When Good Products Go Bad
The Downfall of Monster Products
Like all good monster movies - at the end the monster dies...
Once a mighty juggernaut in the custom installation (CI) market, Monster Products has shifted its attention to headphones and other consumer electronics - thereby banishing itself into certain irrelevancy among custom integrators.
There was a time in our recent past where our slat walls were filled with various Monster cables, adapters, accessories and power protection devices. Our installation vehicles were stocked with pull boxes of Monster speaker wire, network wire and coaxial cable. Nearly every Audio Den project had a Monster Power Center at its core. Those days are gone.
As Monster grew more interested in equipping every tween on the planet with flashy looking, crappy sounding headphones, their interest in supporting the needs of custom integrators like Audio Den fell off the proverbial cliff. At the same time, other manufacturers have invested enormous amounts of time, effort and money to fill the void. With digital audio and video formats evolving at a breathtaking pace, new custom wiring and accessory solutions are essential for Audio Den to meet the ever-changing needs of our clientele. It is clear that Monster gave up on this kind of innovation a long time ago.
Most if not all of the great minds that developed products like the once famous line of Monster Power centers have moved on to other firms. In their place, marketing strategists were installed to develop new and exciting ways to repackage the same old, tired products. Nothing says "innovation" like a fancy new bubble pack or color scheme. I’ve got an idea…let’s take the same wire and give it three different SKUs, thereby allowing different retailers to sell it at wildly disparate price points to consumers? Oh Godzilla, are you really going to attack Tokyo...again?
These days, Audio Den receives regular updates from an assortment of new CI manufacturers, touting their latest introductions. Often times, these updates include generous offers for us to beta test some of the products they have in development. Most importantly, these new market makers have reached out to companies like ours to inquire about our needs. They want to know what we need to be more successful. How can they adapt their product offerings (or simply the process by which we place orders) to make our job easier? Now there's a concept!
In addition to jettisoning their commitment to CI technological innovation, Monster has recently cut ties with the rep firms that tirelessly helped them establish their market dominence. So, now not only are the CI product offerings stale - the personal touch that we came to rely on for support has vanished. C’est la vie.
There's one main differene between the end to this monster movie and those I grew up watching on Sunday afternoons. At the end of those movies, I would always feel bad about the monster's demise.