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Michael Hageloh evaluates the Apple/Beats acquisition, and considers the extent to which it solves Apple’s “cool” problem.
When it was announced that Apple would acquire Beats Music and Beats Electronics in a $3 billion deal, there was much speculation about what this would mean for the future of one of the world’s preeminent electronics companies. While it remains to be seen exactly how Apple will integrate and utilize the Beats technology, there are already some clear implications from the deal—and Apple insider Michael Hageloh has responded to some of them, in a new statement to the press.
“One of the immediate effects of the Beats acquisition is to generate chatter about Apple’s growing ‘coolness’ quotient,” Hageloh comments. In fact, a recent survey, conducted by education technology company Chegg, finds that the Beats acquisition has already made Apple appear hipper in the minds of many consumers. For the survey, 10,000 students were asked their take on the deal—most of whom were already familiar with the Beats brand. More than half of the respondents—60 percent—were already familiar with the Apple/Beats deal, and one quarter claimed that the deal will make Apple more “cool.” About half of the respondents claimed that the Beats acquisition would increase the popularity of Apple among students.
“This may well be one of the results Tim Cook hoped to achieve,” Hageloh states. “Cook is an excellent operations guy, and he surely looked at all the right sales forecasts to know that Apple needed to increase its coolness factor among younger, student-age consumers. Perhaps this was the primary goal of the Beats acquisition all along—not necessarily to buy the Beats technology, but to buy Beats’ hot public image.”
Michael Hageloh notes that, while the strategy may ultimately prove effective, it marks a distinct change from the way things were done during the Steve Jobs era. “Steve Jobs was a salesman first and foremost, and led the company in creating and selling its own brand of cool,” Hageloh remarks. “Now the company is buying its way into the minds of consumers, leveraging the ‘cool’ quotient of acquired brands—a major change in approach.”
Certainly, Beats has coolness in spades. Mac Rumors notes that the Beats headphones are widely criticized for their subpar sound quality, yet their fashionable appearance makes them big sellers among younger consumers. “Beats accounts for 27 percent of the $1.8 billion headphone market and more than half (57 percent) of the premium market for headphones with a starting price tag of $100 or more,” the article suggests.
More information about Michael Hageloh is available at his personal website, www.hageloh.com.
Serving as director of special projects focused on the sales education initiative at the University of South Florida, Michael Hageloh is a proven sales executive with more than 20 years of experience.
Much of that experience is with Apple Inc., where he began in the company’s education division in 1988. Hageloh moved into a crucial role within Apple’s sales organization. In that role, he developed a vertical education selling strategy and forged relationships with thought leaders, policymakers, and other influencers in the education and technology spheres. He also acquired experience in a key academic sales role at Adobe, where he facilitated, along with French banking and financial services firm Socit Gnrale, a unique single licensing transaction valued at $11.7 million. Overall, Hageloh delivered close to a billion dollars in revenue during the course of his career.
Hageloh is the creator of the Rhythm-Selling System. He’s a high-spirited author, a beat-ahead thinker, and a charismatic authentic talker. Hageloh can be contacted online via his website, www.hageloh.com, his Facebook page, and on Twitter.