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Thread: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

  1. #1
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    Default Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Is "Lexi" subliminally suggestive of "Lexus" (exclusivity, best in class, etc.).

    "Con" we know, means to deceive.

    ..with that in mind:

    http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/t...icon-outside-1

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    About 15 years ago, Lexicon did the same thing with their amplifiers... which were rebadged Bryston power amps for a premium price, without the 20 year warranty Bryston offered.

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    About 15 years ago, Lexicon did the same thing with their amplifiers... which were rebadged Bryston power amps for a premium price, without the 20 year warranty Bryston offered.
    It's reprehensible, of course. But looked at another way, it's a kind of endorsement. Clearly, brands such as Oppo and Bryston offer good value: if you are going to take a $500 product, put it in a prettier box and charge $3500 for it, the basic performance has to be there or you won't get away with it.

    So the message is, buy the honestly-engineered, honestly-priced good value brands in the first place, and save your money!

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    ridiculous. is this another fraudulent business scheme after the Goldnun DVD saga? confidence in this high end product / market is going to be a demerit; these high end brand management should do some soul searching. after experencing all these accounts, i contemplating in calling it a day to high end high quality products.

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    The real issue is a psychological one in the consumer's head. He/she has this utterly irrational and unshakeable belief in the correlation between price, performance and prestige. So, expensive is good. Super-expensive must be better. That is supported by the media who reinforce that perverse logic. So manufacturers simply play along, adorning the externals of the product whilst diverting cost away from the core engineering into the cosmetics and marketing.

    We've discussed this before.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Hi EricW, it can be surprising how different honestly priced is. :-) another rebadger is RedRose. They are originally Korsun/Dussun electronics.

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Please note carefully, that in every case (I can think of) the super-expensive "looks like a million dollars". I cannot think of an example of a product with a huge price tag that looks anything other than beautiful. Turntables are a case in point.

    Now, marketing people have great interest in setting the optimum price for a product, being the point of maximum income, smallest quantity, lest effort = best return on manufacturing investment. That's entirely correct and the way that efficient business operates. But marketeers also know that looked at from the consumer's perspective, there is another price point which may or may not coincide with the BROME. That is willingness to pay. Clearly, the more the consumer is willing to pay, the more profitable. So the canny marketeer would adorn the basic product with exotic parts, shapes, materials and colours to move up the consumers willingness to pay.

    This is all very basic stuff - noted here and applies to all industries.
    This paper presents experimental evidence that, for at least some purchase situations, consumers' expectations of what a thing ought to cost may be a better predictor of choice between offerings...
    It never ceases to amaze me that audiophiles in their own day to day businesses are using added-value to increase their income but fail to see that when applied to their hobby (high-end audio) they are on the receiving end of someone else's marketing strategy of price v perception. It's a mystery to me.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    unfortunately all too true. its much easier to value-add visually than to engineer real product improvements. form follows little if no function nowadays.

    i do notice that most engineers in general are not very good marketers, or particularly good at explaining the decisions they make to consumers. For example, i rarely read why certain design choices are taken, say in an amplifier design eg. why there is a pair of transistors instead of say 2 pairs. i think if engineers start engaging with customers more (not overly so though), the average consumer will also start thinking more along rational lines, be slightly more sophisticated and overlook the shiny quarter inch think steel panels.

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    ...Its much easier to value-add visually than to engineer real product improvements...... the average consumer will also start thinking more along rational lines, be slightly more sophisticated and overlook the shiny quarter inch think steel panels.
    Sadly we know less about the inner workings of products we surround ourselves with than a generation ago. There is total consumer apathy. Stop 1000 people in the street and ask them to explain, in rudimentary terms, how that mobile phone they have in their pocket works and I'd bet only a handful could. Consequently, explaining and illuminating the hows and whys of a products functioning is of zero interest to the vast majority of consumers. Even to professional audio people at the front end of the sound chain. In fact I'd say with few exceptions that they are even less interested in real quality and more influenced by styling and the herd that serious audiophiles. They have other pressures bearing heavily on them (time, money) which mitigate against experimentation, curiosity and open-minded analysis. Look no further than the 'monitor speakers' or microphones in modern studios; hideous coloration - mind blowing listening fatigue - but they look good.

    You see how this knowledge vacuum is a fertile breeding ground for brilliant marketeers. As every visitor to a night club or disco will (ultimately, when pressed) testify, we are visual animals. Given the choice between the beautiful but shallow or the ordinary but deep it's obvious where evolutionary preferences would take us. That's how we are programmed, so if you want to make serious money, make your product have plenty of sexy wow factor!

    These BBC monitors that we make do not pretend to be anything other than they are; capital equipment built for the long run to make good sound. I find something rather honest in their plain lines.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Fascinating thread.

    Although visuals are a huge factor in overpricing a product, I think there's something else going on as well. My father was a furrier: he had a small factory where he manufactured very high quality fur garments that were sold to a variety of stores and chains, from mid-range department stores to very high end shops.

    He made pretty much the same product no matter what the market - I worked there for years as a child and saw them being put together, so I know this is true. He use to enjoy showing me the garment labels that would be sewn into the lining and say, look, with this one it's a $3,000 coat, and with this one - holding up a different little piece of fabric - it's a $10,000 coat. Magic. Same coat, same quality, different label.

    But visually, the coats were the same other than the label. (And look at KittyKat's example re Red Rose, if they still exist.) So I'm forced to conclude that some people just want to pay more, either because they think it buys them quality, or because they want to differentiate themselves status-wise from the rest of the herd by having something they know very few others have.

    Having read a bit on primatology (go get some Frans de Waal, fascinating stuff) I think the desire to status-differentiate is also a very strong one and plays a big role in marketing, at least with certain types of products. It's no doubt profitable for a while if you can get away with it, but I think it makes the manufacturer vulnerable as well, because someone else can always come along with something shinier, newer, blingy-er, etc. and then he's out of the game.

    Honesty is a good policy if you're in it for the long haul.

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    ..These BBC monitors that we make do not pretend to be anything other than they are; capital equipment built for the long run to make good sound. I find something rather honest in their plain lines.
    I've read more than a couple reviews that decry the boxy Harbeth look. When I read those comments I sigh and think - isn't it about sound reproduction first and foremost? Myself, I rather like the classic fit and finish of the Harbeth boxes.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Not all super expensive audio looks like high end jewelry
    David Bernings Quadrature Z and Lamm equipment come to mind. I wonder why people buy such equipment?

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    Default Re: Repackaging the ordinary as the exotic

    Quote Originally Posted by Pencey View Post
    I've read more than a couple reviews that decry the boxy Harbeth look. When I read those comments I sigh and think - isn't it about sound reproduction first and foremost? Myself, I rather like the classic fit and finish of the Harbeth boxes.
    Not to go too off-topic, but: the first time I saw Harbeth speakers, I thought they were the best looking speakers I'd seen in a while. And a pair of Compact 7 speakers on Skylan stands look just great in my living area. But of course, Pencey, you're right; it's the musical reproduction that matters most.

  14. #14
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    Default 'How to survive' replaces 'how to get money'?

    Now, some simple questions and remarks:

    - Who thinks the new generation will "eat" this fruit of "great looks" and pay a fortune for it?

    - 'Till when the vast consumer society will ignore the total cost of the parts of a "hi-end" machine? Which -particularly in "hi-end" electronics- represents a ratio sometimes even of 1/100?

    - The Chinese are coming. Unfortunately, their hunger for money and lifestyle grew to a degree that they will (and already started doing so) be pricing their products like those "Brilliant Marketeers" of the West are doing... It will bring problems. The West will not be able to hold their position for long. Within Globalisation, you can't keep large gaps. Consumers' buying strength won't increase. And strong pockets are going to decrease in numbers. What are they going to do? Build castles to hide themselves inside and organize their defence? Medieval stories?

    - The "How to get the money" strategy will die, soon. The "How to survive" reality will take its part, it already has done so, and gets stronger every day.

    Japs have got problems, Americans stopped to be the Shangrila, Europeans are ageing and becoming the "Invasion Land"... Go and try to persuade China, India, Pakistan, North Asia, Africa and South America to buy exotic speakers and amplifiers of tens of thousands dollars... they'll built their very similar stuff for almost nothing, they'll sell it for something... Raise the price for us? Well, not for long... The term "Expensive" will go through very hard times in the coming world. Those profit margins we 're discussing will soon disappear...

    How soon? In my poor country we have a motto: "Better to tie up your donkey with a rope, instead of running around to chase him"...

    Regards,
    Thanos

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    Default Europe - a very difficult future when resources run dry ...

    As you say Thanos, we are in very turbulent times. The future is unclear. Those who oppose the concept of "one Europe" are ignoring the secret, unwritten agenda of an integrated Europe. It's this: when our bigger, hungry neighbours need more land and resources for their own populations there will be serious competition for natural resources. Prices will sky rocket. Political tension will be red hot. Mililtary solutions will be proposed. Only by restraining the nervous, twitching finger on the trigger of some Europeans under the collective European front can disaster be avoided.

    All we can do at Harbeth is keep walking our original path making products that consume as few resources as possible and last as long as possible.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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