HARMAN Luxury Update
Determining What Products Come to Market is a Team Effort
by Dave Tovissi
Vice President and General Manager
HARMAN Luxury Audio
A couple of weeks ago, before Major League Baseball kicked off the 2022 regular season, program directors from several networks chose to air one of the best movies about the game that I have ever seen. Moneyball is based on a true story about how the Oakland Athletics, a small-market team, used analytics to build a winning team of uniquely skilled players. It delved deep into how general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, challenged the traditional method of selecting players to fill his roster. Instead of picking players based on emotional and gut feelings, he enlisted a Yale-educated economist named Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, to pick players based on key components of the game. Any company which looks for a competitive advantage should be applying qualitative and quantitative analytics to help define their short-term and long-term business plans. I am sure analytics played a big reason in why the networks chose to air Moneyball just before the season started to leverage the excitement of the fans!
Qualitative data is sometimes referred to as categorical data. It can be arranged into categories based on physical traits, colors or anything that does not have a number associated with it. For example, we offer our JBL L100 Classis loudspeakers with a choice of either blue, orange or black quadrex grille choices. The three color choices would be considered qualitative data. In contrast, quantitative data has numbers associated to qualitative data of shared feature set which can be used to determine which color of grille is going to be ordered by a customer in your market.
At a basic level, analytics offers us additional sources of information that we can use to make better informed decisions. Having various sources of information and different perspectives available when deciding which products we want to bring to market can help us arrive at the best decision given the circumstances. HARMAN Luxury Audio has tremendous resources available for us to lead our product development.
Source: Futuresource Luxury Audio Market Report, Dec 2021
Evelyn Heinbach, Senior Director of Strategy for HARMAN Consumer Audio, authored an interesting article featured in this month’s newsletter about some of the data and trends her team is monitoring for our business unit. Evelyn provides our product teams insights on current sales and future trends which we use to develop our new products.
Besides Evelyn’s input, we also subscribe to a number of research and market trend sites that look at relevant trends in the market we need to pay attention to. We track and analyze trends globally and regionally.
Regardless of the type of data we receive from our analysts, we also take the time to validate it with our customers before we invest in product development and engineering. That is why we have Dealer Product Councils. This month we kicked of the first of several planned Product Councils by meeting with a select group of JBL Synthesis dealers to update them on the trends that our analysts suggest we should be paying attention to.
The feedback from the dealers confirmed that most trends we are following are also occurring in their markets. We then showed these dealers future product concepts that are in various states of design and engineering and asked their opinions on relevancy and price. We will prioritize our investments in new products based on their level of interest in our products.
If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Dealer Product Council, please drop me an email with your choice of what brand you want to help determine the product roadmap in. With better data and better perspectives, we have better outcomes.