• STEENSSEN

Presenting speakers to a critical crowd

Published on 31 January 2020

By City of Sound


前言

本文為2020年一月23、24日STEENSSEN在Sound Hub活動的實況報導:

Presenting speakers to a critical crowd這個標題實在下的太好了,翻譯成中文是「向丹麥最挑剔的一群買家推銷音響」的意思。


沒錯!在丹麥賣音響就像是到台灣賣茶或去北極賣冰一樣困難,全丹麥對聲音與設計最挑剔的音響玩家就在Struer*(註),所以Struer被稱為聲音之城City of Sound。


丹麥是北歐最溫暖的國家,和台灣有許多相同點,例如:丹麥大型企業稀少,驅動國家經濟前進的是充滿彈性、富有活力的中小企業,相互合作的外包文化仰賴社會高度信任,丹麥人的誠實、互助、直率和台灣人相去不遠。


丹麥總人口數約為台灣台北市加上新北市的總人口數,國土面積相近的狀況下,丹麥相對的居住密度低,造就其低噪音污染的生活品質,這也是全世界國寶級音響的品牌有三分之二來自丹麥的原因之一,在無噪音的日常生活中,耳朶才有能力聽到任何細微聲音的變化,丹麥人對音響挑剔的程度和台灣人對茶的鑑賞力一樣高。


STEENSSEN創辦人兼執行長Frederick Rickmann由建築師跨界到工業設計師後的過去三十多年協助許多國寶級音響品牌的設計,最近十幾年來看到青壯年族群逐漸買不起高階音響而起心動念,想要把高音質、好設計的音響創造出來,讓大家買得起,喚回聽覺敏感度,請大家多多支持指教。


*註:Struer是丹麥音響品牌Bang & Olufsen的故鄉,距今95年前Bang & Olufsen在此創立生產,因此許多Struer市民都曾經在Bang & Olufsen工作,對音響、美學極為挑剔。


報導全文

The speaker brand STEENSSEN is moving production from Asia to Struer. Today he is going to present his speakers to the people from Struer at an event in Sound Hub Denmark.


Frederick Rickmann, the CEO of STEENSSEN, has placed himself strategically in front of the main entrance to Sound Hub Denmark, approaching the guests entering the building.


The start of the event is only minutes away.


“I’m not nervous, but I probably should be,” he says in an idle moment and elaborates: “Stage fright”.


Today is the first day of a two-day event promoting and selling STEENSSEN speakers in Struer.

“Today, we had a lot of former B&O employees who are very critical and technical when they ask questions. They ask things that ordinary customers would not ask”

- James Rickmann, Head of sales, STEENSSEN

His clothing is revealing that today is a special day, as he is wearing a formal jacket on top of his turtleneck sweater.


The crowd entering the building is a mix between business partners of STEENSSEN and locals from all walks of life interested in the new audio brand.


The large central room in Sound Hub Denmark fills up with the sound of people mingling until a loud whistling sound makes the crowd turn down their voices.


“Please come a bit closer,” Peter Petersen, CEO of Sound Hub Denmark, says and gives a brief presentation of the place before he calls Frederick Rickmann onto the stage.


Frederick Rickmann gives a presentation of STEENSSEN and as predicted he doesn’t appear to suffer from stage freight. At one point he even makes fun of his own Scottish accent.


The crowd, some wearing winter jackets, others wearing suits, laughs, and when the presentation is over, the guests spread around the large linoleum-covered floor, some going to the bar, others taking a closer look at the speakers on display.

Listening to TV in the living room


An adjacent room that has been dubbed “the living room” is also filling up with guests, who want a demonstration of the speaker in home-like surroundings.


The room is equipped with bookshelves, a sofa, acoustic sound dampers, and of course, in the middle of it all, Frederick Rickmann.


He controls the speaker from his phone, streaming a Dolby Atmos demo from YouTube. The guests move around the room to get a sense of the 3D sound experience that Frederick Rickmann is talking about.


Two guests are requesting the STEENSSEN CEO to stream a TV programme from his phone in order to determine how the speaker handles TV and movie sound.


The guests are Peter Dahl-Jensen and Jane Overgaard, both living in Struer and looking for a sound bar to connect to their TV.

“We have been to Elgiganten and HiFi-klubben listening to sound bars, but this just has a better sound quality”,

- Peter Dahl-Jensen, Guest at STEENSSEN event


They mention sound quality and curiosity towards the brand as the most important reasons for being at the event, but they also see a value in supporting a local company.


“I try to shop locally, and we might as well buy things from here instead of driving to Elgiganten,” Jane Overgaard says.

Presenting speakers to a critical crowd

The critical crowd of Struer

Next to the sliding doors leading outside, STEENSSEN has established a small booth selling speakers with a discount because of the event.


Today’s head of sales is James Rickmann, Frederick’s son.


As well as working full-time with economics in a public administration, he is also helping his father sell STEENSSEN speakers when he has time off.


“Today, we had a lot of former B&O employees who are very critical and technical when they ask questions. They ask things that ordinary customers would not ask,” he says and adds that his feeling is that the general attitude towards STEENSSEN as the new brand in town is positive.


“My experience is that they get Christmas lights in their eyes when we talk about a new sound company coming to Struer,” he says.


James Rickmann estimates that he has sold five units today as well as a lot of potential sales with customers needing to measure their living room before making the purchase.


No cheap plastic

Two people are standing out from the crowd of mostly middle-aged business people. Two young guys, Anders Kvejborg and his friend, have taken the trip from Thy, roughly an hour away from Struer, to come look at what the speakers have to offer.


“My dad used to work at Bang & Olufsen. Now he has a 3D printing company. I’m here to find out if we will buy this speaker to connect it to the TV at his work. Here we get to try it in a room that resembles a living room,” Anders Kvejborg says.


One of the big reasons that STEENSSEN is moving production to Denmark is because of the idea that “Made in Denmark” is easier to sell than “Made in China”. And it seems to work on Anders Kvejborg:


“We need something that is not just cheap plastic, and this is… this will be a Danish company,” he says.


Want to be recognized and well-known

On the first day of the event, STEENSSEN sold five units, and the second day they sold 14. This has prompted Frederick Rickmann to say that “there is no doubt that it is a success.”


Frederick Rickmann has previously described his business model as making small batches of the speakers which he then sells to get more cash to invest in the business. And according to Frederick Rickmann, this model seems to work.

“The sales are accelerating. Six months ago, we sold around 15 units per month on the Dutch market, now we ship around 20-30 units per week to Germany and The Netherlands”

- Frederick Rickmann, Founder & CEO, STEENSSEN


Frederick Rickmann says, revealing that the Dutch market is the largest European market.

In Asia the Taiwanese sales are about the same as in The Netherlands. In Denmark the sales so far have been more modest – around five units per week.


However, in the end of 2019, STEENSSEN applied for the grant “InnoBooster”. A grant that would make the move to Struer easier and quicker. If the sole goal of the event had been to earn money to make up for not getting the grant, Frederick Rickmann admits that the event has not been worthwhile.


“If that was our plan b, it would have been terribly bad, but the goal of today was also to bring the people from the city in and share with them what we are doing. One of our biggest issues has been to be recognized and well-known in Denmark. It helps commercially when you go abroad that people know who we are. There is more press material, and we can sign up for larger events. We get more credibility attached to our brand”.


Frederick Rickmann explains that he expects the accelerating sales in Germany and The Netherlands combined with the sales from the event will end up funding the move to Struer.


If all goes according to the plan B.

Presenting speakers to a critical crowd

Read the article in English on:

https://cityofsound.dk/news/presenting-speakers-to-a-critical-crowd/?fbclid=IwAR10A_n8b8MroQ72pcz_Or5UfKG-Yf3bH7hSeptgJYmAH8CV1SnjmKTtFxk


Læs mere:

https://lydensby.dk/nyheder/mon-de-kritiske-lydkendere-i-struer-kan-lide-steenssen/

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