by Elisabeth Thieriot
On an autumn afternoon, my assistant Jacklyn and I walked into Bang & Olufsen’s newly established San Francisco concept store, an intimate yet innovative retail space. Kathy Thornton-Bias, the president of Bang & Olufsen, was finishing up her earlier meeting, so we took a seat to experience the Bang & Olufsen technology first-hand. We sat on a couch facing the freshly designed BeoVision Avant 75 television, complete with 4K clarity and a sound system that delivers well-balanced sound. What a treat!
As we began watching the BeoVision Avant 75, we noticed that it had the unique capability of tilting in all angles depending on the onlookers’ positions, optimized through a sleek remote control with personalized preset options. This means you can maintain ideal viewing while sitting up or while getting comfortable with your mate lying down. Also, the recently patented glass screen ensures pristine clarity and sharpness and allows for a complete viewing without any visual distortion, no matter where you are situated. Additionally, the BeoLab 20 wireless floor speakers fill rooms of any size with superb sound quality without the worry of unappealing wires that guests or children can trip over. These features ultimately enhance your viewing experience without question, exemplifying how Bang & Olufsen’s concept of integrating high-performance and high-end products with “emotional appeal” into a home or lifestyle works seamlessly. Their commitment to excellence is why they are the leader in innovation and design and also why we consider them the Haute Couture brand in their industry in Europe.
Once Kathy and I officially met, we began to further examine the technology behind Bang & Olufsen products. I learned that they build their products on their proprietary patents. I was not disclosed the technical part of it, but rather, I was exposed to the experience. The patents were kept secret from my exploration of the new technology. I learned that all progress and development are the result of accommodating lifestyle needs—how simplistic, yet how perfect! I also learned that this old European company is a baby in America. I, for one, have grown up with their sound, and hearing it was equal to feeling Dior or Chanel on the body. Their products are advanced, modern, and sensual in technology and design, designed to perform and last as investment pieces. Simply put, Bang & Olufsen chooses to use, implement, and build smart technology that it is functional, expansive, and durable—this brand is not a five-minute fad. There is no desire to change or upgrade. It is the quintessential element that makes life beautiful, with sound and visuals adding a sense of permanence that defines the European established brand.
I wonder, sometimes, if people realize how much more it costs them to frequently adjust the life quality aid products, not only in repeated payments, but also in the time taken away from them to locate and acquire them.
Maybe Bang & Olufsen seems unfamiliar for now to U.S. consumers, but so were the same caliber brands such as Gucci, Dior, and Chanel when they first crossed the pond.
As Kathy has incredible experience with brand development, I am now in a comfortable spot to watch her embark on a mission to grow Bang & Olufsen in America with the enthusiasm of a teenager. What a beautiful thing it is to be involved with bringing a brand with such a rich history and high status from Europe to American territory and to be a part of a new understanding that things do not need to be disposable, but rather part of the life experience and memories! Bang & Olufsen’s products are built to last for us, reflecting their ideal of creating products that “[exist] to move you with enduring magical experiences.” Born to be exclusive and custom-tailored to fit your lifestyle, Bang & Olufsen’s exquisite technology products certainly epitomize the values and characteristics of Haute Couture.