Legacy companies that have century-long strongholds in their respective markets sustain prime peaks by serially executing sound decisions. Luxury Danish brand Bang & Olufsen is no exception.
Their first significant product was a radio—remember those, kids?—and they’ve gone on to corner the high-end audio-visual market with distinctive designs ever since both inside and outside of the home. The premium sound they bring is a mainstay for car manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Aston Martin.
Simon Silva, Bang & Olufsen’s global customer experience manager, joined [a]listdaily to discuss how the company is implementing and marketing new technologies.
Bang & Olufsen has been around for 91 years. How are you trying to constantly reinvent yourself within your respective position?
Bang & Olufsen is really proud of the heritage that has been built over the last 91 years, and that has been built by sticking to our core values. It’s about using our pride, passion and persistence to deliver those enduring magical experiences through our products and integrated experiences.
How are you reaching out to global markets? And how do people respond?
We use traditional channels for communication but we’re putting a greater emphasis on our digital communications. The response has been really positive as people love to know more about the brand. We are over 90 years old now. We have so many interesting stories to share from the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into our products, to the freelance designers we use.
What is the foremost trait you’ve learned about your customer base?
‘Time’ for our customers is the ultimate resource, so it’s important that we offer luxurious simplicity and beautiful utility. The BeoSound Moment is a great example of this. The luxurious simplicity is delivered through the premium materials of the oak and aluminum finishes and only requires a single touch to instantly access your music. The beautiful utility is shown through the gorgeous user interface where you can use the MoodWheel to set the mood, or go through and play your curated playlists.
How do you measure customer touch points and develop strategies specific to them?
We use our CSI reports, our social media channels, talk directly with customers and also spend time on the shop floor. In order to develop the strategies, it’s about having a variety of inputs from our customer insights research, looking at retail trends and talking to our teams on the shop floor who are with the customer day-to-day.
Bang & Olufsen makes TVs, audio systems and home automation products. How do you market the products to differentiate from the pack?
We do what we do best—which is deliver beautiful sound, iconic design and seamless integrated experiences.
How is Bang & Olufsen leveraging augmented reality, virtual reality, and other immersive experiences?
Our first project to leverage these great technologies is through the BeoHome Design App. The BeoHome Design App lets you digitally visualize the different Bang & Olufsen products in any given space. You can choose between all the different speakers, sound systems and televisions and place them wherever the camera on your iPad is pointing.
How can forward-thinking brands best utilize AR and VR technology?
Brands need to look at the customer journey and see at which points the experience can be enhanced through these technologies. It has to be really purposeful, with the end result being to put a smile on the customers face and to solve a need. Simplicity is key.
Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan