Guerrilla Marketing : More Opportunity Than EverOctober 8, 2012 By Elly Valas
In the last couple of months I’ve gone to two different events where new products were introduced. Both the CE Line Shows in New York and the Levin Consulting Group Electronics Retail Summit in Las Vegas might well have been called Headphone and iAccessory shows. I’ve seen hundreds of cellphone and tablet covers and dozens of headphones, many of which rival those made by Bose, which for decades had a corner on the high-end market.
The introduction in recent years of fashionable and feature-packed headphones has led a market growth of more than $2 billion in sales. Walk down any city street and you’ll see that the ubiquitous white earbuds are being replaced by a variety of phones in different styles and price points, especially those at the higher end of the scale. According to NPD, in 2011 sales of headphones priced over $100 doubled from the previous year, well ahead of growth in the category.
The Apple economy has spawned an entire market for new accessories for its iPhones and iPads. The global market for mobile phone accessories exceeds $34 billion. Apple-approved products—accessories made by or branded by Apple—represent about $3 billion of it.
I’ve seen iPhone cases with Swarovski crystals, diamond-encrusted cases for several thousand dollars apiece, and in every imaginable color and material.
But there’s more. CEA predicts that sales of audio and video accessories—including carrying cases, cables, chargers, cleaning kits, and headphones—will exceed $4 billion this year.
Where are consumers buying them? From anyone who displays an enticing assortment with associates willing to take the time to help them buy.
Accessories have become impulse items. Every mall has at least one kiosk selling cellphone cases, car cords, and chargers. I’ll bet that not one buyer at these retail pop-ups set out to upgrade their phone cases. But once they see the display and hear that cases come with built-in USB adapters and other features, those lookers became buyers.
Traveling on business? Family vacation? InMotion is the place to stop at virtually every major airport to pick up the charger you forgot to pack or get a new portable DVD player to keep the kids occupied.
Similarly, bluwire bills itself as “Cool environment. Hot electronics.”
Office, grocery and convenience stores have all scooped up a piece of the accessory pie. Hardware stores and home improvement centers have a pretty good selection of cables and other accessories as well.