Last week, Swedish design company Happy Plugs launched their 18 carat gold headphones at Sydney’s Luxe studios. Functional bling, you say? We’re there.
The idea of real gold headphones might seem a tad decadent, especially once we got to stand next to the shiny pretties perched behind glass in their very own spotlighted jewellery box, but there’s something very clever about this concept of adding a sense of fashion and fun to your everyday technology.
Happy Plugs founder Andreas Vural asks all his potential consumers a very simple question: “What colour are you today?”.
The success of Apple products highlighted that people respond to beauty in their technology, but Apple has tended to be quite rigid in controlling exactly how and when their product range is varied (e.g. White iPhone anyone?). Happy Plugs has captured a gap in this market by allowing users the freedom to express themselves with functional technology as they do with fashion accessories.
Now, Happy Plugs are sold in over 6,000 retailers in 50+ countries so it’s clear Andreas is doing something right.
Whilst at the launch event, we could see that Andreas practices exactly what he preaches and understands his target market very, very well. We took Andreas aside between dizzy sips of Patron Tequila to ask him about his vision for Happy Plugs and what advice he’d give to budding entrepreneurs:
1. Find yourself a good partner.
It was clear that Andreas had a great personal support network present at the launch, and he’d also thought very carefully about commercial partnerships to bolster the brand. Alongside excellent canapés, guests were served with complimentary drinks from Patron Tequila, Rekorderlig and the Botanist Gin. We may also have been guilty of taking repeated liberties with the ‘Polite In Public Photo Booth’ where guests could model different coloured earphones and take free polaroids home as a memento.
2. Design and packaging are important.
Covering almost an entire wall at Luxe Studios was a rainbow-like display of all the available colours of Happy Plugs headphones, each packaged to showcase the headphones in the shape of a musical note – a very simple but elegant touch. Andreas joked of his other more “boring” tech products – like the phone charger cable – that are packaged in the shape of a love heart, to illustrate how easily you can create appeal through clever design.
3. Find good ambassadors for your brand.
We asked Andreas to pick the ideal celebrity he’d like to model his headphones, “Lady Gaga,” he said with a grin. 🙂
All event attendees received a gift bag containing their very own set of coloured Happy Plugs (Thank you!!!). You can just imagine all of us wearing these colourful, happy headphones and telling our friends about it, can’t you? And so the happiness spreads.
*Words and photography by Claire Benito.
Happy Plugs 18 carat gold earphones.
Luxe Studios, Darlinghurst
18 February 2015