• Neil Kilby

Atticus Road at the Forefront of Hearable Technology

The hearbles market is set to be worth a staggering US$35 billion by 2021 and New York based headphone company, EVEN, is changing the future of sound by providing smart, personalised audio. Supported by Grammy Award Winning record producers, EVEN has created a completely new market segment and a small marketing firm from the bottom of the South Island is helping them shape their future, and the future of audio.

How it happened is quite a story. “I was looking for a new pair of Headphones and happened upon EVEN. They had something different which makes perfect sense when it’s explained to you. But they didn’t deliver to New Zealand” says Neil Kilby, Managing Director of Invercargill based Marketing Agency, Atticus Road. “So I wrote them a humorous email in the hope I could change their mind. The story of the lambs screaming, perils of Ed Sheeran being played too much on the radio and offer of a delivery of fresh fish worked”. Fast forward a few weeks and the tale of the great customer service from EVEN and their humorous reply was doing the rounds on popular professional networking site, LinkedIn. This led to a conversation with Danny Aronson, Co-Founder and CEO of EVEN. Which led to another conversation. Which led to a few days last week, huddled around a table in the Brooklyn headquarters of EVEN, talking brand and marketing strategy.

“EVEN has a unique product” says Neil Kilby. “They have patented EarPrint technology which overcomes the glaring problem of every big brand headphone in the world”. The headphones conduct a 90 second hearing test in each ear, mapping the way an individual hears. It then learns and adjusts the audio delivery so music is adapted to the individual listener, so it sounds as fresh and clear as when you first heard it. “We call it ‘glasses for your ears’ and that’s the perfect reference” says Mr Kilby. “Everyone hears differently, just as we all see differently. Yet all the other headphones on the market simply deliver sound. EVEN headphones personalise the audio to the way you hear. And the result is exceptional”.

EVEN is supported by multiple Grammy Award Winning Record Producers, boasting an Advisory Board that includes Rob Fraboni (well known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and The Beach Boys) and Tony Black (Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Notorious BIG and Wu Tang Clan). Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac has said the headphones deliver “the best reproduction of my music I’ve ever heard”.

Atticus Road and EVEN have been working together on pivoting the EVEN brand to focus on an older demographic. EVEN CEO, Danny Aronson says “We reject the idea that everyone’s headphones should play sound just one way. 50 year olds don’t hear like 18 year olds. That’s why we’ve engineered a way to adapt sound to individuals.” As for working with an Invercargill company and Neil Kilby, Danny says “We were introduced to Neil in one of the most colorful emails we’ve ever gotten. And especially after our exchange went viral on LinkedIn, we realized there was a mutual understanding. In this moment when we’re redefining EVEN’s brand identity, Neil’s process, humor, and input have continued in unexpected ways to make our messaging exactly what we’d intended.”

Lastly, Atticus Road and EVEN are progressing talks for Australisian distribution and making the product locally available to New Zealanders.

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