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60 Seconds: Chris Dauray, sE Microphones

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

A: In addition to my brand management for Rupert Neve Designs, I am now the global Brand Manager for sE Electronics International. My job is to help guide the brand’s development and positioning. Essentially, this means I’m involved anywhere the sE logo shows up —this means marketing, adverting, social media channels, product development and any external communications. I try to make sure every little move takes the brand in the right direction.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

A: After a formal education in music performance and recording, I spent five-plus years working in every department at Manley Labs—buildings mics, testing outboard, writing manuals, making ads, training dealers, everything. I learned to love seeing the whole process through from start to finish, and figured out how to tell a company’s story in a compelling and transparent way.

From there, I went on to run marketing for Rupert Neve Designs, and for Fingerprint Audio, sE’s US distributor. Over the last three years, I became a big fan of sE’s gear. When they asked me for help guiding the brand in a new direction, I was thrilled to get on board.

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

A: Firstly, I think people these days are extremely sensitive to marketing, and are acutely aware of when they’re being “sold to.” As a consumer, I don’t like it, and I don’t expect my brands’ clients to like it either. I like to engage clients directly, with honesty and transparency, providing a window inside the company so they really feel they’re part of something exciting, not just buying a product.

Secondly, I like focus. For both RND and sE, we will focus on what each brand does best—not the weakness of other companies, or mass-market “me-too” products. How do we differentiate? What makes us exceptional? We focus on this, without being “salesy.”

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?

A: Short-term: Evaluate and clarify company messaging. Update websites, update all imagery. Start fresh, keeping only the elements that have been proven effective and serve only to help achieve overall company goals. Long-term: Above all else, consistency. Stick with the message and make our fans happy. Over time, this builds trust, loyalty and recognition, which can’t be bought with gimmicks and flash sales.

Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

A: We need to realign the market’s perception of what it means for sE to be a “Chinese microphone company.” That phrase is so distasteful to so many, but the reality is that sE is in Shanghai because of their owner, an immensely driven and talented Chinese-American. He’s proud of his company. It’s not like he put the factory in China to exploit the labor force; he put it there because that’s who he is. They still use proven, old-school manufacturing methods just like in the “glory days” of European mic manufacturing. We need to tell that story properly.