(Posted to the Home Theater Review blog)
Bose strategy for maximum profits:
1) Repeat over and over "We're the Best" and advertise, advertise, advertise (better compared to whom? When is the last time you heard Pioneer advertise their A/V receivers on a major radio talk show?)
2) Don't allow your products to share floor space with the competition (to prevent A-B comparisons)
3) Ensure the customers are treated warmly and kindly (who can complain with that?)
4) Slick demo interfaces with easy-to-understand interace (again, the competition could learn from this)
5) Ensure the customer stands within the near-field soundstage for great sound and imaging (never mind that no one sits within 3 feet of all their speakers at home, and the sub will never be heard again in their family rooms without major distortion at volumes required)
6) Pay high fees to the big-box stores to put their gear in the high traffic areas (kaching! Money that goes into marketing, and not hardware materials..but all paid by the consumer)
7) Proprietary cable management and RF remotes that prevent/disuade consumers from using non-Bose amplifiers/EQ's/remotes that might steal market share, or future purchases outside the corporate brand.
Again, Bose should be applauded by any capitalist for their marketing genius and I would probably buy a few shares if it was a publicly traded company. But, by no means should anyone put their consumer gear into the same category as "audiophile" equipment. It's "fair" gear, with "great" ease-of-setup by the Grandpa with lots of money, but no audiophile aspirations, or the middle-class "Joe" who has been sold on Bose by the crazy-great marketing machine that is "Bose".
PS: I've converted more friends from their "1-2-3-WTF?" or "3-2-1-Is that all?" systems than I can even remember. I then take their next $2000 and buy them excellent separates that blow their mind and still have the WAF.