Harman Expands Outreach Through Event Marketing
At a time when many suppliers are pulling back from promotional activities, Harman is aggressively pursuing an outreach strategy that extends beyond the showroom floor and into high-profile home shows and concert venues.
The company’s drive for richer consumer engagement with its brands has entered a new phase – event marketing – as the next stage in a multi-pronged outreach that began in earnest in February with the deployment of a specially merchandised section in the Kansas City, Kansas Nebraska Furniture Mart fully staged to demonstrate Harman brands in an interactive, experiential manner that can be scaled to fit retailers of all stripes.
“It’s all about being able to bring products to consumers where they play,” said Chris Dragon, Harman’s director of consumer and field marketing. In March, Harman’s Mobile Entertainment Showroom opened its doors and demos to New York City interior designers and high-end consumers at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.
In early April, Harman hosted a “JBL Sound Stage” consumer experience at the Coachella Music & Art Festival in California, which attracted almost a quarter of a million people and served as the springboard for the company’s launch of its Facebook page. That month, Harman also sponsored outdoor concerts at Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic cycling event. And on the docket for June is the participation in L.A.’s Dwell on Design Show.
Dragon said the reasoning behind how Harman picks its spots for event participation is not so much demographic-driven as it is informed by a desire to reach consumers with a significant interest in and love for music. “Why sponsor a cycling event in Monterey? Because surveys of bike owners show an amazing synergy between that consumer’s love for music and their fitting the JBL consumer model,” he explained. Dragon added that about 60 percent of the population fits into one of four consumer core segments as defined by Harman – and 91 percent of cyclists fit into any one of those four.