The Sonos Play:3 might be small for a speaker but it's a critical part of the company's strategy to increase its visibility. As such, the entry-level all-in-one "Wireless Hi-Fi" had better perform -- capable of impressing current Sonos customers already accustomed to a premium wireless music experience that just works, while attracting mainstream attention from consumers increasingly seduced by Apple's AirPlay siren.

Sonos' plan is two-fold: 1) lower the price of entry, and 2) simplify its elevator pitch. While $299 / €299 / £259 for the Play:3 sounds expensive, it's actually one of, if not, the cheapest all-in-wireless speakers competing at the high-end of the audio market. Really, the only comparative all-in-one speaker is the Zeppelin Air from B&W priced at $599 -- twice the price of the Play:3.

The company signed Greg Perlot, Sonos' new Chief Brand Officer, to execute the second part of its plan. While we don't normally concern ourselves with marketing execs, it's worth noting that Greg is the former Microsoft director of advertising responsible for the Rolling Stones-infused "Start Me Up" campaign for Windows 95. More recently, Greg was the CMO at Quiksilver promoting the brand's casual, youth-oriented lifestyle. That makes Greg responsible for the abundance of tribal art you see tattooed on wayward suburban kids, in addition to the simplified Sonos logo and new psychedelic artwork, itself inspired by the speaker circuitry inside the Play:3.

John MacFarlane, Sonos CEO, readily admits the difficulties he's had explaining what his company does. "If you were sitting next to me on a plane and asked, 'what does Sonos build?' I'd say, 'a multi-room wireless music system.' Then I'd get into, 'we want to fill your house with music and play everything on the planet.' At that point, you're already five minutes into the conversation," concedes the chief executive. MacFarlane turned to Greg Perlot to clarify the message, who in turn responded with a two word pitch: "wireless HiFi." "That makes so much more sense," said MacFarlane, cognitively kicking himself for not coming up with the phrase on his own, "it elicits the right questions."

With Perlot's help, the company has also simplified its naming scheme around verbs. The "ZoneBridge" become "Bridge," the "Controller 200" becomes "Control," and the "S5" becomes "Play:5." Even the Sonos website has been overhauled with a slick, more intuitive look for the launch of the Play:3.