Skullcandy restructures, creates president
Fashion that plays music has been such a successful idea for Skullcandy, the Park City headphone company, that its growth recently prompted the creation of a new position: president.
Organizational changes are common in companies growing at breakneck speeds. Skullcandy has grown over 100 percent during each of its meager five years.
Jeremy Andrus, former chief operating officer, was given a new title, president, to expand his role in managing the day-to-day operations of the company. Founder Rick Alden, will remain the chief executive officer, but will fine-tune his role to focus on Skullcandy’s vision.
"Three or four years ago we focused on building the brand, but we’re always thinking ‘How big can this company and brand get?’" Andrus explained. "We can say now there’s a lot of appetite for the Skullcandy brand, people love it but how do we best configure a team to grow nationally and internationally?"
In the last 24 months the product has expanded its opportunities in sales channels, he said, gaining shelf space in such national retailers as Target, Best Buy and F.Y.E. They’ve also grown in regional markets with stores such as RC Willey and the Nebraska Furniture Mart, as well as international markets. The headphones can be found in most airports and campus bookstores.
"With each new level is increased responsibility with the size of the team," Andrus said. "(The change was) partly a result of the changes and growth we’ve experienced, and partly in preparation for future growth."
The more it grows, the more the success of the business will not just depend on a good idea, but building a team that has strong expertise, he explained.
As Andrus and Alden delineate their roles, they must recruit and manage the world team to bring the business to the next level, Andrus said.
"A lot about business comes down to execution to make sure a brand ends up in front of consumers around the world," he said.
John Lisicich, director of U.S. sales, agreed that the past success of the business has been due to the solidifying of relationships with the national retail stores, and also believes the brand will continue to grow exponentially.
"I think a lot of it is the passion and excitement surrounding the brand," he said. "People are passionate about their music today. Everyone is carrying it around on a portable music device, but that’s in your pocket. The statement you make is really with your headphones."
The vision of Skullcandy is to sell headphones and other music accessories that complement the fashion and lifestyle statement its customers are already making with their clothing, hats, music preferences and sports activities, Lisicich explained.
The goal of Skullcandy has been to match the quality of headphones produced by Sony and other established name brands, while offering an alternative to the simple black designs that have been the industry standard for 20 years.
"When customers walk back to the headphone aisle what’s going through their mind isn’t just sound, but also profile. It’s going to be seen by other people, so they think, ‘How does this reflect on the type of person that I am, how does it reflect on my lifestyle?’" Andrus explained.
Another successful feature of its products is the specialization of certain headphones for certain types of music. For example, a lot of young people are into music with a lot of bass, so the company offers lines that accentuate bass sound.
Charlie Bessey, music marketing manager, said the marriage of music and fashion is making people say, "Wow, these are not your grandma’s headphones."
Among other accolades the company has received, the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum recently recognized Skullcandy as a "Top 25 under 5" company naming it Utah’s most successful five-year company.
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