Sennheiser: What Downturn?
During a recent interview in Sydney ahead of the Australian launch of their new HD 800 headphones, which have been labelled by several magazines as the best headphones in the world, I asked Maurice Quarre the Product Manager for Sennheiser’s Home Audio Division how the recent economic downturn was affecting the privately owned Company. He responded by saying “What downturn? We are witnessing excellent double digit growth.”
Wayne Farren, the Sales and Marketing Manager at Syntec the Australian distributor of Sennheiser, said, “This is a great brand that appears to be withstanding the effects of the downturn. Year on year we are up 22% and it appears that when people are spending they are prepared to buy a quality brand over other brands.”
“There are a lot of cheap bottom end brands in the market and what we have is a strong pedigree and reputation in the professional audio market that is now being recognised in the consumer market,” said Quarre. “Currently we are developing products for two distinct markets, they are the sub $299 and over $1000 market. As a Company we gravitate to the more expensive market with the more expensive stuff. We do not manufacture low cost products and it appears that consumers are prepared to pay for them.”
“I believe that a lot of consumers do not know that they are buying a lot of low cost poor quality consumer electronics products. When we have asked people how many “Made In China” consumer electronic products they have they say one or two but when we have explored the issue further it is more 10 or 12.
“The boom in low cost iPod attach products is driving people to our product but the big difference is that we are not cheap and despite this it is not affecting our sales.”
In the noise cancelling market Sennheiser is witnessing big growth. “We are not only selling products for attach to portable devices but with the growth in inner city living we are witnessing demand for noise cancelling for the home where many consumers are living surrounded by city and environment noise,” said Quarre.