Bang & Olufsen’s B&O PLAY branding is now in the process of being dropped in favor of the parent Bang & Olufsen name. As a result, it's expected that more products will arrive to market simply branded as Bang & Olufsen. The company confirmed as much during a recent earnings report (first reported on by FlatPanelsHD), after previously hinting at the change in an earlier earnings report, stating the change was scheduled for June 1, 2018. With the newer earnings report confirming the shift in branding strategy took place on schedule.
The company’s B&O PLAY brand, also known as BeoPlay, is typically thought of as a more affordable brand, and has seemingly proved to be successful for the business with the same earnings report showing close to half of the company’s revenue in the last year has came from B&O PLAY-branded products. On the headphones side of things, the revenue growth was driven by the likes of the Beoplay E8 wireless earphones, the Beoplay H9i headphones, and the Beoplay H5 wireless earphones. While on the speaker front, products including the Beoplay A1 portable speaker and the Beoplay A9 wireless multi-room speaker, have also contributed to recent growth.
In spite of the value associated with the B&O PLAY name, research from the company suggests consumers do not actually see much difference between the two brands. Something which in-part is by design due to the two brands adopting a “common brand equity” that has seemingly had a knock-on effect on brand awareness. Therefore, while the two entities did original operate differently to account for initial differences, over time their philosophies and operational frameworks have aligned to the point where the company states it is now more efficient to operate under a single-brand approach going forward. While the June 1 date was when this change effectively took place, Bang & Olufsen states the full changeover to the single brand will be a slow one, with the B&O PLAY branding being phased out of marketing and packaging, as well as in-store and online during 2018/19. As a result, consumers can and should expect to continue to see the B&O PLAY branding for the time being.