How to enter the audiophile market?

Hello, I am currently wanting to set up a high fidelity (Hi-Fi) speaker company, but I don't have much knowledge about this market.

I already have knowledge about the materials I need to make the speaker cabinets and drivers.

So my question is: I need knowledge about the audiophile market.

Leave your advices.
 
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Start by writing a business plan. You might be able to find a small business advisor to help you with that. Many places in North America that's a service provided for free. I don't know how it works in Brazil.

You need to analyze the market. Figure out what is currently covered and where the holes are.

How will you stand out in the market? What are you going to do faster/better/cheaper than your competition?

How will you reach your customers? What's your marketing plan?

How will you get your product to the customers? How much is shipping a pair of speakers across South America?

Tom
 
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With Brazil being a member of Mercosur, (A south American trading consortium) , staying within the South American market I would think, would be a wise move.
Here within Argentina, there exists "Leea", a longtime builder of speakers, (raw drivers) that goes back to the sixties. Now, I'm not sure but I think it likely, the drivers are sources at least in component parts from China.
Leea went out of business in 1998..


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Rick...
 
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The "hot market" within Brazil and Argentina here is lots & lots of LED lights, stylized plastic molded enclosures...built-in multiple inputs, bluetooth of course...smartphone inter-connects, all of it, the actual sound quality of speakers here is by far way at the bottom of this list of priorities. The built-in amplifiers and the raw drivers are the absolute cheapest and poor-performing components. You would have a steep hill to climb trying to change the minds of the public at large to choose a straightforward speaker without all the expected & preferred "doodads" of "your" speaker.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Rick...
 
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You must have a unique design, and create an impression of quality, the audio journals or electronic media are tools for that.

And include free shipping if your price allows it.
Where will you display the item and let customers try them out?
How much income do you expect from the business?
Do you have enough money to run the business for a year without making (and mostly losing) money?
Speakers are a declining market, ear buds and Class D are dominant.

So, if your annual household expenses are $120,000, will your business make $300,000 so as to make your effort worth the time you will spend?
And how will you prevent copies?

There are many speaker threads here, and many designs, see those, pretty nearly the spectrum is covered.

The main thing is convincing the first customers that you are special.
If they find you are using ready made drivers...you are finished.

And audiophiles and audio fools are very similar, with them fussing over stylus profile, speaker wires, valve heater voltage and so on...they find differences in those.

Convincing a finicky customer can be frustrating, and also rewarding.
That customer must be proud that he has something unique, just like Scan-Speak, which is really Chinese parts assembled in Denmark.

So you must have an element of deceit in you, as even some famous auto brands are really assemblers of bought out Chinese components, like Aston Martin.

So you must build an impression that your product is worth buying.
 
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Your post is a big red flag. You are saying you want to go ahead, but you are asking for basic information you would need to make a business plan. In business, you should never make the go ahead decision until having a realistic business plan that measures if the risk is worth the reward. Your post screams that you think your technical prowess is the deciding factor in the success of your business. It isn't.
 
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your technical prowess is the deciding factor in the success of your business. It isn't.
Sadly true. You can have the best product in the world but if nobody knows about or nobody cares about it, it won't sell.

Not thereby said that technical superiority can't be a selling point. But you have to tell people why they should care and they sorta have to agree...

There are many examples of successful companies that offer mediocre products ... and failing companies that offer excellent products.

Tom
 
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the actual sound quality of speakers here is by far way at the bottom of this list of priorities.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Rick...

That's pretty much the market here. Almost nobody cares about fidelity of sound reproduction. It's all marketing crapola.

My neighbor summed it up succinctly. He said I build the nicest equipment that nobody wants. 1 cubic foot external dimension speakers are considered unspeakably enormous. People want small speakers... really, really small.
 
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You need to know where your speaker would fit into the market. Are they going to be $10,000 each speakers, $2k/pair, etc. Then you need to know what is the quality of other speakers in that market segment and how your speakers compare. Then you have to figure out how you make your speakers at an incremental manufacturing cost of no more than 1/6 of the selling price. The more expensive the speakers will be the smaller the fraction has to be because as cost goes up, sales volume tends to drop.

Once you know if you can meet the economics of making a product that can competitively sell at a certain price point, then there are some other things you need to see if you can do. You need to figure out how you can get distribution, how you can get reviews, etc. Everyone wants great reviews and eager distributors, but there is competition for those things from other manufacturers. Do you know people in the business who can help you? Do you have a financial backer? A lawyer, accountant, etc., and do you have a way to pay them? If you will have employees then you need to know about labor law and tax law, establish work policies, etc.

Beyond that, as it turns out statistically most small businesses will fail. However, most people who start small businesses don't think the statistics apply to them because they have a better product, they are smarter than most people, etc. Of course, the failure statistics are made up from people who believe exactly those same things, yet their businesses usually fail anyway.
 
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The market is what people want and what they'll pay for it. The current audio market doesn't give the slightest whit about sound reproduction quality; they care about brand names and prestige. Tell them what they want to hear, no matter how steeped in BS it may be, and you will have a customer. There is a glaring element that is missing from audio marketing, and marketing in general. It's called INTEGRITY.

About six years ago I was at the computer store (huge internet warehouse by my house) buying computer stuff. I mentioned to the salesman that I was building hi-fi equipment. He said he wanted to show me the "Best Speaker Ever Made Bar None." Yeah, in a computer store for $60. So he shows me a small (size of a tissue box) bluetooth speaker. He streams some music and beams at me, expecting me to fall for the BS. I called him out on his BS and he was quite frustrated. Who does he think he's talking to? I don't get the marketing technique of outright lying and insulting the intelligence of the customer, but what do I know any more?
 
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I would agree with not relying on techniques / technical abilities, it's only a matter of time before someone else catches up. However, if you plan to, do consider getting a patent etc. to establish your technique and a trademark to market it. These are important legal aspects / leverage to be satisfied in case someone violates your products tomorrow and you decide to settle the matter / sue them for a lot of money.

Also, have you decided what exactly you will make / sell and who your potential customer is ?
 
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Last time I checked (some time ago), you can't get a trademark in the US unless you are already doing business in multiple states. Don't know how it works elsewhere.

Regarding patents in the US, you can do it yourself if you are willing to learn how, or you can hire a patent lawyer. The latter can be costly, especially if the patent is not expected to be highly valuable. Also, a patent discloses what might otherwise be trade secrets. Once a big company knows your technology, they have more lawyers than you can probably afford to fight against. It can be very difficult to win patent litigation if you don't have the money for lawyers.
 
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Well a couple of pointers:
1. Research the market, find your USPs (unique selling points): domestically made/premium/great quality to price ratio/certain technique that you use
2. Plan a marketing strategy. How do you want to sell (direct, or distribution). If distribution, then you need margins for distributors + dealers. How do you want to market your company. To whom you will be marketing it? Who is your client? How can they learn about your products? Marketing funnel. Media, reviewers, soft influencers, website, newsletter etc etc.
3. Analyse the results of your strategy and refine your approach.
 
You need to know people in the business do distribute your product and that talk about your product. You need to know reviewers. You need to have enough money to produce product and survive the time it takes for sales to catch on. You need money to pay for positive reviews. These reviews need to appear recurringly.
The quality of the product matters somewhat but don't spend too much time and money on that, it's a factor but far from the most important ones.
 
This is why business is compartmentalized. It's so that talented people can concentrate on what they're good at. If you're good at building speakers or designing electronic circuits, then that doesn't make you a good business person. I respect a talented engineer that learns business so they can build a business around their talents. That's ambition. I can't stomach marketing and advertising (except as an inspiration for sardonic remarks) but I certainly recognize it as a vital part of a business strategy. I would just like to see them hold themselves to a higher standard of honesty.

An academic advisor was trying to sell me an MBA program. He said their program is tailored to train engineers to run a company. What I didn't realize at the time was that he was telling me why I shouldn't get an MBA. Screw running your company. Not in my wheelhouse. Get somebody that wants to and knows how. Then we'll all work together and everybody does what they do best.

My neighbor was a CEO of a major corporation. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met, way smarter than me. He was checking out my system. He was streaming some jazz through it and he was astounded. Then he tried to figure out what did what. "This drives the speakers?" No, that's the preamp. THIS drives the speakers. Scratches head. "Well, it sure sounds fantastic!"

Too fidlly. Better stick with the little bluetooth speaker. If he can't figure it out, then the product is so over engineered that it's stupid in a domestic environment. Gotta give them what they want. That's why Bose is still around and so successful. The Lifestyle was crappy but it's what a generation of consumers wanted. That's what business is supposed to be about.