Big name electronics brands and traditional audio brands have dominated and continue to dominate the headphones and speakers categories. Very few brands command premium pricing and premium placement at retail. Until Beats by Dr. Dre launched in 100 Best Buy stores in 2008.
Key issues faced
- Little to no brand awareness
- No key retailers had taken on the brand yet
- Bringing premium sound to mass consumer through lifestyle and culture
From their launch in 2008 through Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dr. Dre in 2014, Powerplay partnered with Beats by Dr. Dre and their major retail partners to ensure extremely comprehensive go-to-market plans were executed perfectly, both in-store and online. Powerplay’s combined sales and operations teams excelled at managing extensive high-level teams across multiple retail/brand/distributor/manufacturer/investor/celebrity partners, earning a number of retailers vendor-of-the-year awards. By the time millions of people around the world saw their first-ever Super Bowl commercial, which tagged Best Buy (no small feat), Beats by Dr. Dre had gone from non-existent to #1 market share in both headphones and speakers categories.
In 2011, NPD Group reported that Beats’ market share was 64% in the U.S. for headphones priced higher than US$100, and the brand was valued at US$1 billion in September 2013.
Partnering with Best Buy’s Renew Blue turnaround strategy, Beats by Dr. Dre executed multiple “shop in shop” experience stores across the country. Powerplay’s years of retail experience on all sides of the table were critical to the execution and ongoing success of complex and expensive deployments.
On August 1, 2014, Apple Inc. acquired Beats for US$3 billion in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.