Brilliant Brand Idea 1: Bose

Guest post by David Nichols, Managing Partner of the brandgym, and Head of Invention
In a world drowned in new
technology and overstuffed with audio gadgets, Bose has found a unique platform
for continued success. With sales of
$2.3bn Bose audio equipment is sold to audio professionals, car companies,
pilots, educational establishments and, of course, consumers in 49
countries. The straightforward, technology-led brand idea of ‘Better sound through research’ is executed across
its increasing array of products with consistency. 
We've chosen Bose to be the first in our new series of 10 ‘Brilliant Brand Ideas’.  Why?
actually delivers
If you have ever tried a Bose product, they genuinely deliver better
sound.  Whether it’s the noise cancelling headphones
(almost obligatory in Business Class travel) or the TV surround sound systems –
they make the competition sound poor.
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through & through
Packaging, product design, store design, online design – all
distinctive and unmistakably Bose.  They
come across as slightly nerdy and ‘techy’, but that’s the point.  They are not trying to be ‘down with the
kids’ like Beats or Skullcandy, nor are they trying to be ‘cool’ like Sony or LG.  They are simply a company based around audio
research & technology and they have very successfully translated that ‘nerd-with-a-good-job’ tone into a highly distinctive mix.
With their iconic noise cancelling headphones they are not targeting
the people who buy Dr. Dre Beats to better commune with
their favourite bands, but the more thoughtful, older affluents who have just as much interest
in the technology they use as the music they listen to.  They also target specific applications where
their noise cancelling technology adds real value, like pilots (where they
doubled what pilots spend on headsets). 
Car designers, where they supply top end built-in car audio, and truck
drivers (or their fleet managers) where they are developing seat vibration
cancelling systems to reduce long trip fatigue.
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their consumer
They know what understated aspiration means. For instance their
headsets come in practical sturdy cases that will withstand being crushed in a
drag-on bag, and they each include a few ‘calling cards’ should the inevitable
happen and someone ask you ‘were did you get those headphones’.

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In summary,you could simply say that Bose
do the marketing basics well.  This,
unfortunately, puts them almost into a class of their own. Their marketing doesn’t seek to add ‘cool creds’ where they do not exist, or ‘go
viral’ by borrowing content from a ‘hot’ artist. It merely targets the relevant
people and shows why their products are different and better. In a world of so much technology hype, it’s
refreshing to find a brand that actually does what it says on the ad: Better sound
through research.

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