Alan Sircom, writing in the April issue of Hi Fi Plus magazine, suggests that the problem with getting newcomers into the high-end is they already find their means of reproducing music "good enough" - so why spend more time and money getting something better? There's some truth to what he writes.
I would put forth the argument, however, that it is in our nature as humans to want more: to tolerate good enough only for as long as we are unaware we can do better. Once we realize others have moved from good enough to better, a fixed percentage of us want what's better. It's always been that way and always will be that way.
So the challenge remains the same: how do we let people know there's something better and what happens when they go looking?
Imagine for a moment our industry hired a PR agency to spread the word there's something better out there. The agency started placing news stories and articles about the subject - perhaps even ads - something clever like "If your music at home is "good enough" then please don't read any further." A certain percentage of curious people would take the call to action and read further, do a little investigating. But what would they find?
In some cases they might find a friendly dealer who could hold them by the hand and get them into a nice affordable high-end system - but frankly, it'd be hard - a stretch for that to happen.
So I think the first part of the equation might be easy - getting people to know there's something better than good enough. The second part of the equation, what happens when they go looking, is a lot more difficult.