No one wants to admit that they need hearing aids and no one really wants to wear them. But, just about everyone uses some kind of ear buds, either for their cell phone or for listening to music and podcasts on any number of mobile electronic devices.
Hearing aids are medical devices. Ear buds are consumer products.
The best comparison I can come up with is that hearing aids are like orthopedic shoes while enhanced ear buds are like Nike Airs with high-tech insoles. There is no social stigma to ear buds. In fact, they have a cool factor to them.
Quietly, the ear bud market has begun to offer more tools for their products to enhance sound quality. These tools include phone apps with sophisticated dashboards for cancelling ambient noise and for facilitating conversation in noisy environments.
Ironically, these are two major features of expensive hearing aids.
So are ear phone manufacturers going directly after the hearing aid market? Not really, but that is the beauty of what they offer. They are focusing on consumer products rather than medical products.
There is one company, Bose, which is offering a product that has been explicitly created to assist users with their hearing. It’s called HearphonesTM.
A pair looks an awful lot like some version of ear buds, but they do so much more. Let me ask you. If you are a baby boomer like me, would you rather wear hearing aids or a Bose-branded set of ear buds?
SGD is the Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets since 1984. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded hearing aid companies, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response.
About the Author: Duff Reiter is an Account Director / Planner at SGD Advertising specializing in senior / boomer, healthcare, lifestyle, financial, travel / leisure and technology brands since 1984.