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February 2016
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Selling Audio To The "Lost Generation"
Article By Gary Yacoubian, CEO of SVS


Selling Audio To The "Lost Generation" Article By Gary Yacoubian, CEO of SVS


  I took my teen boys to see the new Avengers movie a couple of weeks ago and it was great for a couple reasons. Not only did it prove that I'm cool enough (barely) to hang out with in a dark theater, it also validated my belief that our younger generation is just as engaged and energized by immersive experiences, such as those in a movie theater, as the rest of us are. But the best part of the experience was when we were driving home and my oldest remarked, "Dad, I like the system we have at home better."

It wasn't the woman on her phone in front of us, or the off-center seats we were forced to sit in after arriving later than expected. His main point was that our system at home is more "dialed-in" because it sounds and looks better than what we experienced at the cinema. To be clear, we weren't at an IMAX or Dolby Atmos theater, which could have swung the balance. But that's OK because the more important part to me, as a businessman and contributor, was the broader perspective my son was imparting about his values when it comes to entertainment.

But first, an aside: A few days after the movie, I was comparing notes with a very highly regarded, long-time regional AV retailer, and the owner made an ironic observation. He said that it seems like every other week he's attending a funeral for one of his customers. The story hit me hard because a lot of the people the industry targets for high performance audio purchases are either out of the market for new gear, or dying. It's the same narrow band of (mostly) aging, affluent males many of us are fighting over, who also happen to be the least likely to buy new products, other than perhaps some high tech medical device.

Consider this: live concerts and electronic dance music (EDM) are the two most profitable segments of the music industry and blockbuster movies like The Avengers now bring in over $1 billion, much of it from the wallets of teenagers and young adults. Contrary to much industry "wisdom," people under 40 adore immersive audio experiences, the only problem is that they have not yet done the math that they can have such experiences in their own living space!!

I don't want to be part of a company where artificial lines are drawn in the sand when deciding who to target.  I was fortunate to be a part of the Beats phenomenon and I watched an entire generation of customers get educated to the fact that there are better experiences available to them than what comes free in the box with their phone. Now, they are glomming onto small Bluetooth speakers and the next step after that will be immersive experiences, or so I am betting. So should you!

The best age demographic for my company, SVS, is 35 to 44 and our second best is 25 to 34, so we already skew younger than most "traditional" high performance audio brands, and I strongly believe this is because of the vitality of our brand and the way we connect with fans directly. Of course having killer products, a phenomenal value proposition and stellar service doesn't hurt either, but I digress...  


So, how do we get there and inspire the lost generation? If you read SVS Sound's blog, it's pretty much everything I always talk about. Establish an authentic voice on social media channels and invest in an engaging, optimized web presence supported by search engine marketing, banner ads and strategic partnerships. It can be daunting, but everything is scalable so try one thing at a time and focus on getting it right, not crossing it off a list.

Here's a short list just to get started on:

E-mail marketing and newsletters

Social media, which should be embraced at every level of your organization and not farmed out to an outside service or "department"

Digital marketing such as banner advertising and affiliate programs

Paid and organic search development (As an example of what we do, search Google on "Home Theater Subwoofers" and watch which brands come up first)

Optimizing your own web site, and always keep it fresh with new content

Participate in outside forum discussions. Join the fray!!


Now that you are reaching these younger folks, tell them on a "spiritual" level about the awesome experiences they can have in their dorm room, bedroom, apartment or other living space. Engage younger customers about the kind of music, movies, video games and TV shows they enjoy, where they get their content from, and what value they place on audio across all the mediums. Maybe someone who spends 3 to 6 hours a day gaming and streaming Netflix would enjoy a killer surround sound system instead of a wireless Bluetooth speaker. You'll never know unless you ask.



Enjoy the Music.com's CES 2015 Video With Gary Yacoubian



Selling Audio To The "Lost Generation" Article By Gary Yacoubian, CEO of SVS

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