When you talk to people you find at your shows, does anybody mention Bose? That is, does anyone mention Bose, if you don't bring it up?
Let's exclude the conversations you might have with other performers or people in the business. Let's talk about ordinary folks who are there when you are performing.
I had a great conversation with someone yesterday. She is not a performer, but she loves live music and gets out there when she can. So we got talking about whether or not she would be more or less inclined to go to hear a band that used the L1®.
If we exclude Guitar Players (or survivors of relationships with Guitar Players), I don't think I have ever had someone come up to me and comment about my instruments by brand name.
I have had people come and remark on the instruments in a more general way like this:
- Is that a Guitar? (pointing at a headless Steinberger)
- That sure is pretty.
- That's different than you had last time isn't it?
- My son/daughter/brother/sister/etc is thinking of playing Guitar. What would you suggest?
Excluding people who "do sound", I have NEVER had someone ask about my (pre-L1®) PA gear.
What about the L1®?
I get lots of comments about how nice it sounds. (nice and clear, not too loud, I can hear the lyrics, I can hear it everywhere, ...)
Many people seem to like the way it looks. (slim, unobtrusive, professional, tidy, tiny, fits right in, fades into the background)
I've had a couple of people - well guys, because I think only guys would ask - a couple of people have asked about using the L1®s for home theatre applications.
This all came out of that conversation yesterday. I realized after talking about peoples' responses to the L1®, that there was very little interest in the equipment itself.
Having thought about it for a little while I get to this place. Why people don't seem to care that it's Bose.
Of course not. If they are there to hear the music, then they are there to hear the music, not the gear.
Most of the time, physically and in almost a symbolic way, we are standing in front of the L1®. We are the show. The L1® is an enabling technology. It supports what we do. But once we get past, "Is it working?" Does it matter that it's Bose?
I think it does matter, but at a very subtle level. I honestly believe that the L1® allows us to do what we do, and for many of us, it allows us to share that more effectively than we might have in the past. That's pretty subtle to our audiences.
"You sound way better than you did last time. Have you done something new with your hair?"
That's pretty absurd, but consider this. Unless people are really interested in the technology of sound, why would they connect a better show to better gear?
Maybe they do care. Maybe they look at the logo and associate that with all the positive experiences they have with the Bose name. Maybe it says something about us because we use this gear. For one thing, it doesn't look cheap.
But perhaps it just doesn't make for good conversation.
What do you think?
ST, September 25, 2008
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