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Brand Audit-BOSE


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Brand Audit-BOSE

  2. 2.   2   Table of contents Executive summary 3 BOSE portfolio 4 Competitive positioning matrix 6 Positioning map 7 Visual identity analysis 8 Brand exploratory 10 Preliminary market place findings 12 BOSE knowledge structure 15 Data analysis 16 Strategic recommendations 17 References 20 Appendix 21
  3. 3.   3   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY We are Hook Media and we have done extensive research regarding BOSE brand headphones to discover potential areas of improvement to advance brand awareness and to ultimately contribute to the further growth and success of the company. We have discovered strengths and weaknesses associated with the brand through which we have developed a sub-brand, Blu by BOSE, to address these areas for potential improvement. We do not intend to cannibalize BOSE market share through the creation of this new sub-brand, however, we do hope to establish a more dominant market presence in the headphone industry. We began our search for information by comparing the current market standing of BOSE to other popular headphone brands, such as Beats by Dre, Monster, and Skullcandy. We wanted to find what set BOSE apart from other brands in the market. To further distinguish the differences between leading headphone brands, we conducted primary research through the use of a focus group and an online survey conducted in Qualtrics survey software. We confirmed the negative and positive associations made with BOSE headphone from active and inactive users of the product. This is where we decided the direction in which to take to encourage future profitability of Bose in its entirety, through the creation of Blu by BOSE. From our findings, we have concluded that BOSE is a reliable company with reliable products widely known to the public. The concern, however, is that BOSE company’s value proposition is not strong enough to convince consumers of the high price point. Blu by BOSE introduces a product that adds value to the entirety of the BOSE brand. By evaluating the needs and wants of consumers, we believe we have created an effective brand extension that will build on the strengths of the original BOSE headphone brand, while transforming negative associations into positive associations to help position the new sub-brand in the current market. With this brand extension, BOSE will gain greater product awareness among consumers through the use of trendy color design, a more economically friendly price point, and a socially responsible product.
  4. 4.   4   BRAND INVENTORY BOSE PORTFOLIO * * See References (Headphones) QuietComfo rt SoundSport SoundLink SoundTrue FreeStyle Aviation Product Over-the-Ear, In-Ear, Custom In-Ear Exclusively Around- Ear/On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Around- Ear/On-Ear In-Ear Exclusively Around- Ear/On-Ear Bluetooth Dual Plug Cable Price $300 - $400 $150 $250 $150 - $180 $130 $1,100 Distribution Promotion Social Networks Brand Ambassadors Print Ads Online Website Advertising Social Networks Online Website Advertising Review sites & Journals Professional Blogs Other #musicismy campaign #listenforyou rself campaign #listenforyou rself campaign Retail Stores, BOSE Stores, Online, International Presence Social Networks, Online Website, Advertising
  5. 5.   5   BOSE Headphone Products & Positioning Matrix   QuietComf ort SoundSport SoundLink SoundTrue FreeStyle Aviation Primary Target Market Men and Women 30+, higher income brackets, professionals Men and Women ages 18-34, living in urban and suburban areas Men and Women, ages 22-34, professionals living in urban areas Men and Women, ages 18-30, living in urban areas Men and Women, ages 18-30, living in urban areas Males, higher income brackets, ages 40+ Secondary Target Market Men and Women who travel Men and women who lead active lifestyles Men and Women ages 34-50 Teenagers (13-17) Teenagers (13-17) Women, higher income brackets, ages 30+ Usage/Oc casions Casual audio listening, traveling, commuting Sports, Workouts, casual exercising Casual music listening Using music to fuel other artistic passions such as dance, painting, etc. Casual music listening Action sports, athletics, music on the go. Recreational /professional flying
  6. 6.   6   BOSE BRAND HIERARCHY       Competitive positioning matrix Product Brands Bose* Beats by Dr. Dre** Monster Inc.*** Skullcandy**** Corporate Brands N/A Apple Monster Cable/ Monster Powder N/A POP Advanced Audio performance Headphones • Wireless • Noise Canceling Advanced Audio performance Headphones • Wireless • Noise Canceling Advanced Audio performance Headphones • Wireless • Noise Canceling Advanced Audio performance Headphones • Wireless • Noise Cancelling POD • Aviation • Customizable Color Design • Wide Variety of Collections • Emphasize Research & Innovation • Strongest Brand Awareness • Strongly Celebrity Endorsed • Limited Editions • DJ inspired • Wide Variety of Designs • Sports Affiliated (Adidas) • Most Affordable • Gaming Headphones • Women's Line • Less Diverse Products Target Market (gender/age) • Not Gender Specific • Ages 20 - 70 • Not Gender Specific • Ages 13 - 35 • Males • Ages 13-35 • Not Gender Specific • Ages 13-35 *See  References  (Bose)*,  (Beats)**,  (Headphones,  Speakers)***,  (  All  Products  )****   BOSE CORP. Wave Syste ms Home Theater Headphon es Quiet Comfort In- Ear Fit Around- Ear / On- Ear SoundS port SoundL ink SoundT rue Freesty le Aviation Bluetooth iPod Speakers Wi-Fi Systems Speakers
  7. 7.   7   Positioning Map                                     TECHNICAL FASHION PRICE
  8. 8.   8   VISUAL IDENTITY ANALYSIS There is not a symbol that Bose Corporation specifically created to include in the design of its headphones, instead, the full company logo “BOSE” can be spotted on any company product. The company’s slogan is, “Better sound through research.” It appears as though the chosen font style (bold and masculine) and color (black and white) of the brand logo does portray a brand that may specialize in equipment of some kind, specifically audio equipment in this case. From first glance, the italicized slant of the letters and extended edges indicates movement, for example, sound waves flowing from sound equipment. When the target audience clicks on the Bose main website, the primary background of the website is plain black with splashes of little color cubes* to add some dimension. From a brand with an especially vague company symbol, the black background reflects the simplicity in the logo design taken from the advertising on the Bose Website (See next page). Aside from the customizable design headphones seen below, the color design of the headphones are predominantly black/grey, and do not commonly extend beyond primary colors. These design choices say that Bose is a company that specializes in delivering quality sound through research, unlike Monster and Beats who specialize in creating flashy, extravagant looking products to gain audience attention from their age bracket. *Customizable  Quiet  Comfort  Headphone  Model.  Basic  Primary  Color  options.    
  9. 9.   9                               Bose brand lacks creative promotional material. When you click on the headphone tab on the Bose website you receive a blank white/black page with simple pictures of the different models available; the brand lacks promotional campaign photos. Even when you search Bose headphones on Google, there are very few promotional advertisement to be found. Below are some that we discovered, however, we do not believe Bose brand created these campaigns. The following was created by independent graphic designers (Alsum):   *See References (Bose Print)
  10. 10.   10   BRAND EXPLORATORY To determine preliminary market level issues of Bose Headphones, a focus group was conducted on April 23, 2015. A convenience sample of five respondents was acquired. All attend Western Washington University and are between the ages of 19- 23. Rachel, Jesse, McKinely, Sam, and Brandon sat down for one hour to discuss their experience, feelings, and ideas of the headphone industry in general, as well as, the Bose brand and their competitors Beats, Skullcandy and Monster. Focus Group Outline *This list contains all possible questions that were prepared before the focus group. Not all questions were used in the discussion. If the question is highlighted, then it was used. I. To identify common marketplace beliefs regarding all headphones a. Do you own a pair of headphones? b. When do you use them? (music, travel, studying, working out) c. How much would you pay for an ordinary pair of headphones? d. What is the maximum you would pay for headphones? e. Is there a difference between headphones and ear buds? f. How often do you replace your headphones? g. Do you like the ones you own now? Why or why not? h. Where did you go to purchase them? i. What type of headphone would you be likely to use under the following situations? (When you need to replace a pair of headphones, when working out, when conscious of style and fashion) j. What features are important in a pair of headphones? II. Brand recognition a. What brands of headphones have you experienced in the past? b. Name all brands of headphones you can think of. c. What brand of headphone do you think is the most popular?
  11. 11.   11   d. Is there a brand of headphones you always go back to? e. *Referring to the slideshow* Can you recognize these brand logos? (Skull Candy, Beats, Monster, and Bose) f. *Referring to the slideshow* Ranking these four headphones from most expensive to least expensive what order would they be? III. Bose a. Are you familiar with Bose headphones? b. Are you surprised with their price? c. Have you ever used Bose headphones? d. Where would you go to buy Bose headphones? e. How do you think Bose compares to other brands? f. What do you think Bose does well with their headphones? g. Do you find them stylish? Is that important? h. Do you know anyone who owns Bose headphones? i. What words describe Bose headphones best? j. Who do you think uses Bose headphones? k. Who do you think uses their competitor’s headphones? (Beats, Skullcandy and Monster) l. Are you likely to recommend Bose headphones to others? m. Do you ever talk about Bose headphones with others? n. If you wanted to purchase Bose headphones where would you go?
  12. 12.   12   Preliminary marketplace findings After conducting a focus group, it is concluded that certain topics need to be explored more in depth through survey analysis. Below are commonalities uncovered about the marketplace in general, feelings of Bose as a brand, and how their competitors stack up. • Price is important • The average price paid for a pair of headphones was concluded to be between $15-$25 dollars. This price is far below the average price of Bose headphones. • The maximum price to be paid for a pair of headphones was the same as the average price. Respondents could not imagine paying more. • All respondents were amazed that people spend a lot of money on headphones. They could not see themselves spending much more than their agreed average price even if they had the money to do so. • Respondents think of headphones as an everyday, disposable type of item. • Respondents strongly prefer in-ear headphones compared to over the head headphones o Respondents agreed that in-ear headphones were more comfortable because they are less heavy. o They also preferred in-ear headphones because they are less conspicuous. One respondent stated, “The big ones are such a statement, you have to be ready for that.” o The stereotype created for over the head headphones were described as: an arrogant male who never takes off his headphones, and wears them around his neck just to make a statement. o Even when prompted what they would choose if they wanted to be stylish, in- ear headphones still won. A respondent stated, “headphones are just not something that I want to show off.” • Comfort and Quality reign as the most important aspects of a pair of headphones o All respondents agreed that their headphones must be comfortable. As one respondent put it, “If they are not comfortable, you can’t really listen to your music because it's distracting.” o Quality was also important, but to respondents “quality” and “high quality” differ. When prompted respondents described quality headphones as a pair that did not break in a month or so.
  13. 13.   13   Keep in mind the average price paid for headphones. • Bose was in the recall set of headphones for one respondent: the male • Headphones mentioned before Bose, in order were: Skull Candy, Apple, Beats, and Gummies. Sony was mentioned as the last headphone brand after Bose. • Apple and Beats were listed as the most popular brands of those that were recalled. Apple because they come with a purchase of an iPhone, and Beats because of their advertisements and celebrity endorsements. Respondents still would not consider buying Beats even though they consider them popular; they are seen as too expensive. • Nobody knew the Monster brand logo • After respondents were told that it was Monster brand headphones, some had heard of their headphones and some hadn’t. • *Referring to the slideshow* Bose and Beats are thought of as the most expensive headphones (compared to Monster and Skull Candy) • Respondents were surprised to learn that Monster headphones are more expensive than Bose headphones for the same type of over the ear headphone. • When respondents think of Bose they think of airports and Dads • Specifically, one respondent recalled seeing a Bose headphone advertisement in a magazine on a flight. o Others associate the brand with being in an airport. o Most respondents said they know of the Bose brand because of an older male in the family, either a father or a grandfather. o They recognize Bose and a speaker, or surround sound entertainment brand, before a headphone brand. o Respondents knew the brand Bose, but admitted they could not picture what their headphones look like. • When respondents think of Beats they think of young, generational, people • All of the female respondents agreed that they did not care for Beats. Flashy headphones were not preferred. • When regarding technology, peer influence is more important than parental influence.
  14. 14.   14   • None of the respondents had purchased Bose headphones o If given to them as a gift, respondents would be very happy because they think of Bose headphones as very high quality. • A few respondents had been to a Bose store • When asked where they would look for Bose headphones, the Bose store was brought up first. Of those that had visited they said that they went with a father but would go there to look for headphones. Best Buy was the only other answer. Interestingly no one mentioned online. Trying them on before purchase to check for comfort was a big issue. *It became clear, during the primary focus group that all of our respondents knew about Bose headphones but had no experience using the product. Therefore, we conducted a convenience sample of friends and family who have used Bose headphones. We asked the same questions except for in a one-on-one setting. We interviewed an additional five people to obtain more research. Here is the information we obtained: Each respondent agreed that Bose headphones were worth the price, however only two of the five stated that they would spend that much money on Bose headphones again. The other three agreed that they were a great product but would not spend their own money on them again; they are just too expensive. These three respondents agreed with the original study group about opinions on excessive headphone expenditures.
  15. 15.   15   BRAND DESCRIPTIVE BOSE Knowledge Structure
  16. 16.   16   Exhaustive Survey Summary and Primary Data Analysis Hook media analyzed survey data from 33 respondents to determine market place associations regarding BOSE headphones and their competitors: Beats, Skullcandy, and Monster. Below is a detailed report gathered from SPSS data software. • The average number of brands considered before making a headphone purchase is 3. On a scale of 1-5, 1 being the minimum number of headphones considered and 5 being the maximum, an average of 3 headphones is considered before making a purchase. Based upon personal experience this seems normal, but given the current competitive market (4 major competitors) one brand is not being considered. • Approximately 46% of survey respondents said Beats by Dre is the headphone market leader. Followed by BOSE, approximately 36% of respondents stated they thought BOSE was the market leader in headphones. • Approximately 49% of respondents answered that they have used BOSE headphones within the last two years. • Approximately 39% of respondents stated that BOSE headphones would be their first purchase choice. • Approximately 27% of respondents would consider BOSE their second or third choice for headphones. (27% for each category). We must be weary of this answer because respondents knew the survey was being conducted about BOSE headphones. It's possible that respondents could have been tailoring their answers to what they thought Hook Media wanted to hear. After All, respondents concluded that Beats by Dre were the headphone market leaders. There could be many contributing factors to this answer. • BOSE brand knowledge structure. The BOSE brand association structure was created running frequency outputs on the survey data.
  17. 17.   17   STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS After reviewing the entirety of the BOSE brand through the identity, exploratory, and descriptive analysis, Hook Media has come to the recommendation that BOSE should introduce a new sub-branded line of headphones, Blu by BOSE. It is believed that the launch of Blu by BOSE will create enough cognitive dissonance away from the negative associations of BOSE such as no "cool factor", while still capturing the strong positive brand associations such as the importance of research, comfort, and brand reputation that BOSE still holds. Creating earth-friendly, minimalistic designed, better sounding headphones, fills a perceptual hole within the headphone industry. Blu by BOSE will hook additional customer segments, without ignoring the needs of the existing customer base. Blu by BOSE will be created with the intentions of targeting younger generations, a segment BOSE has struggled resonating with. Targeting all genders from ages 13 to 30 who are somewhat price-sensitive, yet still care about their planets health and quality sound. This sub brand will help refresh the BOSE brand by capturing a new customer segment, while avoiding product cannibalization. First, Hook Media plans to boost the "cool factor" of BOSE. "Cool factor" had a strong negative association with BOSE, discovered through primary research via a survey conducted in the brand descriptive. BOSE has perfected the production of comfortable, reliable products; however, it has struggled with product aesthetics and design. Focusing on an aesthetically pleasing, sleek, minimalistic design for both in-ear and over-the-ear headphones within the Blu by BOSE brand, will help make the brand become more appealing to younger crowds whom seem to be much more self- conscious and aware of appearances. By launching a sub brand, factors like quality and comfort will still be represented as a strong positive association, while making the brand appear much more fashionable and modern at the same time. In addition, Hook Media suggests BOSE should offer a wider variety of colors exclusive to the Blu by BOSE brand. According to a survey conducted by Hook Media, 57.6% of respondents noted they would buy BOSE
  18. 18.   18   if they offered a new line of colorful headphones. Not only do consumers agree, but also more colors will say BOSE can be both fashionable and functional. Adding more options of colored in-ear and over-the-ear headphones will help decrease the strong negative association of low product variety. Another important strong negative association with BOSE that Hook Media found crucial to eliminate was the expensive price tag. Traditionally, BOSE produces high quality products accompanied with higher prices. Hook Media suggests that Blu by BOSE should be more affordable than any of its existing headphones. For the in-ear, it was decided the price point should start at $49.95 . For the over-the-ear, two different types of headphones should be offered a regular and a premium option. The regular over-the-ear headphones should be priced at $89.95. The premium over-the-ear should be priced at $159.95. As noted, all options should be made available in any color, excluding the premium over-the-ear style, which may have a few extra colors exclusive to that style. Now, in addition to adding life to BOSE with the new sub-brand, it should also shine some light on the consumers' overall increasing value on sustainable products. This is why Hook Media suggests some, if not all of the headphones under the Blu by BOSE brand should be made solely from recyclable materials. On top of making sustainable headphones, BOSE should become more heavily associated and involved with being socially responsible. To do this, Blu by BOSE should donate to organizations that promote clean air and water conservation. Now, on to how the sub-brand will be distributed. Distribution will be carried out through multiple channels, none of which will be in the BOSE brick and mortar stores. This was decided, because BOSE stores are for everything else BOSE offers. Blu by BOSE is not like every other product BOSE produces; they are special, hence why they will be sold elsewhere. Stores like Best Buy, Target, and Evo will all carry Blu by BOSE. Despite Blu by BOSE not being sold in BOSE stores it will; however, be made available for purchase on the online e-commerce BOSE site.
  19. 19.   19   The above recommendations will be advertised mainly through nontraditional marketing methods. Sending Blu by BOSE to main influencers, such as video bloggers "vloggers", will help increase brand awareness. Use of native advertising on podcasts will also help propel buying behavior toward Blu by BOSE for the older half of the targeted market. All relevant social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube, and Vine should be utilized, as it will at minimum help increase brand awareness. Paid advertising such as use of targeted ads on Facebook, along with Instagram promos and contests, along with paying SnapChat influencers will all be valuable methods for targeting the younger generation. By focusing on strengthening the positive associations consumers have with the BOSE headphone brand currently, and by improving on the associations once considered to be negative, the Blu by BOSE will be a strong sub-brand that will attract the market segment (the younger generation) that we feel has been neglected under the father brand. The Blu by BOSE brand responds predominantly to the wants and needs of the younger consumers (age range 13-30 years old) who crave a greater acceptance from peers through the use and wear of fashionable, as well as socially responsible, headphones. And because the younger generation is technologically savvy, we have decided to distribute the product through online promotion, personal and professional, using social media outlets where this target market can be best reached. BOSE headphones are recognized for sound quality, durability, and brand loyalty, however, the Blu by BOSE sub-brand will be recognizable for trendy color design, reasonable pricing, and environmentally friendly production. Hook Media’s aim is to increase BOSE brand loyalty in every age bracket to gain larger market share in the headphone industry.
  20. 20.   20   REFERENCES A History of Bose. (2015). Retrieved April 15, 2015. All Products | Skullcandy. (2015). Retrieved April 15, 2015. Alsum, L. (n.d.). Leah Alsum Portfolio. Retrieved April 20, 2015. Analyzing Consumer Response to Brand Marketing Strategy. (2015). Retrieved May 22, 2015. Beats By Dre | Headphones, Earbuds, Speakers & Accessories. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2015. Bhasin, K. (n.d.). Why Fancy Headphones Got So Incredibly Popular. Retrieved May 27, 2015. Bose - Better Sound Through Research. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2015. Bose In-Ear Headphones Advertisement by Loren R. Page at (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2015. Bose Print Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2015. Headphones and Headsets. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2015. Headphones, Speakers, HDMI Cables and Power Solutions from Monster. (2015). Retrieved April 15, 2015. How Beats headphones changed the audio world - (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2015.
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  31. 31.   31   EXCEL RAW SURVEY DATA
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