The Great Outdoors
Summer, when customers are drawn outdoors, presents a unique opportunity for the C-tailer.
By Krissy Rushing
It's not necessarily any of your business what your customers are doing this summer.
What is your business, however, is that with each passing sunny day they spend outdoors, sales opportunities are passing you by. Give your clients what they need: entertainment outdoors.
When the consumer thinks of outdoor A/V, images such as a weathered print of Jaws III projecting on a worn drive-in movie screen come to mind. Such memories fuel the prevalent misconception that you can't get quality audio and video outdoors, and that the forces of nature always interfere.
It is indeed much more challenging to create conditions ideal for good-sounding sound and good-looking video in the uncontrollable environment of the outdoors. Wind, moonlight, rain and loud neighbors can detract from the experience.
That doesn't mean an amazing outdoor A/V experience is impossible to attain, however. The benefits, too, of hanging out in the backyard or by the pool on a balmy summer night, listening to Neil Young through outdoor speakers, far outweigh some of the challenges of porting this traditionally indoor experience into the great wide open.
It's a compelling feature to sell to clients: With outdoor installations, they can enjoy music or video anywhere, whether they're barbequing on the patio, enjoying an afternoon on the boat or enjoying morning coffee on the back deck.
It's a feature so compelling, in fact, that many manufacturers have made it their missions to create products that cater to the outdoor market, especially in the audio realm.
When it comes to outdoor sound, options abound. Speakers disguised as rocks, as planters, weatherproof speakers and even underwater speakers are available.
Sonance makes several outdoor speakers, all of them weatherproof. Its eXtreme in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are shock-resistant and designed to withstand high humidity, driving rain, salt water and salt air, as well as temperatures from 30 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The two-way speakers can withstand year-round water exposure in boats, yachts, saunas and steam rooms, or on an outside wall of a home. Sonance eXtremes are available in rectangular and round shapes for $600 a pair; there's even an in-ceiling single stereo speaker ($420) that delivers stereo sound into small spaces, such as a shower.