Headphones Meet Femme Fatale


Client:     Vestalife

Awards:     CES Innovation – Vestalife – Firefly and Mantis (2010); iLounge – Best in Show – Vestalife BumbleBee, Boa and Scarab earbuds (2010), Firefly (2009); GOOD Design – Firefly (2009), Pi Headphones (2009), BumbleBee, Boa and Scarab earbuds (2009); Spark! Challenger – Vestalife – Firefly (2009), Jewelbox (2009)

Tapping this new audience of fashion-forward women was key for the products getting fast-tracked to market, as was the choice to pursue a design based on an aesthetic-focused competitive analysis.
— FastCompany.com


Establish the Brand’s Appeal through High Fashion

With the initial success of their Ladybug iPod speakers, which addressed the femme fatale market with a fresh perspective, Vestalife saw the opportunity to create an impressive follow-up with an entire new portfolio of compelling ear buds, head phones and docking stations. The company challenged RKS to design offerings that would expand both their product line and target audience in sophisticated ways.


Charted the Design Trends and Competitive Landscape

To commence the research process, the team thoroughly analyzed the competitive landscape of iPod accessories that were sold in various retail locations and in particular, Apple stores. Through our mapping the competitors’ products, the team realized that the market was dominated by sporty and masculine products. This revealed an excellent opportunity to design for the feminine, fashion-forward consumer segment. We then focused five of our women designers to understand the Femme Fatale of electronics and innovate design from their POV; products, branding and packaging. Designed by women, for women!


High-perceived Value Headphones Delivering Breakthrough Market Performance

RKS designed a range of speaker and headphone products targeting the female iPod user to enable Vestlife to successfully differentiate in a saturated market. The overall look and feel of these high perceived value headphones and speakers resembled colorful jewelry rather than following the common appeal of consumer electronics in this space. Furthermore, brand appearance and packaging were optimized for Apple store retail placement which resulted in breakthrough market performance with retail orders far exceeding the company’s most optimistic projection.