What’s New With Headphones
Second, we expected to see a 'Celebrities R Us' headphone trend among our competitors at CES this year. But we believe that a celebrity endorsement is not the key to selling a headphone. We will be doing very limited alliances with the right artists and celebrities, but it won't be just to put their name on a product, which is what people think has been the secret of Monster's and Beats' success. Celebrity endorsements need to be authentic. They have to be for the cause of better sound, and you'll see from Monster that even if we have a celebrity it's about the true endorsement of the product because they love the sound quality, and they love the headphone. We find that a lot of our competitors are writing big checks to celebrities to get their name; we think that's the wrong strategy.
The third element is about fashion being an important feature in the selection of a headphone. It may not be the most important, but it certainly enters into it. It's like when one selects an automobile. Performance and comfort and economy are key criteria. But if the car looks ugly, that doesn't help the sale of that automobile. I think looks influence the consumer decision, so Monster will be focusing a lot on the fashion element, which will be a headliner for our new launch of the Inspiration line, which will be out in the March or April time frame.
Scott Hix, President/COO, SOL Republic: 'Styling' is a good word to lead into what will be new and what is to come in 2012. CE devices are becoming very personal: the color, look, feel, and how they blend with fashion and an individual's personality. Given that they are wearable devices, headsets will have a high probability of being very fashion- and design-oriented towards individuality next year.