Marshall explains licensing plan

Ronnie Dungan • MMR Global • July 21, 2015

With the launch of its new Marshall London smartphone grabbing headlines, Marshall sales manager Michael Clapham has explained the rationale behind the firm’s move into lifestyle branded products. 

The firm has always been involved in occasional spin-offs, but the launch of its fridge in 2013, headphones and other home audio products and now a phone, range of Fred Perry branded clothing and Marshall sunglasses has seen a significant increase in the breadth of Marshall products available. 

“I don’t think it’s as simple these days as being an amp builder or a guitar maker,” said Clapham. “Technology is so integrated into what we do. We’re never going to move away from building amps or innovating but sometimes there seems to be a fear that we can’t move out of that inner circle. But we’re not moving away from the core ethics of the brand.”

The Marshall London smartphone is primarily aimed at music fans, and features two front-facing speakers; two audio outputs to cue and mix music in headphones while playing the track through a speaker; dual headphone inputs for two pairs of headphones; a dedicated ‘M” button providing instant access to music and a gold-accented scroll wheel mimicking the iconic controls on Marshall amps.

The phone is an Android (Lollipop) that measures 4.7” (720p/IPS) with 16GB of internal storage (expandable via SD card), runs on a Snapdragon 410 chip (1.4GHz, quad-core) and includes eight and two megapixel cameras and a Wolfson DSP.

Bespoke DJ and recording apps are also included, along with a feature that centralises all of the user’s music into one location.  

It is available from August 21st 2015 at a RRP of £399.

“I’ve had conversations with people who say it is somehow harming the legacy of Marshall,” added Clapham (pictured), “but I look at both sides. The amplifier life cycle is a lot longer than that of most consumer electronics products, so to keep ahead of revenue streams we have to engage with different sectors of the marketplace and we have to look at other areas.

“You’re not going to be seeing a Marshall bike or a…Marshall stethoscope, however, it’s got to be in the spirit of rock ’n roll. It’s an incremental revenue stream we can tap into.”

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