Selling audio to the ‘Lost Generation’
Gary Yacoubian is CEO and president of SVS, a supplier and designer of high-performance audio products, and a CEA Audio Board member.
I took my teen boys to see the new Avengers movie a couple of weeks ago, and it was great for a couple of 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 Dealerscope 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.