Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

Earphone Identity

The compulsion to personalize inanimate objects goes to your head.

~A

Earphone Identity – New York Times
Remember when white earbuds had status? Jonathan Hall does. But these days, as he and his fellow rail commuters in the tristate area know, the iPod’s once-cutting-edge headphones confer as much distinction as a gray-flannel suit. A couple of years ago, Hall and his wife, Kate, decided that there must be a way to capitalize on this shift. IPod add-ons, including cases and “skins,” had become big business by then — but those items decorated only the main device, which was usually stuffed in a pocket, out of sight. Today, the Halls, who are both 29, have sold tens of thousands of pairs of flexible rubber charms called Emotibuds, which clip onto earbuds, almost like earrings. Each pair (they sell for $12 for a set of three pairs) features a blocky little face that incorporates an emoticon into a cute cartoon visage. There are a variety of faces, each set against a bright color and corresponding with a mood, like “starry-eyed” or “frisky.” Recently, Emotibuds were part of the online design store FredFlare.com’s Next Big Thing contest, and while they didn’t win, the store has had to reorder them at least four times to meet demand.

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Filed under: Consumer, Customization, fashion

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