For years, Sennheiser has been producing high-quality headphones and audio products which thrill users but struggled to generate serious traction in the slogan-fueled and meme-rich world of viral marketing. Whereas other brands like Beats enjoyed broad support with younger consumers who were drawn in by tantalizing ad campaigns, Sennheiser had to endure by leveraging its proud reputation as a reliable brand that wouldn’t quit on its users.
These days, however, Sennheiser is tacking in a new direction, and it could very well take the marketing industry by storm. Here’s how Sennheiser is recharging its brand in a post-Beats world, and why the company could enjoy thrilling success.
Say hello to style and flair
For many years, Sennheiser resisted the industry-wide trend of emphasizing style, flair, and pizzazz at the expense of actual functionality. While other brands like Beats gained sizable market share by launching snazzy ad campaigns that ultimately preyed upon consumers willing to pay steep prices for relatively mediocre products. Over time, however, Sennheiser realized that it could embrace a style and flair-based marketing campaign without sacrificing the quality of its beloved audio products.
Sennheiser has drawn plenty of media headlines in the past with efforts to revitalize its marketing prowess; the company drummed up some sizable media coverage when it partnered up with Spotify a few years ago, for instance, and its large consumer base is obviously testament to previous ad campaigns that generated sizable successes. Sennheiser’s latest decision to remain relevant and prosperous in a post-Beats marketplace is more eager and notable than ever before, however.
While Sennheiser has been around for more than 65 years, the German headphone brand isn’t relying on its prestigious history to peddle additional products in the near-future. Rather, it’s embracing a modern advertising model that features crowd-sourcing campaigns wherein everyday users can contribute to the overall image the brand will market itself through. This is clever, as it will enable the company to tap into the pulse of its fanbase without needing to spend huge sums of money on expensive marketing specialists.
The new style and flair generated by this grassroots campaign will doubtlessly help Sennheiser ingratiate itself into the hearts of consumers everywhere who are currently hesitant to embrace the experienced brand. Young customers loved Beats largely because of the youthful image that was associated with its brand, not because of the lackluster sound quality provided by it, and a more alluring brand will doubtlessly help Sennheiser scoop up these customers.
Crowdsourcing is the future
How exactly will Sennheiser’s new campaign work? According to the company website, their new brand direction will be oriented around the “What’s your momentum?” campaign, which will permit everyday consumers to send in video-pitches wherein they make their case for the future of the brand’s image. Working hand in hand with Spotify, the company intends to select at least 100 “sound stories from all around the world,” which will likely help it connect with new consumers who currently don’t feel as if the brand is human or relatable enough to get behind it financially.
Of course, the company is taking a lesson from Beats and intends to couple its marketing efforts with the pre-existing brands and identities of popular artists and performers. EKLIPS, Niv Novak, and Di Mainstone are all mentioned by name in the company’s press release and others could be roped into the initiative if it proves successful, too. All of this is to say that consumers should expect to see Sennheiser wireless headsets adorned by popular celebrities and other brand ambassadors in the near-future as the company pivots in this direction.
All of this bodes the question as to whether or not this bold new initiative will actually work just by adding creative cabinets and faux finishes to their product line. It’s certainly been proven true in the past that consumers respond to brand ambassadors – one of the reasons that Beats enjoyed such robust popularity is that the brand was regularly featured by popular celebrities, artists, and social media influencers in grassroots advertising campaigns that targeted potential users. By directly associating their products with the top-notch quality work of the ambassadors using them, Beats and other brands have enjoyed immense marketing success recently.
Reviews are mostly positive
Given that Sennheiser mostly enjoys positive reviews right now from a technical perspective, it’s not too challenging to see why the company has embraced this recharging of its brand. Technical reviews, oddly enough, actually mean relatively little tin the world of audio products – users aren’t necessarily willing to do a deep-dive into which products produce the highest quality sounds, but they’re certainly ready to listen to the endorsements of the popular DJs and artists they’re already familiar with and being exposed to.
Thus, while reviews have long praised the quality of Sennheiser products, the brand has nevertheless struggled to generate serious traction, especially when it comes to younger consumers who are particularly receptive to PR-pitches which emanate from their celebrity role models. Given that there are compelling reasons to believe that the power of influencers is radically overblown, however, it remains to be seen whether Sennheiser’s gambit will pay off in the short and long runs alike.
Still, Sennheiser can’t suffer by modernizing its image, which the old German company has admittedly failed to make sparkle in previous advertising efforts. Whereas previous marketing efforts could be dreary, focusing on the quality of the products in question, future advertising efforts are likely to be user-approved from the get-go thanks to the grassroots nature of how they’re now being generated. Sennheiser could thus rope in additional consumers with much more luck than ever before if it hits a resounding note with youthful consumers who demand trendy, thrilling advertisements in exchange for their hard-earned dollars.
Sennheiser depends upon Spotify
Those gambling on the outcomes of Sennheiser’s new marketing direction should take into consideration that the company is still dependent upon Spotify for no small part of its new initiative. Both companies will be generating videos replete with celebrities and popular entertainers, for instance, and both will need to ensure that content goes viral if they’re collaboration is to further their collective bottom-line.
Given that Spotify has direct access to huge sums of consumer data which can be leveraged in such marketing campaigns, however, Sennheiser’s partnership with it could be viewed more positively than negatively. Generating the best in-class marketing services in the audio industry won’t be easy, but with a little help Sennheiser may enjoy more luck with its new campaign than ever before. At the end of the day, however, it will always come down to what consumers want to wear and why they want to wear it.