Skullcandy Goes for Epic Win
The Park City, Utah-based company designs and sells audio and gaming headphones, and other related accessories geared toward the younger set, who are into video games and alternative-action sports. It sells under three brands: Skullcandy, Astro Gaming and 2XL, its lower-priced model.
Skullcandy considers itself "one of the world's most distinct audio brands by bringing color, character and performance to an otherwise monochromatic space; helping to revolutionize the audio arena by introducing headphones, ear buds and other audio and wireless lifestyle products that possess unmistakable style and exceptional performance," according to its website.
The company's products are sold and distributed through a variety of channels in the U.S. and about 80 countries worldwide.
"Skullcandy revolutionized what was then a boring
(Full disclosure: I listened to Andrus' presentation via my Skullcandy earbuds.)
With more than 76,000 Twitter followers and nearing 2 million Facebook fans, Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, has got quite a following. The company attributes that to strong brand development, in part by having "brand ambassadors," a list of professional athletes like NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Australian professional surfer Owen Wright and Buffalo Bills' Stevie Johnson, among its users.
"These people live the Skullcandy lifestyle," Andrus says. "They love the Skullcandy brand and are great ambassadors for what we are doing."
Andrus sees opportunity in the global headphone market, estimated at $5 billion and growing, by "executing on a dual-brand gaming strategy," referring to its Skullcandy and Astro Gaming brands for gaming headsets, and in international markets.
"We're big believers that as smart devices proliferate and our consumers spend more time on them, they care more about performance. ... Not all brands are created equal," Andrus says.
"Gaming has a lot of overlap with audio," he says. "It's a growing marketplace. It's a relatively new category and it's really grown in the last three or four years,
"A lot of gamers aren't using headsets yet," Andrus says.
Andrus doesn't seem deterred. "We built an in-house design team that is critical to our ongoing strategy of all of our brands," he says. "Product is huge ... we will win with great product."