How (not) to Showcase your Brand
The headline read, “Legendary Audio Brand Technics to Make Welcome Return to The Bristol Show”. It certainly sounds exciting. The iconic brand of yesteryear warmed the hearts of baby boomer audiophiles that still reminisce those early Hi-Fi components.
The announcement came late last year, “Famed Brand Technics Returns”, as we covered here on StereoNET. It warranted press coverage and was, at the time, seemingly a big deal. We'd learn by contacting Technics directly that the launch would only be in Japan and Europe. Sadly, no plans for down-under, at all, in fact.
To add insult to injury, we were also politely informed that there were no plans for a turntable in the range that would carry the Technics name. Granted, they're forward-thinking, in that there is a digital streamer in the range. But what is Technics without a turntable?
Roll forward to 2015 and Sound & Vision's 'The Bristol Show', the UK's largest and longest-running Hi-Fi show now celebrating its 28th year. It would be easy to understand why the folk at Technics would see this as the perfect platform in which to launch the Technics brand to the European Hi-Fi community. In the lead up to the big event, marketing touted “Visit 1st Floor: Room 116 to rediscover music and visit Technics”. Had I been in that part of the world and most certainly had I been covering that show, Room 116 would have been right up there on my list.
And below, ladies and gentlemen, is the grand launch, the showcase, return of the iconic brand. Here stood Room 116, soulless, a lacklustre display with a couple of products dropped somewhat aimlessly.
Now Technics did have two spaces. A ground floor display which we hope was a little more polished, as well as this 'traditional' demonstration space. Maybe I'm being a little unfair, but to me if I was attempting to revive a brand that has all but been forgotten, I'd perhaps put in just a little bit of effort. We don't need pyrotechnics and showgirls, but just a little pizzazz! I've seen brands with only a fraction of the brand awareness Technics has, and certainly, only a shoe-string budget for marketing, do much more.
As the Hi-Fi market evolves and begins to look towards the next generation of customers, it's more important now than ever to remain relevant. Music is emotional. Engagement is paramount. High-fidelity audio reproduction needs to appeal to consumers and not just those that are already converted.
So as the next round of Hi-Fi, and Audio-visual shows tour Australia, please exhibitors, show your brands in the best possible light. Do justice to your brands, remember who your audience is not just right now, but also in the future. We need to impart that passion that we hold for what we do and share it with those that have not yet experienced it.