1 year ago

Day 4 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Headphones
  • Mobile
  • Audio
  • Products
  • Tablet
  • Consumer
  • Devices
  • Tablets
  • Bluetooth
  • Berlin

News The Man Behind the

News The Man Behind the Monster The resounding success story of Noel Lee and his Pure Monster Sound After the success of Beats By Dr Dre, Monster is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance headphones. As a pioneer in audio and video accessories for more than 30 years, Noel Lee’s significance in the world of consumer electronics cannot be under-estimated. Neil Cole spoke to him, and asked how Monster fits in to the CE market. Noel Lee Founder and CEO, Monster I believe we have a unique position. We are massmarket high-end. We have an expertise in audio that very few people in the industry have – starting from our original speaker cables, clean power. We’re more than just a cable company or a headphones company. Monster is about portability and high-quality audio and video devices, and wireless. People need wireless. Your first success was with cable. Can wireless do the same for you? It’s connectivity. Cable was the way to connect before, now it’s wireless. Bluetooth was not acceptable until this year, but now the sound is just amazing, you’re untethered. If we do something it will be the highest quality, to a standard we have to be happy with. Unless we’re happy with it, it’s not ready. Your relationship with musicians seems to be healthily symbiotic – they are not just endorsing your products in the traditional sense. How does it work? All the musician relationships are very authentic. I was a musician. Everybody knows Monster. All the people that endorsed our guitar cables and our speakers – we don’t give them the cable, they buy it. They do it because they love the sound quality, and they wire their studios with it. The one complaint I get is “I spent a fortune on your cables, I had to wire everything because the sound is so good, you got me hooked!” That kind of loyalty is authentic, it’s not bought. Our products with “We are massmarket high-end” Dr Dre and the Interscope family – that too was authentic. Dre really is a music-lover and he hears things that other artists and producers just don’t hear, so we designed stuff that he liked and I like. What’s the secret to your merchandising and retail success? Our innovation doesn’t stop at the products. Our innovation continues on to how to sell the product. If you can make big business out of speaker cable, there’s got to be something there, right? Back in those days people said nobody needed it, it was a cure with no disease, and there was no internet so a lot of our benefits have been focused on the retail channels and now the online channels. To make our retail partners successful we collaborate with them in a true partnership. We teach them things they’ve never done before, show them things that might require reprogramming their computers. My background is engineering, and I apply a lot of my engineering concepts and apply them to sales and marketing. Our philosophy is: the sale begins – not ends - when we get the PO for the deal. Then we focus on the sellthrough, on the training, winning the hearts and minds of salespeople, on performance-measurement concepts. Especially today, when profits and margins are tough for our retailers, they need products like ours and programs like ours. Our secret program is called M6 – but I can’t tell you what M6 is! Aside from your range of headphones, what’s the one product on your stand that excites you? I invent a lot of stuff because I need it, and it doesn’t exist. I started making high-quality headphones because I needed them. One really innovative thing is the Monster Powercard. You’re always running out of power. We have made a battery charger the size of a credit card, it’s really thin, it has more power than a lot of the big chargers, it has a supercharger so it charges fast. Maybe 50% faster. In 45 minutes it will take a flat iPhone to fully charged. It’s important to innovate – always lead, never follow is our motto. We don’t copy anything. Sometimes we’ll take what’s there and make it better, sometimes we’ll make something from scratch. The consumer pays a little more for Monster. That’s because we’re not happy if we’re not the best. Hall 3.2 Stand 202 12

Press Corner The Next Evolution of TV IFA International talks to the specialist technology journalists & analysts who report on IFA Berlin Stewart Wolpin has been analysing, reporting, reviewing and ranting about consumer electronics for 30 years. He is an elector for the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame in the US and author of the inductee bios and the industry's history. He is a frequent contributor to Mashable, TWICE, and many other well-known publications and high technology web sites. As an analyst, Mr Wolpin writes an annual focus on MPG-2 and MPG-4 that requires an international perspective. That report is one of his main reasons for attending IFA this year. "I am trying to make sure I have a non-US centric view of the industry,” notes Mr Wolpin. "There are some major manufacturers that now use IFA for big product launches," says Wolpin. He commented that Europe also gets a lot of "cool phones" before the US which gives him another objective for his IFA stay. The most interesting subject that the American journalist would like to pursue at IFA is the next evolution of the TV. From his point of view, when HD came to TVs, the upgrade in technology was driven by broadcasters. This time it seems the TV manufacturers are leading the way, forcing the broadcasters to follow. “How can TV makers navigate what seems to be at this time an unnavigable market?” asks Wolpin in describing what he sees as perhaps his most important mission to explore during IFA. As both a journalist and industry analyst, Wolpin fears that the rush to UHD will leave consumers with incompatible systems that will only be revealed as the UHD market solidifies. His article, “J’Accuse,” about the subject is still resonating within the industry as it seeks to create the necessary standards. Stewart Wolpin Journalist and Analyst IFA International • Monday 9 th September 2013 13

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