Things aren’t going great with the Danish Bang & Olufsen. Meanwhile, it has announced its third quarterly loss in a row, which is rather worrying.
Bang & OIufsen is known by many hi-fi lovers for two things: special design and high prices. In addition, it hovers somewhere between ‘normal’ hi-fi and high-end, which makes profiling more difficult. Despite this, the Danes have, of course, released true works of art in recent decades. Thanks to them, the appearance of audiovisual equipment changed forever. Nevertheless, competition in the market is fierce. Meanwhile, mainstream competitors such as Sony, LG and even Samsung are putting a lot of effort into design. Only at much lower prices. This results in increasingly fiercer competition in a market where consumers expect ever lower prices on the one hand and innovations on the other. An almost deadly combination for just a few smaller companies that cannot afford to link major innovations to ultra-low prices.
Bang & Olufsen recorded a loss of $11 million in the months November-January, we read in this article of What Hifi. Which means that even during the party months, consumers were apparently not queuing up for expensive products such as the $500 Beoplay H9 wireless over-ear headphones. Problem is that these headphones cost significantly more than the competition. Indeed: here you pay not only for sound quality but also for the design. And that apparently leaves many more and more indifferent. Another example of ‘expensive’ is the Beovision Harmony TV launched last April. Very nice, but with a price tag of no less than $15,000 dollar also very expensive. Bang & Olufsen seems to focus on an ever shrinking fan base, a niche market. That could turn out to be very annoying in the end. Time to turn the rudder, or is it too late for that?