They aren’t the best quality. They don’t produce the best sound. They aren’t the most complete unit. However, they sure do sell the most pairs of headphones (in excess of $1 billion in sales) because they figured out what consumers want. I’m talking about Beats By Dre, the headphones that are seemingly on every well-known celebrity who walks the planet. Beats By Dre uses highly intelligent (and effective) branding strategies and understands what makes a consumer pull out their wallet and make the purchase. No matter what business or industry you’re in, there is something to learn from the company tactics used by Beats By Dre.
Branding Brilliance: Breaking Down How Beats By Dre Captured The Market
Why would anyone want headphones that aren’t the best quality on the market considering they come in priced at several hundred dollars depending on the version you select (and the quality isn’t that bad either)? Well, it starts with three words, how they look. The goal of these headphones is style and visual appeal. The design is colorful, fresh-looking, and trendy. In this world we live in that is essentially a torrent of ads everywhere you turn, having something that stands out is something people appreciate and almost a necessity for success regarding certain products. Beats By Dre are flat-out cool looking and could even be described as visually stunning. Who doesn’t want to rock a pair of those at the gym or out in public? Well, considering they have approximately 59% of the headphones market, apparently a whole lot of people do just that
Beats By Dre doesn’t try to be something they’re not, they have a target demographic and they don’t care who knows. CEO Jimmy Lovine had this to say, “They target the age groups of Tweens and Generation Y. Generation Y is all about what’s new, trendy and value brand names. Tweens who don’t have any income, still spend millions of dollars through allowances, earnings, and gifts. They are technology savvy and want the latest. The main criteria is that they want to be like Generation Y. Thus Beats by Dr. Dre targets these two age groups the same way, creating a marketing mix that appeals to both, understanding the needs and motives of segment members.” See what I mean? There is no wondering who they are targeting. They did the research, they know who they’re targeting, and they put a plan in place to reach those people. Oh, and it’s working.
One word, celebrities. They have seemingly every well-known celebrity alive sporting these trendy headphones. Justin Bieber? Check. LeBron James? Check. Lady Gaga, P Diddy, Lil’ Wayne? Check, check, check. If you’re keeping score, these are A-List celebrities that have a massive audience worldwide. Like it or not, society has conformed to following the lead of celebrities and professional athletes. This is the magic potion for marketers because if they can get a product in the hands of someone under the public microscope, it can do wonders for that brand. Beats By Dre didn’t just get it in the hands of one celebrity, or even a couple, they got the headphones on the ears of several celebrities that TMZ takes 8,000 pictures of a day. This is certainly one of the driving forces behind the massive success of the brand.
By offering the headphones through Best Buy and Apple, Beats By Dre partnered with two extremely reputable companies which in turn, and almost instantly, add to their own credibility. Rarely does Apple offer products that they do not manufacture which makes that partnership even better. By aligning themselves with companies that have proven to offer quality in the past and are the industry leaders in many respects, Beats By Dre has allowed itself to piggyback off the reputation of Apple and Best Buy. Smart move, Dr. Dre.
The bottom line, is they get it. Beats By Dre gets it. They established and produce a trendy and visually appealing product, they know who they are targeting, and they are aligning themselves with celebrities and reputable companies who have helped exponentially grow the brand. As a company, over the past three or four years, Beats By Dre has been firing on all cylinders, especially in its branding.
In 2014, visuals is king. Beats By Dre may not have the best sound quality, but they look pretty. Who doesn’t want to look pretty?