Well stated. Essentially these are being promoted as a high ‘fashion & style’ accessory. The endorsed NBA shoe is a good analogy. Wearing Air Jordans is more exciting than a no-name shoe that may actually help your jump shot. But shoes alone offer extensive value in addition to modifying your image (e.g., comfort, protection, longevity), let alone being a mandatory part of our wardrobe. Beats attempts to leverage style in the same way, but offers little else, and does not excel in the one thing it’s supposed to. Now with 64% of the market cornered, will the $$ go back into the quality of the product? Or does the price increase for that?
I’m a big fan of Dre, as an artist and a business man. I just question whether this product meets his prior standard of quality, and how it’s perceived in a consumer electronics landscape where the bar is set high to meet customer satisfaction. The Spotify and the Apples of the world offer undeniably high return for their cost. (Spotify puts 70% of it’s profits back into obtaining music rights = both casual and paid subscribers reap the benefits of an ever-expanding music library; Apple beautifies their packaging down to the wire and spends grandly on advertising too, but as we know, their uncompromised quality is what sets them apart.)
That said, I don’t think Beats is going anywhere. It’s a shark in a tank with no other sharks. I just wonder, with the growing awareness of consumers, if they can sustain. My guess? This will turn into a lifestyle brand instead of a go-to line for music accessories.