Piano company focuses marketing strategies on video content to showcase 160 year-old history and sell instruments
Above The Clutter with Pete Krainik is presented in partnership with IBM. To become part of IBM’s community of marketers and for more exclusive ideas about innovation in marketing, click to become a Think Leader today.
As perpetual consumers of media and infotainment, audiences’ expectations of how they engage with brands and their products have radically shifted. Print advertising budgets are rapidly being replaced to promote Snapchat stories that take consumers behind-the-scenes with their favorite companies, designed solely to entertain audiences rather than inform purchases. To make a statement, brands are welcoming their audiences in through new opportunities for storytelling, and cultivating an active story around what their brand represents.
With a wealth of digital tools available as branding platforms, creating these virtual experiences and interactive marketing campaigns are no longer strategies reserved for big-budget brands. Marketing, however, requires more ingenuity and imagination than ever before. In a new episode of Above the Clutter with Pete Krainik, an NBTV Studios series presented by IBM, the viewer gets a look into how a legacy piano company such as Steinway & Sons can reinvent its age-old marketing strategy and redefine its customer journey through story-driven branding.
The video follows Krainik and Darren Marshall, CMO of Steinway & Sons, as they discuss how the 123-year-old company leveraged global research and digital platforms to “sell excellence” and tell an organizational story of processes, craftsmanship and quality.
To begin adopting new pillars of communication, the Steinway & Sons marketing team reached out to artists, piano owners, retailers, dealers, store managers and shoppers around the world to understand how various people were engaging with their instruments. For Steinway, starting a conversation with these individuals helped them to think strategically about crafting a narrative rooted in the company’s rich history, based less on the products and more on the foundation of the brand.
Steinway & Sons found people were using their instruments in a variety of ways: for relaxation, entertainment and education. In consequence of these findings, the company designed new communication for the various parents who use pianos as an educational tool for their children. To attract art collectors, the company invested in video content that would showcase the craftsmanship that goes into producing the instruments over one year’s time. In the videos, customers and potential buyers can follow the story of trees being shipped to the company warehouse and passed through the hands of the company’s 350 artisans before the final product is sold.
While storytelling as branding is not a particularly new phenomenon, its proliferation into the mainstream comes as companies continue to compete for consumer attention in a saturated digital landscape. For a brand with long-standing history like Steinway & Sons, engaging in these new forms of active storytelling is allowing them to design for a digitized customer journey while also showcasing the reputation and prestige of their pianos. By building a new narrative across online channels and mediums, the brand can create new associations for their customers, enabling innovative product messaging around the needs of modern consumers.
Images courtesy of NBTV Studios
Over the next eight weeks, PSFK in partnership with NBTV Studios, will feature episodes from the Above The Clutter with Pete Krainik series, presented by IBM. We’ll get a taste of marketing and branding strategies helping to shape some of the world’s leading organizations. You can learn more at ibm.com/think-cmo.