Edifier, a trusted global audio brand with a quarter-century of industry leadership, specializes in premium audio solutions that showcase technological innovation and design elegance. Edifier enlisted GreenRoom’s expertise to help strengthen its brand recognition in the US market. Based abroad, the Edifier marketing team relies upon GreenRoom to be its eyes and ears on trending media conversations in the U.S.
After a very successful holiday season with scores of gift guide inclusions and product reviews, followed by robust media-to-brand connections surrounding CES 2020 that brought months of ongoing coverage for the brand, the Edifier team was not only feeling confident in their ability to compete in coverage among other audio brands but also in strategic retail alignments to generate sales velocity. But a pandemic emerged and threatened to change the tide of coverage and slow brand awareness growth. From their international headquarters in Asia, the Edifier team began to observe a decrease in media coverage for consumer tech products in other global markets, with the focus trained steadily on the rise of the virus. When COVID-19 reached North America and communities went into quarantine, the Edifier team expressed concern about the potential for dwindling American media coverage and sought GreenRoom’s counsel on whether it made sense to continue with a public relations program. Expressing their fears that both media coverage would come to a halt and temporary factory closures in their country would delay product shipment, the Edifier team, like many companies across the globe, debated halting PR outreach.
At a time when many companies were retreating from spending in an effort to insulate themselves from the uncertainty, GreenRoom underscored the risks of halting a consistent earned media program in a market that is a critical sales driver for the brand. As part of an agencywide initiative to gather feedback from media members to better direct programming, the GreenRoom team advised that the potential for great coverage would be strong for Edifier. With tech and lifestyle journalists continuing to publish content while working remotely and Edifier’s product attributes being uniquely suited for budget-conscious consumers confined to their homes, the opportunity to make an impact was significant. Earning the brand’s trust in uncertain times, GreenRoom charged forward with an outreach plan designed to adapt to the constantly fluctuating needs of media contacts during a global crisis situation.
Focusing on the Edifier brand’s high-quality tech, diverse product suite with options for all users, and affordable price points, GreenRoom crafted a series of outreach strategies that highlighted the brand’s relevance to new consumer needs that arose in the midst of a pandemic. To keep coverage momentum flowing, the GreenRoom team further stepped outside of the typical scope of work for an agency and directly coordinated sample fulfillment to keep review coverage moving forward. Some tactics for execution employed by the GreenRoom team included:
- To make Edifier relevant for pandemic-centric topics, GreenRoom developed angles that introduced the brand as providers for solutions to common work at home/school at home noise and audio problems, taking the focus of the strategy direction from predominantly CE and tech reviews to expanding more deeply into consumer lifestyles engagement and showcasing Edifier’s abilities to both meet new pandemic-centric demands while being affordable and accessible in a tough economy.
- To sidestep the in-house editorial staff layoffs with many media brands, GreenRoom remained in very close contact with a vast network of freelance writers, who wrote for multiple outlets and were still being tasked by marquee media to produce content, to discuss story ideas surrounding Edifier’s suite of products and secure inclusion in their coverage.
- To capitalize on timely coverage opportunities, Through traditional outreach and by initiating digital deskside briefings via Zoom, GreenRoom engaged with media to suggest story ideas leveraging personal anecdotes about how the brand’s earbuds, headphones, and speakers made it easier for staff to work from home in a variety of scenarios, and helping contacts to build trust in the brand. With angles like affordable upgrades for your home theater, must-have earbuds for your at-home workout, and essential audio for Zoom calls, the GreenRoom team produced a steady stream of coverage that was relevant for the times, great fits for our contact’s story content, and an effective sales driver for the brand.
- To circumnavigate sample product shipping concerns, by having the Edifier team send sample product directly to GreenRoom staff’s homes, GreenRoom coordinated contactless pickups to ensure that media and social influencers would receive everything they needed in a timely manner. This process prevented Edifier’s new product review coverage from lagging due to pandemic-related international shipping delays that many global companies experienced, and even earned the brand repeat recognition in top outlets due to the ability to get new product samples to reviewers’ homes quickly.
With a careful attention to trending topics and deeply personal media outreach the results exceeded the brand’s expectations and prior months’ deliverables! Week after week of noteworthy product reviews and media recommendations in national and regional marquee tech and consumer lifestyles outlets, spanning across print, digital, and social platforms like YouTube, helped the brand gain notoriety as a reliable provider of affordable, top-quality work and school at home audio devices. Over 215 pieces of media coverage were delivered to the Edifier team by GreenRoom between March and June 2020 in top lifestyles and consumer outlets like BuzzFeed (3 articles), NBC News, Rolling Stone (3 articles), and Heavy, as well as top tech outlets including CNET (10 unique articles and sale-oriented posts), PC Mag (10 articles and product roundups), TechRadar, Wirecutter, and Digital Trends (9 thematic product roundup articles). The total cumulative reach of 6.4 billion UMV over the 4-month period!
For Edifier, the fruit of GreenRoom’s media relations efforts have driven an increase in product sales overall in the US market. Edifier’s sales team noted that retail buyers are commenting positively on the extensive media coverage and are seeing a demand for the brand increasing across the board. The fulfillment team remarked that they’ve increased order shipment capabilities by 700% in the last 18 months since partnering with GreenRoom, and within the past two months have needed to increase staff to accommodate the rising demand for Edifier products, giving the company a distinction of success in growth during an unprecedented time in the history of US and global economies.
Recently, Edifier shared details from its 2019 Fiscal Report that showed strong net gains in spite of what had been a rocky year and fourth quarter for many companies. The brand expressed its excitement in seeing that it is on target to continue to outperform expectations for 2020, unhindered by a global pandemic, thanks in part to GreenRoom’s trusted counsel, attentive media listening, and willingness to step outside of traditional agency norms to get impactful results.
Keeping that momentum moving forward, and to help the brand meet outreach goals in the North American market, GreenRoom continues to ideate new and engaging ways of interacting with media. Embracing areas of focus like updating a home sound system on a budget, creating an backyard theater space, essential audio for virtual workouts and marathon training, and must-have affordable audio for students for back to school season, helps ground the brand as a solution to lifestyle needs that are relevant to the times. Additionally, working closely with the brand for noteworthy awards recognition opportunities and digital events to take the place of popular trade shows and conferences, now canceled due to the pandemic, positions the brand as an active and trusted key player in the audio industry. GreenRoom’s goal is to continuously connect Edifier to consumers in a relevant way that evolves with ever-developing needs of life in the “new normal” of 2020.