December 26, 2023

The JBL PartyBox 310

When you live in Maricopa County, you largely live outside. Phoenix is the sunniest large city in the world.

If you live outside, you entertain outside. If you entertain outside, you need music. If you need music, you need a good outdoor speaker - not one of those tiny bluetooth speakers that, at best, provide ambient music for a gathering of three people. You need something that could be heard in Yavapai County if necessary.

Two-and-a-half years ago I shelled out cash for a JBL PartyBox 110. This thing sounded so good that numerous neighbors also purchased the speaker.

And yet ... it didn't sound "perfect". On a scale from 0 to 100, it sounded like an 88. That gnawed at me. Welcome to capitalism, Kevin!

Fortunately, JBL thought through this issue ... they anticipated that idiots like me would "want more". They complement their 110 model with better units ... the 310 ... the 710 ... the 1000 ... and the Ultimate! Each unit is incrementally better, and incrementally more expensive!


Now, the 110 and 310 can be plugged in or played via battery. The battery is so darn cool! You can pick up the speaker and place it by the pool or in your outdoor seating area. It can bluetooth to your tablet in your house if you want. The 710 ... it's not portable and there is no battery, but there is a video where a guy plays it at 100% volume, distortion free, and can hear it from four hundred feet away ... that's more than a football field. So yes, the 710 sounds incredible (I can't imagine what the 1000 or the Ultimate sound like), but for a residential back yard, it's probably not worth spending a few hundred extra dollars.

The 310, however, has proven worth spending $150 more. In my opinion, the sound quality improves from 88 to 94. For the average person, that level of improvement is nothing ... it's not worth spending extra money. For me, it's completely worth spending the extra money. The bass is better ... you can feel it in your chest if you turn the volume up. You can hear the speaker from several houses away ... good for the owner, bad for the neighborhood.

There are dozens of online videos comparing each speaker ... you're told to put your headphones on so you can "hear" the difference. These are outdoor music enthusiasts performing free marketing on behalf of JBL.

This brings me to your business.

Online, you'll read thousands of experts who tell you how to leverage marketing to improve your business. Almost none of the experts tell you how to leverage merchandise/product to improve your business. There's a good reason for this. It's HARD work, and it is "localized" work, meaning what works for one business might not work for another business. In other words, the JBL strategy of line extensions works for JBL ... but could it possibly work the same way for Orvis? Maybe yes, maybe no. Could it work for Coach? Absolutely!!

It isn't easy to get customers to so enjoy a product line that they'll unnecessarily spend incremental dollars on "better" replacement items while performing marketing for you free of charge. But if you have a product line that can be extended with better items that cost more ... and if you have a portion of the customer base that CARES ... who willing spend more money to satiate a need ... who will also testify about satiating that need ... well, now you have something. You are now able to leverage product/line extensions to perform marketing functions at no cost. Now you'll acquire new customers without having to pay Facebook a tax.

If we don't have a product line that performs this function, well, maybe that's part of our failure as shepherds of the brands we manage, right? It's one thing to say WINTER SALE, TAKE 75% OFF!! It's quite another thing to have a random YouTuber explain your product line for you causing customers to spend money they wouldn't normally spend to acquire improved products that aren't improved enough to truly matter.

In 2024, you'll want to capitalize on this concept. Spend less time paying taxes to Google and Facebook. Spend more time exaggerating line extensions that are interesting enough to cause people to testify on your behalf.



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