, with its tiny speakers firing into the noisy crowd and huge advertising posters around it.
And still... the clerk told me that the bose stuff was a big hit compared to the ancient hifi section.
my major qualm isn't with bose or monster cable themselves, but people in general. sadly, bose was able to fool the general public into thinking their the mercedes benz of audio, when their really the Hyundai trying to rip off high end look with a so-so car, only with a price 2-3 times higher then it should be.
the problem is that most people either don't want to admit that they aren't informed, or just don't care to be informed, ignorance is bliss at its best really.
but I still continue to bang my head against the wall trying to show people around me the light, and my friends and family have openly listened for themselves and heard the difference, and understand why I don't just buy the bose stuff. and actually most have either chosen to stick with the really cheap stuff if they just want to hear something, or they've taken my advice and gone for the better all in one sets under $1000 like the paradigm cinema series
From an entrepreneur standpoint, it's all VC (venture capitol). But yeah, it's all about advertising. You get enough advertising to the WRONG people (i.e. if you know your product can't hang with the bigboys, sell out and pitch it to the idiots)
Funny you mention Bose, because it was a paid programming thing on TV for the Bose 321 system. How they "fooled" so many people thinking it was a home theater system, when it's just two satellites and some crappy module.
There's no way you could fool me, the system I heard sounded like crap.
Originally Posted by oicdn /img/forum/go_quote.gif Funny you mention Bose, because it was a paid programming thing on TV for the Bose 321 system. How they "fooled" so many people thinking it was a home theater system, when it's just two satellites and some crappy module.
There's no way you could fool me, the system I heard sounded like crap.
Gah! I hate that thing. Way to spread misinformation that 5.1 can be faked with 2.1 and some psychoacoustic phase techniques. *sigh*
Just remember to stack your family members on top of each other in the center of the triangle to maintain phase coherency.
Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif Simple answer: Effective marketing which includes not just advertising but excellent point of purchase displays.
I agree. The answer is marketing.
Marketing is the activity of creating a 'market' for your product, typically for the purpose of generating more sales.
The first thing that must be recognised is that people are typically not rational. They might think they are, but most are not.
Why do you buy the brand of toothpaste or washing powder you do? Are they the best products on the market? Did you consiously choose these products over others for good rational reasons?
Bose hasn't always been a marketing company. In the early days of Bose they developed some really innovative speakers that were pretty well regarded in audio circles.
These days however, they, like so many others, compete for 'mind share'. Bose, like all other leading consumer brands, work their brand by carefully crafting messages to enforce and reinforce particular values and messages. That is, the customers perception of their brand as the market leader. They do this through multiple ways including advertising. They design their products to look cool and modern, they setup lifestyle stores and they have cleverly worked into other markets. You find bose audio systems in high-end cars like BMW, Porsche, Mercedes and Ferrari etc etc etc.
At a consious level consumers think 'Hey, it's in a Porsche. Porsche make expensive quality cars so bose must also be top quality". At a less conscious level consumers want to be associated with that level of esteem or appeal. Bose, or BBS wheels or whatever other product used by Porsche, allows the consumer to have some of that prestige - consumer tells friends "It's the same system that they use in the new Porsche 911 turbo". In his mind at least, this then raises his level of prestige, and makes him feel good about his purchase.
Bose position their brand as technologically advanced lifestyle audio for middle to upper class. Modern consumers seem to like the idea of a technologically innovative company.
Think about the opportunities in China at the moment. If bose can get that level of mind-share and subsequent market share with access to a developing middle and upper class market of a billion people - BOOM!!!
The other issue is one of opportunity. Who are they competing with in their market segment? Sony et al have positioned themselves in such a broad way that they have no ability to offer any level of 'exclusivity'. Other popular audio companies (correct me if I have missed anyone here) have limited themselves to smaller specialised segments of the market.
So, in short, bose is able to sell audio products to the cashed-up middle to upper class semi-informed consumer because nobody else has positioned themselves to do it.
And, providing that the product is not obviously bad or deficient in any real way to the average consumer, they will continue to buy bose for their cars, their home systems, and their portable audio.
While many here don't like bose audio products, there is no denying their success in marketing their company globally.
Just today a friend of mine told me about a stupid guy mentioning that he owns Bose headphones which are very expensive and uber high end...
IMHO it's all about marketing. They tell people that it sounds good, they give them no chance to question their statement by letting them do a comparison so the customers have no other choice than to think it sounds good unless they have more information/experience with audio than the average joe.
In fact everyone can do a comparison and I don't think that anyone would take such overhyped products for the sound. People think "Wow! These speakers look great!" and they think that, if they look good and there is much advertising and it's a known brand, the speakers have to sound good.
When friends ask me if I can recommend them some good headphones I give them a recommendation but I tell them to make a comparison themselves because if they go to a store with many headphones to listen to they will come up with the best choice.
If I don't have the chance to listen to something before buying then I try to base my decision on trustworthy reviews and not on marketing ploys.
BTW the guy who laughed at the bose-fan is on the best way to become a head-fi'er:
He went to listen to some 'phones and will most likely get DT770's.
It's mainly money. If someone spends enough, perceptions can be formed. Most people don't even know about true high end, so it's not a hard sell. Plus, in addition to money, they obviously focus group the heck out of their campaigns to hit the right buzz words, design products to soccer mom specs, and so on.
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif You've got it partly right. Advertising plays a huge role. Bose sets itself apart as an audiophile system for the everyman, and are virtually the only company that does that. Bose is quite conscious of its reputation; you might be interested in their lawsuit against Consumer Reports:
You'll also notice how they set their products apart from the others in consumer electronics stores. Direct comparison is not allowed and salesmen get entirely different perks for selling the Bose equipment.
Not only that, but some of the more unscrupulous news and reviewers will take cash and/or products in exchange for favorable reviews and opinions.
I'm sure they use a bit of viral marketing, as well. They know Bose won't fly in audiophile circles, but you can bet they have agents lurking many popular discussion sites to jump in recommend Bose any time someone asks about a stereo.
To be perfectly honest, I highly doubt that Bose participates in any of the more malicious marketing strategies that have been described here; save for the first proposition concerning in store displays, of course. I simply cannot see the reasoning behind the intentional placement of Bose salesman / representatives on popular audio sites to generate propaganda (there are enough ignorant consumers in the world who can make Bose recommendations on their own behalf), and I would be quite surprised if you had any evidence to support the intentional bribery of reviewers by a major corporation.
You see, although the company can be hated for arguably false advertising and an ignorant consumer base, extreme accusations such as the ones you've made above are clearly (in my mind) products of bias and general dislike of a corporation rather than of tangible, factual evidence.