SENNHEISER DARES CON­SUMERS TO DIS­CON­NECT

Sennheiser re­cently came out with its first tele­vi­sion cam­paign for the In­dian mar­ket. Saahil Ku­mar, Head- Mar­ket­ing, Sennheiser In­dia talks to us about the brand’s strate­gies to grow mar­ket-share in In­dia, its in­ter­est­ing line-up of prod­ucts and how they

Impact - - FEATURE - BY SAMARPITA BAN­ER­JEE

Sennheiser has been in In­dia since 2007 but has only re­cently come out with a high decibel cam­paign. What is the rea­son for this?

Sennheiser was a cat­e­gory shaper be­cause when we en­tered In­dia, there were no well-known head­phone brands. Peo­ple were happy with the bun­dled head­phones they got with their phones. Once we en­tered the mar­ket, we had a good start and gar­nered a loyal con­sumer base in In­dia. How­ever, off late, there have been a lot of changes in the cat­e­gory and the lat­est trend is wire­less head­phones, a trend that’s bring­ing an al­to­gether new set of au­di­ences who are first-time head­phone users. They might be peo­ple who had been stay­ing away be­cause they didn’t feel the need for wired head­phones. It’s like a re­set but­ton for the head­phone in­dus­try. We con­ducted a sur­vey and re­al­ized that while peo­ple were aware of the qual­ity of our prod­ucts and liked the brand, it was still a func­tional re­la­tion­ship with our con­sumers. This made us re­al­ize the need to build an emo­tional con­nect with our con­sumers. There­fore, we thought it was a good time to reach out to this new set of peo­ple en­ter­ing the cat­e­gory and build a con­nect. We de­cided to used TV be­cause of its im­mense reach. We wanted to high­t­light three things - the brand, the con­sumer whose story we wanted to be a part of, and thirdly, the wire­less seg­ment. Hav­ing said that, we want our cam­paign #Dare­toDis­con­nect, to go beyond these three fo­cus ar­eas as well, be­cause we want to turn this into a move­ment and in­spire peo­ple to find that ‘me’ time in their lives.

What medi­ums are you us­ing for the cam­paign?

We will be fo­cus­ing on TV and Dig­i­tal, along with smart part­ner­ships with medi­ums like Ra­dio. We will also be us­ing a lot of so­cial me­dia, to build en­gage­ment with our fans and to garner user­gen­er­ated con­tent in the hope of be­ing able to en­cour­age more peo­ple to dis­con­nect from their daily lives.

Since you did not do a lot of tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing to be­gin with, did word-of-mouth play a big role in pop­u­lar­iz­ing your prod­ucts in In­dia dur­ing the early days?

We had an early-mover’s ad­van­tage. Ini­tially, we made some re­ally smart mar­ket­ing moves. We came up with some tar­geted Dig­i­tal cam­paigns and also used a lot of ex­pe­ri­en­tial to con­nect with con­sumers; given thne fact that head­phones, as a cat­e­gory, needs to be ex­pe­ri­enced. Our in-store mar­ket­ing worked in our fa­vor. We al­sol had part­ner­ships with some of the top hand­set brands at that time like Nokia and Sam­sung, and they gave out Sennheiser head­phones with their prod­ucts to the con­sumers which also helped our case.

Your wire­less range that starts from Rs 7,490 is priced at a pre­mium. Are con­sumers show­ing an in­ter­est in in­vest­ing so much in the cat­e­gory?

We have a wide range of prod­ucts that are priced from Rs 1000 to Rs 45 lakhs. In­ter­est in our

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