What is the secret for the success of Diva's and Rocket's?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Manuel Delaflor, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    This speakers went from nowhere, and suddenly, they are competing for the same market as very known firms like B&W, Paradigm, you name it.

    How is this possible? How come some product that has no history, that can't be found in regular hifi stores, can become such a great success in so little time?

    Oh, by the way, I don't own a set and don't plan to. Im just sincerely interested in how they did it.
     
  2. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    It's all word of mouth advertising on these forums, I'd have to say. But I don't think they're up there with the ranks of B&W and Paradigm to the majority community. Go to any hi-fi store and see if they've heard of them, and I'd bet the answer is no.

    Of course that doesn't mean anything about the sound or build quality. I have a pair of 2.1's and really enjoy them. And they are very very good looking speakers.

    BTW, I think Swan has been around for some time.

    Aaron
     
  3. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    As with SVS, the direct market model can be irresistable to those who don't want to "get what they pay for" but instead get much more. The average retail mark-up (without discount) on audio equipment is usually around double the wholesale cost, so without the middle man the bang for the buck can be much greater for the consumer.

    As far as the history goes, serious subhumans in the community knew of Tom and Ron of SVS before their line of subs was launched. Same with Mark Schifter of AV123. He and his history with Infinity, Genesis, Perpetual Technologies etc. was well established so in both cases there was a certain comfort level already there for early adopters.

    In both cases the products performed as claimed, made a lot of people happy, and the rest was just the internet doing what it does well, spreading the news to others.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  5. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    I feel in a way I am overestimating Internet Forums in the sense that perhaps on the streets most have listened that there is a B&W brand, and nothing about Rockets).
    On the other hand, this forums have thousands of users, and I feel that they are the most discussed brands (leaving aside BOSE [​IMG]). I read somewhere on the Net that the Divas are made in China, and that the production was 50,000 a month. Not a small number. Of course, I don't even remember the source, and probably it is false.
    Even if the number were 500 a month, it is still a very good business. Don't you think?
    And of course. How could I forgot SVS? Another incredible company.
     
  6. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    The internet makes or breaks these companies. They live and die by their products and customer service, much more so than B&W, Paradigm, etc. Word of mouth is much more important to them than to stuff you can buy at your local Best Buy, Circuit City, or audio specialty shop. One or two bad reviews and they could be history. This is why they go out of their way to make things as good and pleasant as possible. They also know with them it is more the experience rather than just a product. People will remember the experience. Just look at SVS for example. Most people tend to focus on the experience rather than just the subwoofer (even though they are tremendous). Then again, you have companies that operate outside the box, often quite literally. It is also a refreshing change to be able to talk to the owners of the companies rather than the peons on the sales floor. I, for one, am a proud owner of several internet only products, such as the Swan M200, nOrh 4.0, 5.1, and Le Amps, SVS 20-39CS, and Outlaw 1050. It isn't just about the equipment anymore.
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I think the 50,000 speakers is the number made in that particular factory. A small portion of that total number are Divas / Rockets (the factory makes speakers for numerous vendors).
     
  8. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    Don't the Divas/Rockets claim many sales outside the US? Not sure on this, but that could really boost sales...

    Dan
     
  9. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    So,

    They needed a good product, at a good price, from a known dealer. Then sell it directly using Internet.

    And that is all?

    Maybe Nohr doesn't fit in the sense of known dealers (to my knowledge).

    The mystery for me is how does a mouth spread works? I have seen incredible products that dissappear because no one gets interest in them, and all the buyers talked marvels about them!
     
  10. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Word of mouth? Quite simple, actually. I like the speaker/sub and tell others. Some of the others buy it and tell their friends, etc. Eventually you end up having a small company that is now one to be reckoned with, such as SVS.

    nOrh is a good sized company. They primarily use Vifa and Scanspeaker woofers and tweeters. They sell direct through the net. ACI, Ascend Acoustics, and Aperion Audio all use the same method. Cuts down on cost so the product can be better at its price point.
     
  11. JasonFab

    JasonFab Extra

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    This is a fine topic and I feel it is one worth commenting on.

    While I represent one of the factory direct companies mentioned above, my comments are directed towards all of the factory direct (internet) companies still in existence and (hopefully) still selling.

    Our business model is one that HEAVILY relies on word of mouth. While internet forums are a tremendous asset on spreading the word of our products, in reality, they are used by a very small percentage of consumers out there looking to purchase product.

    I feel forum users/lurkers are the very toughest consumers to sell to. These are the consumers who truly RESEARCH a product before making a purchase. They are also the most knowledgeable CE consumers out there. You guys & gals truly know your stuff.

    It is for these reasons why our products MUST live up to and exceed your expectations. if not, they would immediately be sent back for return and our companies would quickly fold. If bad comments were spread either by word of mouth or by forum, again we would not exist, or be forced to sell through typical retail means.

    Our business model alone, after given an honest evaluation, virtually guarantees that our products MUST perform up to the hype, provided we have been in business for at least a 6 month cycle.

    The large manufacturers (B&W, Klipsch, Bose (yes, even Bose)) rely heavily on brand name recognition and the sales ability of their rep firms and sales people to close a deal. Location is also very important, for example, if you have only one high-end audio store within a 100 miles, and that high-end audio store only offers B&W (as many do) then what other brand options are the consumer really left with?

    What makes things even more interesting is that at a typical retail high-end store, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a consumer will get the opportunity to honestly A/B two high end competing brands against each other. Most dealer/rep contracts forbid a retailer from offering two similar high end brands of speakers that directly compete with each other.

    Contrast to this is the fact that our products are VERY OFTEN A/B compared with EVERYTHING else out there. In most cases, directly in the consumers home free from common salespeople interferences in order to sway the consumer one way or another.

    Now, I can't speak for the other firms mentioned in this topic, but while the internet direct business model can lead to high volume sales (like B&W or Klipsch), in no way are our (or the other firms) sales numbers even close. It is simply not possible at this time.

    These retail based firms rely on support provided from the retail stores. So in essence, if there are 500 B&W dealers across the US, and each of these dealers have 2-3 resident B&W experts, that is plenty of support. With our business model, we provide the support and unlike retail outlets, our potential customers ask loads of questions before, during, and after a purchase. We simply could NOT provide adequate support if we were selling anywhere near 50,000 units per month, or even 5000. We would be forced to take on a load of support personnel and train them, this would dramatically increase overhead which would force our product pricing structure to change.

    So, IMHO, the internet direct business model is perfect if the product is great and sales are NOT high volume. If sales volume is expected to be VERY HIGH (on terms with the likes of a B&W), this business model simply could not support it.
     
  12. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Jason,

    Thanks for your comments. Having the "inside view" surely helps to put things in perspective.
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Manuel,

    I guess the real person to ask about how word of mouth gets out would be Mike Dzurko of ACI. Many people that aren't aware of ACI's history think of them as just another upstart in the internet speaker business. In fact, ACI is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. So they were around before the internet and before many of the members of this forum were even born. There may be other factory direct speaker companies that have been around a similar length of time, but ACI is the only one I'm aware of. So if anyone could tell you about the trials and tribulations of this side of the business, Mike can.

    Brian
     
  14. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I think the reason why these speakers (and subs) do so well is that they state what their performance is (most will describe drivers, alignment, and T/S and how it relates to sound), back it up with data, and confirmed by early adopters. With all three in hand, and a lower price point make these brands very attractive to those that research the products presented. Most of the big brand names carried either by B&M dealers or mass market outlets survive sheerly by name recognition first (it amazes me how much and how often people buy sheerly based on names) and performance second (in most cases that I've seen based mostly on people I know). I hate to disappoint people but most people I know or first meet usually don't know about Klipsch, B&W, and by extention these internet companies but do know of Bose, Cerwin, KLH, Polk, Infinity, and etc (because these are carried by Circuit City and Best Buy).

    I do believe the public of the future will become more knowledgeable just from interactions from chatrooms will point out to go to a forum of interest. I know that if something isn't a subject that I am currently a follower of (let's say I need a washer for example), I try my best to find a forum site of people who make such a subject their hobby of interest and try to get their advice since these are experienced users. I see most people in the future to do likewise.
     
  15. Mark R. Ososkie

    Mark R. Ososkie Stunt Coordinator

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    At the hi-fi store i usually frequent, nobody there has heard of svs, swans, nohr, etc..its kinda sad [​IMG]
     
  16. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

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  17. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

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  18. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Sean,
    Sure, interest is something important. But how about, for example, successful executives with love for music and money to buy but no time to research?
    The sad end of this history is that many people will just buy whatever seems best at a store, whatever the seller tells them is "better". [​IMG]
     
  19. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  20. Mark R. Ososkie

    Mark R. Ososkie Stunt Coordinator

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