What I’ve Got: Beats by Dre (but really by Apple)

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What I’ve found really interesting and very successful in terms of business and design strategy is the buying of the Beats headphone brand by Apple, but the choice to keep them under separate brand labels.  You didn’t see all the Beats turn white and silver, but also there were subtle changes to the product line colors.  The most popular over the ear offering, the Solo HD which sells at the $199 pricepoint, now comes in colors that match the iPhone colors: space gray, gold, silver, and rose gold.  Beats products are now starting to incorporate Apple technologies, for example, the new Powerbeats 3 have an Apple W1 chip, which means they connect faster and automatically to all your devices on the same iCloud account.  This makes the wireless headphones that much more convenient for Apple users.  However, they still work perfectly well with non-Apple products, and this is true for all of their products.  If Apple had changed the Beats brand to more reflect Apple’s aesthetics or completely absorbed it, non-Apple people would be less likely to buy the products, because their design would be less compatible with outside brands.  Beats is a universal headphone company, aiming to compete with Bose and other high-end brands.  It makes a lot of sense that Apple will push their own headphone brand towards their customers, but also to the wider market.

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