Solving the wrong problem with Marketing by spending loads and loads of money: Case Study: Bose
Bose was founded in 1964, Beats was founded in 2008. Bose revenues: $3.3 bil. Beats: $1.5 bil. Beats pockets 62% of the money spent on premium headphones (with their premium profits). Bose, 22%. Take all other numbers, social followers, growth in key areas, etc. and Bose is not doing well, or at least has an opportunity to massively improve.
This is especially true for it's Marketing team. Even the most closed-minded Bose employee would see that Beats has them... well... beat there by gigantic proportions.
So, the solutions by the Marketing team at Bose?
Put it's headphones on old, mostly, white men.
Scroll, checkout the collage I made.
NFL contracts don't come cheap. I'm sure this is costing Bose an arm and a leg and most of the heart and lungs.
Old, mostly, white men. Who are not listening to music.
Are these the "brand ambassadors" that are supposed to bring glory back to Bose? To help it beat Beats, and other wannabe competitors?
Who are these men connecting with? Is Bill Belichick causing young folks to run out and buy Bose?
Oh, and jump over to Bing, Baidu or Yandex right now, search for non-brand premium headphones, soundbars, iphone accessories, surround sound speakers, and any queries you like. Do you see Bose there? I did that after creating the collage you see in this post. 90% of the time answer for me is no.
Bose is not solving for when people are proactively looking for music/audio solutions. Yet. It has its logo every Sunday, Monday and the occasional Thursday on the heads of old men.
Snark aside, old companies have a hard time seeing reality, and creating solutions that help them get out when they are stuck in quicksand. They rely on the fact that their technology is superior or some other old clunky belief. Everyone in the company buys into it. That is how SGI died, and I was laid off. Technology is necessary, but rarely sufficient.
It is close to astonishing that Bose does not see the conflict between the problem it faces, and how it is spending money on Marketing. That their Marketing is solving the wrong problem.
Or, that Marketing is the way to re-think their current business strategy and go out and win bigger.
It would hurt less if this was just some silly corporation losing its way. Bose had incredible innovation and inspiring values. Bose founder, Amar Bose, donated most of his stock to MIT so that profit from Bose could help students.
Let's hope that this changes. Before it's too late.