What Brands Can Learn From the Sale of Beats
By Stephen M. ZorioAt this point, Apple's interest in Beats Electronics (more commonly known under its Beats By Dre moniker) is well documented. However, the sale (which has been confirmed), doesn't merely represent a major purchase by Apple -- it represents the biggest purchase Apple has ever made.While the acquisition has been ridiculed in some corners, the fact that the idea was even floated is a testament to the power of the Beats brand.So how did Beats go from a product launch less than a decade ago to the apple of Apple's eye? Click through the slideshow below to find out.Get the message rightCNET lists well over 3,000 reviews for headphones alone. In a market that heavily saturated, if you're not competing on price (or performance for that matter), you have to find some alternate avenue. So Beats partnered with superstars like Lil' Wayne to elevate them beyond headphones and into the rarefied air of status symbol. Granted, Dr. Dre's reputation coupled with Jimmy Iovine's connections lent them an enviable advantage, but the duo decided what they were from the outset and stuck with that message.by lilwaynefanz via InstagramBe willing to do something differentBack in 2008, the initial reactions to the Beats idea were less than sanguine. “People thought we were crazy,” Beats by Dre CEO Luke Wood told Time last year. “They said the marketplace would never support a $300 headphone.” Fast forward to today and not only has the market for headphones over $100 spiked, but Beats now controls more than 60% of it. Beats' founders recognized a need (consumers were listening to music on mobile devices via subpar headphones) and stepped in to fill it.by niilbog via InstagramKeep innovatingBeats has a major hit on their hands in the headphone department, but they haven't rested on those laurels. The company now offers everything from personalized headphones and portable stereos to full car sound systems. In fact, the company's focus on improving aesthetic and quality has previously been compared to Apple and may partially explain what drew the tech giant's attention in the first place.by colorware_inc via InstagramKnow your audience -- and speak to them authenticallyBeats freely admits it is targeting "urban, hip, tech savvy" 18- to 34-year-old males who "pride themselves on their taste in music." As The Atlantic reported: "The NBA has the youngest audience, with 45 percent of its viewers under 35. It also has the highest share of black viewers." What better face, then, for the Beats product than LeBron James and his 12.8 million Twitter followers? Landing LeBron is obviously not attainable for most, but clearly defining your audience and knowing how to reach them is essential.by bbaynes99 via InstagramMake alliesAs a reporter for Blue Sky learned, Beats has discovered a real power in working with others. "Co-marketing deals with big brands are a big part of the Beats playbook. Since the beginning, they have put Beats audio in products ranging from HP laptops to Chrysler 300s to HTC cell phones." And it paid off -- massively. "We sold half a billion worth of product before we paid for one ad," Lovine told the magazine. (Image source)
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