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  1. None of the statements below constitute an official Klipsch statement. These are my personal opinions and thoughts. Please treat them as such... I don't post a lot here (always lurking, though), so I'm not going to pretend like everyone here knows me. In short, I'm the guy who runs social media for Klipsch. I have been the voice of the Klipsch Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Google+, etc accounts for almost three years now. Anyway, in the thread about the big launch we're having at CES 2015, things got a little heated. I don't like to run social media way the traditional way - kissing every customers butt no matter what they say. BUT I do take great pride in being a far more transparent and open representative than you would find at other consumer-oriented brands. In that spirit, I would like to tackle a few subjects and many more in order to continue this transparency and openness. This is gonna be quite rambling and incoherent, but I just want to get a few things out there. I LOVE Klipsch...This is my life. This is how I feed myself (sometimes) and put clothes on my back. I spend way too much time thinking about all of this stuff and that is the same thing for 90% of the people who work there. I love coming into work and it's not like I'm getting rich off this job. I love what the company stood for and what it stands for now. We Love You...From my readings here, I think people are feeling detached from the company here - that we don't care about out. This couldn't be further from the truth. We always ask "Well, what are the forums guys gonna think about X?" Did our marketing drift away from you guys? YES. We admitted that and have taken the necessary steps to appeal both to YOU and the grander audience that we need in order to survive and thrive. We Need You...You want Klipsch to make certain products? You want Klipsch to make more stuff in the United States? TELL YOUR DEALERS! Screaming about it on the forums does almost nothing. We have to make a business case to make a new speaker and that means dealer buy-in. The fact about Klipsch business is that so little of it is done directly. We rely heavily on our dealers to move product because we simply do not have the advertising or marketing budgets to move tons of product on our own. Paul W. Klipsch...Not a single day goes by, where someone does not mention him or his audio principles. When Mark Casavant introduced the latest line to the entire company, PWK was in his very first sentence. His audio principles are literally drilled into us every single. The engineers and product managers are absolutely instructed to make products that stick to these principles. Heck, I even have four photos of him in my so-much-better-than-Chad's cube. PLUS, many of our new marketing initiatives are centered around him aka "Good Poop" blog posts, our CES 2015 audio museum, brand video, etc. As a marketing department, we are working closer than ever with Jim Hunter whose wealth of PWK knowledge is ridiculous. Jim takes almost every single visitor/guest on a tour of Klipsch HQ in which he provides in-depth commentary of PWK and his speakers. All of this is why I take great offense at some posters here who act like we have forgotten him or don't care about his legacy. That is utter horse manure through and through. Heritage Sales...Certain people seem to take great offense still that we make products that aren't Heritage. Come on, guys! If we didn't make Reference, we would have to lay off everyone. It's really that simple. No one, past or present, would/should/could want that. The ugly truth is that many/most companies would just shut down the line and move on. I know a lot of you guys recognize this already, so I apologize if it seems condescending. We would love to expand on the Heritage line but there needs to be a business case. It doesn't matter if someone from the past would be in charge. The situation would be the same. We can't just make every awesome speaker we think of, unfortunately. Made in America...Reading the above paragraph, one might think "Oh, Alex is a young punk who hates Heritage and just buys a bunch of Chinese-made crap." Deep breath! I love, love, love our Heritage line and Made in America products. I am actually saving up for Heresy speakers that I will surely pass down to my kids (if that ever happens). Oh and right now I am wearing a Gitman shirt, Flint & Tinder denim, Flint + Tinder underwear, and Chippewa Boots - all products made in America. The initiative with the Made in America blog series and partnerships with companies like Tanner Goods, Woodchuck USA, Imogene + Willie, etc is my baby and it's an initiative that has backing from everyone. We want to make more stuff in America. Even Vlad and the headphone team are looking for creative ways to get Hope involved. We'll see what happens. Heritage Opportunity...We have a unique opportunity to take advantage of a growing consumer segment - the hipster with disposable income. A popular trend right now is buying handmade and American-made products that, yes, are a little more expensive than the comparable made in China product. Our friends Tanner Goods charge $450 for their Portland-made backpack and they sell quite a few of them! It's quite remarkable. With our current Heritage lineup, we have a unique opportunity to target these consumers. We are looking for unique channels of distribution for Heritage that goes beyond audio-specific dealers. Heritage Marketing...There is a ridiculous misconception that we haven't marketed Heritage products at all and that's why they're not selling. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I don't know how many of you follow our social media channels or blog, but we talk about our Heritage speakers a ton. Also, be sure to check out the relatively new video we made for the line. Plus, our partnership with Classic Album Sundays is centered around the Heritage Series. If you don't know what it is, CAS is special listening sessions in certain parts of the world where you listen to an album all the way through with Klipschorns or La Scalas and a speaker guest speaker explaining the album. These events are great, but they are expensive, so we can't do it in as many places as we'd like. Klipsch Professional...We are making a new push with Klipsch Professional. We have great opportunities to grow here. You should see a lot of cool stuff coming through this department in the next few years. A lot of the growth will also be done behind the scenes. Concepts...Sometimes we make concepts that we aren't allowed to talk about with you guys. These can be Hope-built products that would certainly peak a lot of your interests. Sometimes, these get canned for lack of dealer support. Watch both our own and third party of the Klipsch at CES carefully! Chad and I are asking for permission to show you guys stuff, so we can drum up support for certain things, but no promises. Website Homepage...Our website currently features a bunch of products that aren't favorites here. That's because they are on discount and we have rarely ever done discounts directly through our website. It is an experiment. In any case, website hero slides will go back to our more heritage-y marketing that we all prefer on 1/1/2015. This industry is tough for high-end...Here's a little taste of the market for you. The average selling price for soundbars + bluetooth speakers dropped over 40% in only year! Isn't that crazy? We don't do the low-end market particularly well and we recognize that. In fact, we have recommitted to the high-end market. See this recent article from the Indiana Business Journal. Mistakes...We have made mistakes both in products and in marketing. There is absolutely not denying it. BUT I think everyone here is really going to like the direction we're going in both these departments going forward. Things have change SIGNIFICANTLY in the three years I've been here and I think, now, it's finally for the better. Soundbars...If you read the article above, you will know that CEO Paul Jacobs said "You can’t replace the experience of a premium home theater system with a sound bar.” Everyone here should be VERY happy about that statement and it's absolutely true. We are committed to superior home theater and two channel solutions. That's our bread and butter. That being said, our soundbars do sound great. I know from personal experience that people on these very forums thought they were hearing professional Klipsch speakers but it was actually a R-20B soundbar. So, with that in mind, let's not always scream and shout that these products can't possibly sound any good, please. No Voxx, No Klipsch...I can't go into too much detail but the reality is that when Fred Klipsch (who PWK sold the company to) decided to sell Klipsch, there were two choices - Klipsch lives through Voxx or it dies an unrecognizable death. I know many of you have fears they will run us into the ground, but, at this point, it is what it is and we ALL need to make the best about it. It's been what - 4 years? Time to move on. Criticism...Parts of this post probably come off as me being quite butt hurt and unable to take any criticism. Part of that is true haha! I should let more things go, but I think that also does show how much I care about this place. Anyway, criticism does make us better. It definitely does. That being said, sometimes this place can be brutally negative even when it doesn't make any sense. We need you guys to be part of the solution. Anyway, I hope this was worth reading in some way. I really hope it didn't come off as dick-ish or condescending. I know a lot of you recognize already what I just typed out. I am just trying to be open and honest. If you have any questions, fire them over. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Again, none of the statements above constitute an official Klipsch statement. These are my personal opinions and thoughts. Please treat them as such.
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