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Back in 1976 [I think] my Dad bought a Bang & Olufsen television.
All I knew at the time was:
1. It was so expensive, my parents had spent a month thinking about buying it.
2. It was our first colour television.
3. It was the first television with wireless remote control in our town.
4. Everytime it was turned on, my parents would exclaim, “Look how good that picture is”.
Over the years, I learnt more and more about who company was.
Their innovative approach to audio visual entertainment.
Their commitment to design excellence.
Their obsession with detail.
Simply put, B&O were Apple before Apple.
But just like that wonderful company from California, things changed.
Their attitude to excellence didn’t … but their level of innovation did.
Of course, some of that is because the category they were in had reached some sort of plateau … but also it’s because they missed some big trends, meaning they had gone from leader to follower.
I still love B&O.
I am emotionally bonded to them because of my past.
But nothing upsets me more than seeing them make products like this.
Look at them … they’re bloody hideous.
OK, so they were a ‘special edition’ for the World Cup [which shows how topical this blog is, ahem] but that still doesn’t excuse how bad they are.
And what the hell are they doing an association with Pepsi?
Have they honestly fallen that far down the desirability ladder that they need to whore themselves out to a soft drinks company?
They don’t even talk about sound quality?
I appreciate they may need to appeal to a younger audience … I appreciate brands like BEATS have shown how they can associate themselves to categories that previously few would have ever associated with music products … but this all feels like a brand on its knees, begging to be liked but ultimately signing their own death warrant.
I want B&O to do well.
I know they still make great products.
But to whoever out there is advising them, they’re putting them on the fast track to obscurity because if you don’t stand for something, people will end up falling for anything.
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