Southern Audio Services "SAS" opened for business in November 1983 as a manufacturer of home audio loudspeakers. But it wasn't long before one of the company's co-founders, an ambitious 20 year-old, realized SAS wouldn't survive unless it could offer something new and innovative to the competitive market.
That 20 year-old -- SAS President Jon Jordan -- marketed the home speakers throughout the Southeast United States. But, because the home audio market was, and still is, one of the most saturated markets in the Consumer Electronics Industry, Jon wasn't having much success.
SAS's home speakers were good ones. In fact, the speakers could outperform almost every comparable speaker on the market in comparison tests. But SAS was a new kid in town, a "Johnny Come Lately." No one had ever heard of SAS, and dealers simply did not want to pick up a product line which would not generate traffic in their stores with the simple mention of its name, i.e., name brand awareness.
SAS home speakers may have been as good as the popular lines, maybe even better; several dealers admitted as much. But, Jordan had to face the facts; dozens of other companies provided dealers with the instant name recognition they desired most. And Jordan also concluded most dealers perceived SAS speakers as "just another speaker enclosure with a different arrangement of components."
Jon Jordan absorbed the information dealers fed him about SAS's home audio speaker line. He decided he really had no alternative. Jordan had to find a niche for SAS. But how? Where do you go to find a niche?
Finding Our Niche
Jordan surveyed many of his key dealers, figuring that was the best place to start. After all, it's the dealers who come in contact with the customers daily, and Jordan wanted to find out what audio customers needed. That, he thought, could lead him to SAS's niche. Jordan was right.
Dealers informed Jordan of an overwhelming need for a compact, high-quality bass speaker that could fit behind the seats of the thousands of mini-pickup trucks, which were considered the most difficult installations in the car audio field.
Immediately, Jordan returned to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and consulted with Dave Prophit, the engineer of the home audio line SAS had unsuccessfully attempted to market. The two began to study the problem.
Through the process of experimentation -- and mostly divine inspiration -- the Bazooka subwoofer speaker system, with the innovative, patented Bass Tubes enclosure design, was born.
Not only would the Bazooka become the cornerstone product of SAS during the next decade of its phenomenal growth into a multi-million dollar a year entity, the product would also create an entirely new product category in the Consumer Electronics Industry.
The innovative Bass Tubes enclosure design would also prove to be the impetus for SAS engineers to introduce two other innovative designs in the next seven years, including the creation of another product category.
Three times since 1985, "Innovations" has selected an SAS product as "One of the Most Innovative Consumer Electronic Products of the Year for Design and Engineering."
SAS is recognized throughout the industry as a leader, as an innovator, and as a manufacturer of car audio products of the highest quality.
With a patent on the Bass Tubes enclosure design, the Bazooka trade name, and two other patents on high-quality mobile audio products as well, Jon Jordan had found the niche for SAS he set out to find. And although Jordan laid the groundwork for SAS's success with his persistent search for a niche, and his driving across the country to introduce the Bazooka products to retailers, he's the first to tell you SAS's success is a total team effort.
SAS history is really broken down into two ages.
The early years could be referred to as "SAS - B.B." (SAS, Before Bazooka), while the period from 1985 until now could be called "SAS - A.B.I." (SAS, After Bazooka's Introduction). The product has meant that much to the company.
But Jon Jordan says he knew all along the tubular Bass Tubes enclosure design Prophit came up with at his insistence would have the profound effect it continues to have to this day. Perhaps it was an inkling, or maybe just unbridled enthusiasm, but in 1984 Jordan took Prophit's design and decided to play all his cards; he was going for it.
Jordan sold his car, bought a new mini-pickup, installed a "low end system" which incorporated the strange new Bass Tubes design, borrowed his mother's credit card and set off on a two-state sales blitz. It took Jordan two weeks to contact 30 dealers in Louisiana and Texas. Jordan sold all 30 an opening order.
During the next year, Jordan drove more than 100,000 miles in the same truck and established more than 350 accounts nationwide.
A focused marketing approach, wise product positioning, a commitment to quality, innovation, and continued sound and aggressive business decisions have meant rapid growth for SAS, which is now in its thirty second year of operation from its home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Listen to your Ears
What began in earnest as a search for a niche quickly became the speaker system of choice for thousands of pickup truck owners. However, a most amazing thing happened. Once Bazooka began emerging as a product of choice for truck owners, it also began popping up in hatchback cars, vans and sedans. Today, the award-winning Bazooka is the speaker system of choice for drivers of every vehicle type on the market, including campers and boats. Obviously, consumers recognized the logic behind the Bass Tubes enclosure design -- precise bass response without the loss of valuable space.
A five minute demonstration, available at all SAS Bazooka authorized dealers, allows customers to "test-drive" a Bazooka in their own car. This unique 5-minute experience enables customers to hear for themselves how dramatic the addition of this one-of-a-kind speaker system will enhance his or her listening experience. The demonstration is free. Over the many years, figures compiled by SAS indicate that 70% of the people who test-drive a Bazooka purchase one, while more than 96% report enjoying the sound.
Bazooka's performance is unmatched.
Six consecutive years Bazooka was lauded as the Audio-Video International "Product of the Year." The portable, space-efficient, and patented Bazooka is one of the industry's most highly acclaimed speaker system.
Bazooka... Listen to your ears!