The Beats franchise was founded in 2008 and came into a very technologically competitive market that was dominated by major brands such as Sony, Bose and Sennheiser.  Although considered by many to produce an inferior quality of sound to similarly priced headphones produced by those other major companies, Beats headphones were the focus of a very successful advertising campaign centered around top level athletes.  Subsequently they have become a very fashionable item for high school and college level athletes to possess and the brand has broken out in a way that would have been difficult to predict, given the significant barriers to market entry that it faced.  This can be seen by some as a victory of desirability over functionality.

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