So I was reading this op-ed piece over at Home Theatre Review and they were talking business, a subject that’s somewhat near and dear as my degree’s in business administration. And basically, they were talking about how things are profoundly down but no one in the home theater industry is responding appropriately.
Consumers are better educated than ever before. They’ve done their homework and they want the answer to one question: “Can you make me a deal?” They’ve surfed the net, they know what everyone else in town is asking and they want the lowest price they can get. Credit has dried up and home equity has gone underwater. People are being careful.
The industry, meanwhile, still believes they can continue to get late nineties prices on their upscale gear, and this approach is costing them. Dearly. Sales are down in virtually every industry. But how to fix it?
Simple–stress value. The home theatre industry doesn’t need to be regarded as a frivolous extra, but rather as a valuable money-saving alternative. Take advantage of the “stay-cation” movement. Talk up the ridiculous prices at the theatres. Emphasize how even a thousand dollar home theatre setup can pay for itself in a year or two of movie watching via the incredible savings over the theatre. Try the peace of mind angle–you want your teenage kid going to the movies with his or her friends? Maybe “the movies” is just a convenient cover. But with a home theatre, they’re HOME. And they’re still watching movies. They save their money…you save your sanity and a good night’s sleep.
There are lots of good marketing possibilities to keep the home theatre industry afloat. It only remains to be seen if they’ll USE any of them.