How Celebrity Branding Has Let Dre Beats Inferior Headphones Successfully Sell At A High Premium

The New York Times had an article about Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones. What’s interesting about this product is that the reviews are really bad, one review saying:

“In terms of sound performance, they are among the worst you can buy…They are absolutely, extraordinarily bad.” – Tyll Hertsens, editor in chief of InnerFidelity.com

But because these headphones look sharp and are branded by Dr Dre, they sell for $300 nearly 10 times the price of ear buds that come with iPods ($35) and people buy them. Even with the ridiculously higher price and poor reviews, Dre Beats have annual sales  approaching $500 million dollars. All of this showcasing the power of how celebrity endorsement and image can mask the quality of a product and enhances their ability to be sold at a higher price point, even though cheaper alternatives of better quality are available.

These headphones are more so a fashion accessory, some people buy them do so for the image associated with them, not really for quality. If people are satisfied with paying more for headphones to make a fashion statement then I don’t have a problem with that. But I do feel sorry for the majority of people that don’t know any better, want high quality headphones, see the price and image of Dre Beats thinking they are the best, buy them, and end up suffering, being ripped off paying way more than they should have.

Dre Beets

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