STRATEGY / INNOVATION / COMMUNICATION
Bang & Olufsen bring a female perspective to Smart Audio
Bang & Olufsen is renowed world wide for the iconic design of it’s audio products – but still there was a missing link to make women love and buy B&O’s offerings.
In 2009 Bang & Olufsen joined the Female Interaction research project. design-people’s user insight team analysed the customer journey from a female perspective and the results showed clearly why women weren’t as cheerful about B&O as the company wished. The website didn’t communicate the benefits of their advance multi-room audio system clearly and appealing to her. When a couple came to an B&O shop the salesmen tended to address the man, explaining advanced features of the system to him. The Beosound 5 product itself felt complicated to operate for her and it stole too much of people’s attention when installed in a living room. The Female Interaction guidelines and a concept study that reinvented the Beosound 5 based on female user preferences showed B&O a way out. Changing the communication of the existing products was the low hanging fruit – so B&O began to shoot new pictures with people and products in attractive and aesthetic use situations. When developing new products the benchmark users that formerly had been a men with disposable income changed to be his female spouse. Rather than focusing on audio tech-specs and product design B&O now became far more determined to create appealing user experiences – which led to successful new products attractive to both female- and male buyers.
A recent example is the Moment Smart Home Audio system – a one touch audio system that is deeply inspired by a female take on music and Smart Home technology: Moment can provide precisely the atmosphere you are looking for. “Start a sound experience that fits your mood, with just one touch”. The option of hiding the display by flipping it around provides discreet and smooth experience in everyday use: “Just touch the wooden interface and BeoSound Moment will do the rest, effortlessly filling the room with the music you love”. According to Bang & Olufsen Head of concept development, Lyle Clarke, the findings of Female Interaction clearly demonstrate that women want benefits, not features.
There is a trend led by women to keep technology in the background. We will be dared on both courage and ability to make products appear and behave more low-tech than they actually are. Female Interaction has been a driver behind this way of developing at Bang & Olufsen.
Female benchmark strategy
Some of our clients