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JBL Smartwatch: Revolutionising Audio and Smart Wearables

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1. Introduction: JBL Smartwatch: Revolutionising Audio and Smart Wearables

JBL is an American audio equipment manufacturer company located in Los Angeles, California and established in 1946. This audio electronics company is presently owned by Harman International and JBL is known for serving the professional market and consumer homes. JBL was established by James Bullough Lansing, who was originally a loudspeaker designer and engineer of audio equipment who established two organisations d “JBL’ and “Atlec Lansing”. Popular products in the professional market of included wireless Bluetooth speakers, home theatre systems, soundbars, home speakers, computer speakers, subwoofers and Android and iOS headphones (jbl.com, 2023). The professional market of JBL also incorporates music production, studios, cars, cinema market, DJ, and portable sound. JBL is a popular audio device manufacturing organisation due to its wide range of products available at a reasonable price with good quality. JBL has acquired revenue growth of 12.47% and a market share of nearly 34.07% in the last four months of 2022.

Products of JBL

Figure 1: Products of JBL

2. About the Brand

2.1 Brand mission

JBL is an audio electronic company focused on combining passion and business purpose for designing and delivering smart quality products, services, software, and systems for connecting people everywhere all over the world. The company has concentrated on values, integrity, excellence, innovation, and inclusion (hyun Kim et al. 2019). JBL has implemented innovation curated with intention of driving their operational excellence which has helped in enhancing their breakthrough performance. Generating customer value with entertaining and personalised services is the mission of JBL for obtaining strong shareholder returns.

2.2 Brand elements

The brand identity of JBL has been created by its logo which comprised a watermark and the legendary exclamation point symbol. This exclamation point symbol was designed by Jerome Gould who is also the designer of the Pepsi logo. The of the company was placed inside of the circle of that exclamation symbol which has created an iconic logo of JBL. JBL has created a positive brand image by following its organisational purpose which focuses on providing productive and entertaining services and audio devices at a reasonable price to customers worldwide.

2.3 Brand architecture

The brand architecture of JBL consists of five key factors, ly, product attributes, product benefits, emotional benefits, brand personality, and brand core or brand essence. The product attributes of JBL that have helped to create a positive brand image are flexible design and first processors. JBL provides product benefits of high performance and easier to use with emotional benefits relying on customer satisfaction which has made this brand reliable and trustworthy.

2.4 Target audience

The target audience of JBL includes both customers belonging to middle-class and rich-class income backgrounds. The company usually follows a “skimming pricing strategy” for the latest products, in the beginning, targeting the highest-paying customers at first (Keller, 2020). Their diversified range of products is designed for customers of every age and for those who are highly technology savvy. A wide range of products by JBL helped the company to serve better with affordable prices for middle-class background customers.

3. About the Category

3.1 Market data

Market share of the leading wireless headphone vendors

Figure 2: Market share of the leading wireless headphone vendors

JBL held the highest share of the wireless headphone market in the third quarter part of 2019 and was responsible for 13% of the market share. Sony has accounted for a 10% market share while Bose has accounted for an 8% market share and placed in number three.

3.2 Competitors

According to Hillerin, (2022), the close competitors of JBL are Bose Corporation, Boat Lifestyle, Motorola Mobility, Sony, and Sennheiser. JBL has ranked 1 based on CEO score comparably versus its competitors. Boat Lifestyle is an internet-first brand providing multicategory electronic devices and is the major competitor of JBL in terms of modified technology products.

3.3 Market trends

As of 2020, the demand for headphones in the market has increased and JBL has utilised this opportunity by introducing various types of earphones. Elizabeth, (2020), stated that this trend is driven by the global pandemic and it has enhanced the profitability of several electronic audio device manufacturing companies. In the ever-changing audio industry, this brand has achieved nearly 35% market share even before the emergence of the global pandemic. JBL follows a skimming pricing strategy for quickly reaching the targeted customers in the global market.

3.4 Positioning of the brand within the category

According to Fayyaz and Syed, (2020), the selection of the targeted audience and effective distribution of the brand outlet has helped JBL to create positive brand awareness. As it is a global company it always tries to fulfil consumer demand with its state-of-the-art technology at an affordable price range. The initial execution of the skimming pricing strategy has helped to achieve more financial growth by serving the demands of the highest-paying customers.

4. Brand Health

4.1 Identified issues with the brand JBL

As per Sanders et al. (2019), JBL has faced issues regarding the offering of advanced technology products at an affordable price range. JBL has created successful brand equity through their organisational purpose of serving consumers at a reasonable price while offering cutting-edge technology products. The consumers have also faced technical problems with product quality and usage which minimises the durability and serviceability of this brand. The quality deterioration in the last two years has diminished the brand equity of JBL and also weakened the targeted audience preference. Loss of Bluetooth connection, the crackling of speakers, and poor battery life are the technical issues in the products that have reduced the competitive advantage of JBL in this market niche.

4.2 Analysis using Keller model

According to Keller and Brexendorf, (2019), the Keller model is implemented for evaluating the overall brand performance based on five key factors. “Primary characteristics and features” of a brand are responsible for making a consistent and favourable brand image. The brand image is dependent on “product reliability, durability, and serviceability”. “Service effectiveness, efficiency, and empathy” is the major factor for creating preference of consumers towards the specific brand. “Style and design” is the factor that provides a competitive advantage to a particular brand in this highly competitive business era. Lastly “price” is the important factor that significantly affects the choice of customers.

Keller’s brand equity model

Figure 3: Keller’s brand equity model

These four steps of the Keller model have helped JBL to strengthen its brand image where the first step is to create a brand identity. Brand identity and awareness of JBL are finding the brand meaning in terms of brand performance and imagery (Tasci, 2020). It defines how well the company has become able to fulfil the needs and demands of customers. Brand response from customers is dependent on quality, credibility, and consideration and JBL has achieved their position through their product quality. Brand resonance refers to the bond created between the customers and the brand which is the most desirable and difficult level.

4.3 Overall conclusion covering strengths and weaknesses of the brand

JBL has successfully created its brand image through its pricing strategy and positioning its brand in its market niche. The skimming pricing strategy which targets providing products at a high price to the highest paying consumers initially has given them high revenue. Mazzù and Jelinek, (2021), referred that JBL is trying to establish brand resonance as many companies are currently competing in this ever-changing market niche. A wide range of targeted customer bases has compelled the company to offer products at a very low price, creating comprise with product quality. The company has reduced their price gradually with the introduction of new models, discounts, and differentiation and has compromised with the quality with time.


5. Introduction

The sub-brand is the JBL Smart Watch which will have some extraordinary features which it will attract a humongous number of customers. Moreover, it is significant to note that the sub-brand will be trying to provide some features of smartwatches which include locating the smartphone, keys and cars. It will also help individuals to make and receive calls, smart compass, control gestures, accepting commands which are verbal and so on. The sub-brand will be trying to capture the attention of buyers and changes their buying behaviour with the help of several factors that includes display technology, design and personalisation, calling and mobile payments and many more. These features of the sub-brand, JBL Smartwatch will help to grow more in the contemporary business world extensively.

New generation smartwatches

Figure 4: New generation smartwatches

6. Rationale for the new sub-brand

6.1 Market Data Supporting the Introduction

According to Radnejad, Ziolkowski and Osiyevskyy, (2021), it is evident that the 2022-2030 CAGR of the Smartwatch industry the CAGR has increased comprehensively to 9.5%. Moreover, the market for smartwatches is driven by increasing disposable income and enhanced health awareness as well. On the other hand, Baudier et al. (2020), this smartwatch sub-brand will also try to input certain automotive and navigation features in the smartwatches so that it can be able to attract a humongous number of customers and enhance its sales and profit margin in the long run. It is also evidence that the global smartwatch market size rapidly increased to US dollar 33431.2 million in 2022. The hybrid smartwatch of the brand JBL will be a fusion of certain traditional mechanical watches and smart features as well as having some touch display and charging functionality. In addition, particularly people from the upper classes who have higher income levels will show great interest in buying these smart watches as these are quite complex.

6.2 Role of the sub-brand in the portfolio

According to Baba et al. (2019), this concept can be best understood with the help of the theory of product development which is also called new product management. This usually refers to a series of stages that inculcates the conceptualisation, development and design of the products in the marketplace. It is also concerned with the newly developed products and the re-branded goods and services which are needed to be promoted in the market for getting enhanced monetary benefits in the competitive edge. Product development also includes an entire journey of the product from its initial idea to its market release. JBL smartwatch will be targeting customers and will help them to increase its annual revenue significantly.

6.3 Target audience for new sub-brand of JBL

JBL smartwatch will be targeting customers who are having high-income level and who are from the higher classes of society. They will be more interested in the smartwatch with an automotive controlling and navigating system. As per Ghazali et al. (2020), the targeted customers will be from the ages of 18 to 35 as people from this age group are more inclined to use smartwatches than the other ages.

6.4 Kapferer pyramid for business model

The Kapferer brand identity prism refers Kyon business model that contains 6 unique attributes of a brand identity. These attributes are personality, relationship, culture, reflection, self-image and physique. Moreover, physique refers to the visible and common design attributes of a brand through which a customer can be able to differentiate the brand from the other brands. According to Cai et al. (2020), personality refers to the ways through which of brand usually communicates with the outside world in the market place which can be easily expressed through the tone and voice and design and copywriting.

Kapferer Model

Figure 5: Kapferer Model

In addition, culture refers to the values system and the principles that the subtrahend of JBL will be following to encourage the workforce and bring innovation within the organisational culture. The relationship between the brand and its customers tries to make the customers satisfied that eventually helping the business organisation to enhance its sales and gain more profitability in the competitive edge.

7. The Image of the Sub-brand

7.1 Identity and personality of new sub-brand

The sub-brand will look quite extraordinary and attractive to the people. Hence, it will have the capacity to bring and engage more customers in the process of purchasing the smartwatches which will be helping the sub-brand to enhance annual revenue through the enhancement of sales as well. Some of the features of this particular sub-brand will be making and receiving calls from the common navigation system and also listening to verbal commands as well world (Cai et al. 2020). The smartwatch will be helping customers to navigate to new and distant lands which will help in attracting more customers so that JBL Smart Watch can gain more monetary benefits in the competitive business.

7.2 Changes to the brand elements

Some of the changes that are required in the smartwatch sub-brand are that the features of making faster calls and navigation must be revised so that their features can help the customers comprehensively. Moreover, the sub-brand must also implement new features of playing music and accessing notifications and sending verbal messages from one smartwatch to the other through internet connectivity. It will help the sub-brand to enhance its sales which will automatically lead to brand establishment, brand awareness and profit maximisation as well (Baba et al. 2019). Even a changed feature of the emergency call will also help the sub-brand to attract more customers in the long run which helps in better sustainability of the sub-brand in the competitive business world.

7.3 Appeal to targeted customer by the sub-brand

The sub-brand will be trying to appeal to the new product in the marketplace with the help of marketing and advertising policies. The sub-brand will be using social media networking channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to market and promote the smartwatches so that the general public can become aware of the new smartwatches and the features that the sub-brand is going to offer to its customers. This is one such way with the help of each the promotion of the girls and services can be possible and it will also help the company to gain enhanced benefits in the competitive edge.


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