Who is buying headphones?
About the 55% of headphones buyers is aged under 34 years old.
HEADPHONES: CONSUMER SEGMENTATION
ActionFit is the Philips brand designed specifically for sportive
people who needs sportive headphones which satisfy different
Since the majority of
headphones buyers is aged
between 18 and 34 years
old, we decided to focus on
young people (aged between
regularly practising sport,
fashion and technology
conscious, already owning
Up to now ActionFit is the
Number 1 brand for sports
headphones in Europe. Our
aim is to accelerate its
expansion and make the
“Urbanities” proud to wear
This brand produces
headphones to be used
while training, thanks to
specific characteristic such
as resistance to water.
The product-mix is made-
up by three different types
of headphones, available in
two main colours: orange
and grey. The price range differs
according to the type of
headphones, from 20€ to
Our strategy aims to make Philips relevant to the target. 4
The following competitors were selected according to the output of the conducted interviews:
we asked participants which were the first brands that came up to their mind talking about
sportive headphones. At the same time, we also made a market research in order to better
understand the current situation in the sportive headphones industry.
• Bose (https://www.bose.it/IT/it/index.jsp)
– SoundSport™ (Three colours; 149,95€)
• Beats by Dre (http://it.beatsbydre.com)
– Two lines: Powerbeats (149,95€); Powerbeats^2 (Five colours; 199,95€)
• AKG (http://it.akg.com/homepage-akg-it.html)
– K 316 (Two colours; 79,95$)
• Sennheiser (http://en-de.sennheiser.com)
– Four lines: PMX 685i (Two colours, 49€); PMX 685i (69€); OCX 685i (Two colours; 69€); CX865 (59€)
• Sony (http://www.sony.it)
– Three main categories: water-proof; Bluetooth; Earphones.
– Price range from 7,91€ to 299€
• Apple (https://www.apple.com)
– Two lines: EarPods (29€) In-Ear Headphones (79€)
• Monster (http://www.monsterproducts.com/collections/headphones)
– Two categories: In-ear/On-Ear
– Two lines: iSport Wireless; Monster® iSport. Five colours and price range from 59,95$ to 269,95$
• Polk (http://www.polkaudio.com)
– Ultrafit Line with five models. Five colours, price range from 39,95$ to 99,95$
CAGR ≈ 20%
Where ActionFit is now…
and where it wants to be in 2015
Four main 2015 goals:
№1 Sports Headphones in
№2 in Value
“Work It Harder
Make It Better
Do It Faster
Makes Us Stronger”
№1 Sports Headphones
(Value & Volume)
Sporting events and celebrity endorsers are
similar on two levels. First, consumers associate
both sporting events and celebrities with
particular meanings. While celebrities derive
their meanings from consumer perceptions of
their various public activities, the meanings
associated with sporting events are derived from
the type of event, and individual consumer
factors such as one’s past experiences with the
event. Second, events may act in a manner
analogous to celebrity endorsers in the transfer
of image to sponsoring brands. Thus when
organizing a sporting event, the sponsor should
take into consideration the brand's awareness
and the image/positioning goals for its brand.
BRIEF LITERATURE OVERVIEW
• The Economic Worth of Celebrity Endorsers: An
Event Study Analysis, Jagdish Agrawal &
Wagner A. Kamakura, Journal of Marketing,
Vol. 59 N°3, 1995
• Building Brand Image Through Event
Sponsorship: The Role of Image Transfer, Kevin
P. Gwinner and John Eaton, The Journal of
Advertisement, Vol. 28, Issue 4, 1999
• Brand Endorsement, Popularity, and Event
Sponsorship as Advertising Cues Affecting
Consumer Pre-Purchase Attitudes, Dwane Hal
Dean, The Journal of Advertisement , Vol. 28,
Number 3, 1999
In order to support the suggested strategies, academic papers have been consulted. As regard
with the first managerial implication, the general opinion is that investing in celebrities
endorsement is worthwhile not only because the brand image will benefit but also from an
economic point of view. Results indicate that, on average, the impact of these announcements on
stock returns is positive. A second research has underlined that endorsements affect both the
perceived quality and uniqueness of the product whereas events sponsorship is able to enhance
the corporate image rather than the single product.
Research Goal 1 and Related
Which relation do
sportive people have
with music while
Fashion in sports: do
sportive people care
about fashion while
the world of
with music and
Research Goal 2 and Related
Philips Brand in
exploration of Philips
Pros & Cons?
What do sportive
people think of
What do sportive
about the Philips
Focus Group: 1
Participants: 8 (4 males and 4
Period: 15 October 2014
Location: Via Plinio 59, Milano
(Private Apartment of one of
Length: ≈ 2 hours (with 15 mins
Technical Support: GoPro,
camera, sound register and
Thematic Apperception Test
(Imagines & Video)
Word association test
The first ten minutes were dedicated to a brief introduction of the topic of the research, and the
participant were asked to introduce themselves in order to get rid of the initial embarrass.
There were eight participants aged from 21 to 24 years old. The percentage of females was equal
to the one of males.
We chose to meet at 6 pm so that the participants didn’t have any other commitment.
Furthermore we created a relaxed environment and placed some food and beverages on the
table so that they could eat whenever they wanted.
We decided to settle the focus group in one of the interviewers’ house in order to make all the
participants feel confortable and to avoid any external influencing factor.
Table of Informants
N° Name Age Job Hometown Characteristics
1 Delia 21 Student Milano
Sport lover, studies Art and History, not
2 Giovanni 24 Student Jelsi Loves football&music, shy
3 Eleonora 21 Student Milano
Fisioteraphist, practice sport and dancing,
serious, strong opinion
4 Mattia 21 Student Milano
Studies in Conservatory, professional
musician, professional comments,
5 Francesca 22 Student
Plays tennis and football, loves walking,
6 Piero 21 Student Palermo
Goes regularly to gym, plays music, really
7 Manuela 22 Student Varsavia
Goes to gym with her boyfriend (2-3 times
highly -involved participation
8 Giuseppe 24 Student Jelsi
Studies sound and music engineering,
All the respondents were selected in order to satisfy some
In order to avoid one gender to dominate on the other, the
number of male and female participants was chosen to be the
same. Moreover, among the interviewees there was a music
expert and a student specialized in sport physiotherapy. They
gave us useful insights from a professional point of view.
All the above mentioned facts helped us to obtain a
The moderator, after having showed an image, asked each participant to
express his/her emotional connection with it.
Relationship with Music
“Music is a source of power and energy”.
“Music as a way to relax and to concentrate”.
Two participants out of eight said that “music generate isolation”.
Six out of eight said that “isolation is a negative consequence of a
passive way to listen to music”.
We showed a video of an athlete doing sport while listening to music and
asked how they feel about it and the role of music for their training.
We asked to explain the reasons for which they listen to music, what type of
music they listen to, whether music helps them to achieve their goals and how.
Participants were asked to project themselves in the situation where they had
left headphones at home before going out for training, in order to understand
the importance of music for them.
We showed another video, a clip from the movie “What Women Want” asking
them if they agreed with the statement “Appearance is not important when
We showed four pictures and asked our participants to tell us in which one
they could identify themselves. Two pictures showed a person doing sport in a
very relaxed way, while the others showed a real athlete.
In order to understand participants’ thoughts, we used different tools:
Sections 2&3: the Effect of Music
and Fashion on Sport/Training
“Music helps not to feel the strain.”
“Music helps you to focus on yourself and find more energy.”
“It makes you achieve your goals”. Almost all of them agreed that music is an essential
part of the training, without which they would not feel as much motivated.
Fashion as a way to tell the others who you are: “Clothing is a way to express who you
are, so even if you go to the gym you dress coherently.”
Fashion as a way to underclass the importance of sport: “I don’t care about my look and
about others’ people look.”, “Lately doing sport has become a trendy activity rather than
a real commitment; and this makes sport lose its real value.”
Three out of the four girls felt represented by the athlete because they all do sport in
order to achieve their goals, so they put a lot of effort.
Only one participant felt represented by the relaxed girl, shown in an image, with a fancy
outfit, because she does sport as a leisure activity.
All the boys felt more represented by the athlete because they do sport mainly to
improve their body.
SECTIONS 2&3: HIGHLIGHTS
The main aim of this section was to investigate the most important features customers are
looking for in headphones. Therefore, the moderator showed some pictures of ActionFit
headphones and asked the participants to discuss which one is more appropriate for
practising sport. In general, they all agreed that:
Headphones and Sport
Best for listening
to music in
Best for home-
The most appreciated headphones were the ones shown in picture 2:
“They are cool because they are very technical”.
Participants were also asked what are the key elements they take into account while
making a purchase decision:
1 out of 8 believes that the quality
of the music is essential: “Using
headphones of picture 1 is like going
to the cinema with the lights on”.
7 out of 8 give more importance to
the the comfort and the resistance
of headphones (while doing
sports), not to the sound quality.
1) Colours 2)Brand 3)Price (about 20€) 18
Colour Uniqueness Shape
to the ears’
Section 5: Perception of Philips &
the Role of Communication
What do they think about Philips in terms
of trust, quality, etc?
Despite they did not know that Philips is a
headphones producer, they demonstrated to
be willing to try the product because they
associate the brand to high
quality/performance and they really trust it.
They believe that the electronics market is
The moderator showed pictures of
headphones’ ads (two of ActionFit, one of
“Beats” and one of “Soul Combat”) to
understand what might influence
The testimonial has a very important
impact on the customers’ memory during
their decision making process.
The ads that catch their attention the most
are the ones that put their focus on
products. In the long term they will
remember the ad (& so brand) which uses
Philips is mainly associated to TVs and phones.
The moderator asked which are the factors that make a brand “cool”. The participants
talked about products’ features rather than the brand itself:
Thematic Apperception Test
In-depth Interviews: 18
Participants: 18 (13 males and 5
Period: 12 – 30 November
Length: ≈ 47 minutes 34 seconds
Total amount of time: ≈ 14 hours
Technical Support: sound register
Our interviews were partially-structured. 20
N° Name Age Job Home town Charateristics
1 Alberto 24 Student Milano
Background both humanistic art and science, practices
2 Federica 22 Student Milano Studies architecture, loves what she studies, talkative
3 Flaminia 22 Student Ostia Loves music, cares about fashion, active person
4 Cludia 23 Journalist part-time Milano Loves writing and is graduated in philosophy
5 Pietro 21 Student Milano Loves training at the gym and riding his motorbike
6 Chiara 21 Student Milano
Is graduated in phsicology and wants to go abroad for
7 Stefania 22 Student Milano Loves fashion, makes lots of jokes, studies at Bocconi
8 Alexander 25 Entrepreneur New York
Loves skiing and running, plans to become an
9 Mauro 26 Employee Milano Works in the IT sector and loves travelling
10 Davide 19 Student Palermo Talkative, hates Philips because of bad experiences
11 Marten 20 Student Parigi Extremely sportive, extroverse
12 Fabrizio 18 Student Bari Loves music, wants to become a doctor
13 Marco 24 Employee Lecco Loves football, wants to manage start-up
14 Cesare 22 Student Milano
Wants to become a diplomate, loves running and
15 Benjamin 24 Employee Parigi Loves music and sport, sociable, active
16 Alessandro 24 Employee Pescara
Studies finance and banking, working as a personal
17 Madison 21 Student Toronto
Fashion addicted, sportive and music lover and trend
18 Yuri 22 Student Lecce
Active person, music addicted and not caring about
TABLE OF INFORMANTS
“General understanding of the world
of sportive people: their relationship
with music and fashion”
Music as a
way to escape
Music as a
Music as a
Music as a
as part of the
In order to deeply investigate our research goals, we used different codes.
“Contextualization of Philips Brand in consumers’
mind and exploration of Philips already existing
communication tools and proposed ones”
Philips as an
Philips is not… Philips credibility
…a way to enhance
Music fuels people up and
encourages them while
…a way to boost
Thanks to music, people
achieve higher focus and
motivation, but their
ultimate goal is to achieve
The goals in music consumption address both the utilitarian level (music as a performance booster) and the
hedonic one (music as a way to escape and as a way to enhance motivation). In both cases the direction of
the consumption is towards the self and not the others.
…a way to escape:
Music helps people
escape their day-to-day
activities and and free
“Music is a natural adrenaline, it gives
you the strength to keep training. If I had
to run 15 km, with music I would make it
quite easily. Without music, I would
probably stop much earlier”.
“Music helps me to perform better. If you run
with the song that you already know it just
comes easier automatically. It also helps you
reaching goals, for instance I know that song
last just 30 seconds, so I will be pushing myself
for this last seconds as hard as I just can.”
“I could not work-out without
listening to music. I would feel so
tired and unmotivated!”
“First of all, I listen to music to free
my mind from all the negative
thoughts of the day and relax”.
“The primary reason I listen to music
during training is to distract myself”.
“(...) sometimes I just have a run in
order to listen to some music and
liberate myself from thoughts”.
“Sometimes when I am a little tired, I
increase the volume or choose a more
fast paced music and this motivates
me a lot.”
a MUST for Sport
people to classify themselves through actions in different categories. In order to investigate
this topic deeper, we asked our interviewees to talk about how they would feel if they forgot
headphones at home before the training session.
The response was quite unanimous:
“I think I would go back to pick my headphones up because my training will be less
powerful. At the end of the day you feel like you worked correctly but not enough. It
will definitely be a problem to train without music”.
One respondent went even beyond this and told us:
“When I forget headphones at home, I start watching at reality in a completely
different manner, everything is so monotonous. And this really kills my training, I think
music is crucial”.
One respondents stated:
“I will be a little upset, but I will not come back, but continue running.
<…> However, I guess it could have an effect on my results.”
Up to this point, we found out that music plays an absolutely crucial role in
Listening to music while training is a kind of “Ritual”: it’s a consumption practise that allows
Fashion in Sportspeople Lives
The main common driver of the choice of the sportive outfit is comfort, although people are
influenced also by others factors according to their needs. For instance, “fashion addicted” do
care also about the brand and the aesthetic characteristics of their outfit. On the
contrary, those who are not affected by trends are more influenced by price. Almost every
respondent seemed to care about his/her appearance, but reluctant to admit it: a real athlete
doesn’t care about his appearance (trade-off situation). However, headphones are just
considered as a mean to listen to music: even “fashion addicted” appear not be influenced
by the “fashion factor” in the purchase decision.
“Except for the
so I use price
as first criteria
So I go to
there’s a broad
choice and it’s
not part of my
outfit. They are an
accessory. I just
look for the
“First is functionality: for
running shoes, I don’t really
care if they are fashionable,
but the most important
factor is that they are
comfortable. For the rest of
the outfit, I like it to be
“I think headphones
are part of my outfit!
It does make a
difference, for your
What about Philips
as a Headphones Producer?
Some of the interviewees did not know that Philips is a headphones producer.
However, thanks to the strong image of the brand, the adjectives used to
describe it as an headphones producer were pretty positive. Some among the
most mentioned represent functional meanings of the brand:
Just a few interviewees expressed a negative opinion about the brand,
apparently because of previous negative experiences.
According to the respondents, Philips has a good reputation in terms of
quality and reliability thanks to its products portfolio. However, some of the
interviewees would still prefer a more specialized brand for buying
High quality Innovative Clean Affordable Comfortable
People were asked to choose the two most representative features of Philips
sportive headphones out of six: brand, design, quality of the sound,
resistance, price and “fashionability”. Price and resistance turned out to be
the most significant ones.
…using their words…
“I link Philips to a high
standard quality of products
and I think that, if Philips
wants to do something, it
would be not less than the
best. There is no reason I
would think about Philips as a
bad headphones producer.”
“And even if Philips is
known for many things,
and it is perceived as a
high quality brand, I still
prefer something that is
more specialized into
the music production.”
Perceptual Map: What to Improve
The analysis presents how the four brands (Philips, Sony, Beats and Apple) are perceived in
terms of two parameters: “fashionability” and quality of the sound. The interviewees were
asked to position these brands in a perceptual map, ranking “fashionability” from high to low
and the quality of sound from excellent to poor.
A table has been built up through the calculation of the mathematical average of the obtained
results. Following this, the data has been used in order to create a perceptual map (see
following slide). As it appears from the map, Philips and Sony have received poor rankings.
Philips’s quality of sound is average while its “fashionability” is perceived to be the lowest. As it
was already presented in class by Giordano Cino (17/09/14), Philips’ main competitor is Sony,
which is perceived to have the same level of quality of the sound, but a higher “fashionability”.
Finally, Beats is the brand that stands out the most in terms of “fashionability” and the quality
of sound. At the same time, Apple
demonstrate a high level of performance
in both parameters. When we asked to
choose the two most representative
features of Philips sportive headphones
out of these six (brand, design, quality of
the sound, resistance, price and
“fashionability”), price and resistance
turned out to be the most significant ones.
Quality of the sound
“Fashionability”-Quality of Sound
Philips is not…
The purpose of this technique was to understand the overall opinion of the interviewees
The majority of the interviewees does not
perceive Philips as a “cool”, “trendy” or “cheap” brand.
Who shops @ Philips?
What emerged is that, according to the interviewees, Philips’ buyer is a MAN. In general, most
of them agreed that it is a brand for mid-aged people but also young, with a focus on good
value for money, not really focused on trends. Even if each interviewee had its own way to
describe this customer profile, they all agreed that Philips is not associated with “coolness”.
“A guy who doesn’t want to show off with his
headphones and who probably doesn’t want to be
noticed when he runs.”
“I would imagine someone who is 50, who decided
he is too fat and finally to get back in shape, he is
wealthy, probably a manager. I would say a wealthy
50 years old
“Not trendy” 32
“This is really
powerful. I guess that’s
the way. I like the way
he stares in front of
him, like he is
determinate to do that
thing and not undo it
until it is done. That is
the way I behave when
I’m at the gym.”
“It gives you an idea
that you are doing
something that ...“will
not kill you”. I don’t
dream about becoming
sportsman, so I see
myself the most in this
“I love this photo. They
even socialize and you
see the competition.
Cause if somebody
goes faster than you,
you get angry and
want to reach him. I
feel really attracted by
it, also cause I like
“You can see from the
look of her face that
she is really focused on
her exercise. If I have to
say how it effects me, I
definitely relate this to
succeeding in doing
something. I feel
Doing sport in group vs. alone (with & without music)
Some people prefer to practice sport in company, others like to run alone in order to achieve their goals
while a few others run just as a way to relax and escape. This has different implications on the way music
is perceived: for instance whoever likes to run with someone else does not usually listen to music in this
type of situation. On the contrary, who runs to achieve goals uses music to get more power. Who does
sport just to relax, uses music as a background in order to distract themselves. Our respondents
identified themselves through social comparison. In a certain sense, they felt secured and reassured by
“finding” themselves in the pictures.
We showed two different picture sets to analyze our
respondents’ emotional connections and personal identification, as well as the reasons behind.
Emotional Involvement: Identification
Emotional Involvement: Aspiration
Celebrities vs. regular people
With the second set of images we decided to investigate whether respondents feel more
inspired by commercials with sport celebrities or common people. In this way, we could see if
sportive people look for identification or aspiration.
In general, the advertisement with Bolt seems to
be the most appreciated and involving because
the interviewees perceive him as an aspiration.
“Bolt is a legend, so he alone gives 95% of the
effectiveness of the message. It is related well
to the sport, success and competitiveness.”
“The guy (Philips) is the only one who is doing something,
really concentrated and I want to be like him.”
“I like both the Bolt and the Phelps
images because they are really
focused. Anyway I prefer the picture
with Bolt since he his athletic image is
really emphatic. Then comes the
The use of testimonials is very important because
they help you remember the brand during the
“decision making process” including that brand in
your consideration set.
The brand is more credible: if testimonial promote
it, it means that he/she believes in it.
“I really believe that putting a famous testimonial in
an advertisement is a great strategy! There are more
chances to remember the product! I would be
“For sure I’ d remember more ads with celebrities.
So you probably don’t even realize it (testimonials in
the ads), but you are affected.”
The perception of testimonials affect the perception of
the brand. So, a negative opinion about the testimonial
may have a unfavourable consequence on the brands’
Somebody feels more involved with regular people
because they are closer.
“If I know a famous testimonial and the greatness of his
achievements it affects me a lot, but if I’m not really
interested in the sport he is doing, it affects me less.”
“I think it is effective to use a famous testimonial, but
you should not focus only on him/her. The rest of the ad
should be on the same level.”
RUN THIS TOWN…will you join
us?We analyzed the degree of involvement of our target in different sportive events. We also
investigated the possibility of having a Philips Run with a format similar to the one of the
“Colour Run”. The great majority of the interviewees appeared to love the idea!
Find a suggestive
Bring in a lot of
Use the idea of
Involve also other
Make it more a
and not just a
So…which could be the success factors?
Make the brand
relevant for the
According to our interviewees, music plays an absolutely crucial
role in training. Customers see music as a way to increase
motivation and perform better (research goal 1).
SOLUTION Philips has to change the tone of voice of its communication in
order to convince customers that ActionFit headphones are the
best for sportive people and can boost their performance.
Create advertisements with famous sportive testimonials
coherent with the brand, spreading a message of “power”.
The exploitation of the Digital channels is an essential part of
the strategy, especially because the target is composed by
PROBLEM Philips is not able to express these values through its ActionFit
advertisements and customers do not perceive the brand as
Run Your City
Philips is perceived as an high – quality excellent brand
because of its product portfolio, but still consumers do not
associate it to the audio industry (research goal 2).
SOLUTION Philips has to interact more with its customers in order to reassure
them, increase the brand awareness, improve the brand image
and make ActionFit more relevant for the Urbanities.
HOW Creation of a sportive event called “Philips Run”, with one single
mission: make Philips closer to the “Urbanities”. The event should
be held in a suggestive location, target young people and bring in a lot
of music and fun.
PROBLEM Philips is not able to create a credible image in the mind of
young consumers and involve them: they prefer to buy their
headphones produced by specialized companies.
• The strategies we proposed are coherent with our research goals and questions
and are supported both by our respondents answers and the previously
• According to our research, even if ActionFit is the brand leader in sportive
headphones in Europe, young people aged between 18 and 25 years old don’t use
Philips headphones while training.
• We tried to understand the reasons behind that and we discovered that the brand
is not perceived as “cool” and that young people are not interested in using Philips
headphones. Nevertheless, the majority of our respondents believe that Philips
products quality should be medium-high.
• Fashion turned out to be the wrong factor to focus on in order to make Philips
“cool”, since sportive people seem to minimize its importance.
• We decided to focus on two factors to make the brand “appealing”: testimonials
and sport events. During our researches, testimonials turned out to be a key factor
in advertisement for making customers remember the product and be more
willing to buy it. This is due to the fact that young sportive people feel inspired and
involved by testimonials (that should be coherent with the brand image). Sport
events are an important factor as well, since they have the power to make people
feel closer to the brand. People feel both engaged and challenged by this kind of
events and are interested in taking part in it.
• We are aware that our strategy will be expensive, but we think that Philips will
benefit from this kind of investments. 40