Sonos holds amnesty for dodgy speaker systems, as the rise in streaming paves the way to mass brand loyalty

Sonos has physically manifested its latest global campaign ‘You’re better than this’ in London’s King’s Cross today (26 October), offering 300 free speakers to consumers in exchange for their older, less reliable models.

Avid fans of the brand queued up from 5am this morning to offer up their hardware in a ‘speaker amnesty’. The discarded systems were built into a custom art installation.

Developed alongside agency Amplify, the experiential campaign sits alongside the brand’s ongoing ATL campaign, which compares its wireless streaming system to ‘The absurdities of modern listening’: tiny PC speakers, Bluetooth pairing ‘fails’, and makeshift docking stations.

The recent initiative and brand messaging from Sonos is strictly focused on the home, with its target consumer labelled by its UK marketing director, Jamie Coomber as “anyone that listens to music in their home”.

“We provide meaningful activities grounded in our product experience,” she said. “You won’t see us at field festivals or big concert halls – that’s not what our products are made for. You will see us showing up in homes and small cultural spaces where our brand and products fit naturally into those environments.”

The campaign is undoubtedly one of Sonos’ biggest and has been designed with the top of the funnel in mind: it’s all about getting consumers to purchase (or – if they were one of the lucky 300 – swap for free) their first device. As the popularity of wireless audio streaming shows no sign of slowing down, and as Sonos keeps expanding its list of streaming partners, Coomber believes this act of purchase alone will create brand loyalty in those who may not previously have considered spending £150-plus on a speaker.

“Our biggest challenge is getting people to the experience,” she explained. “We know that most of our customers come to us after experiencing the system first-hand, whether that’s a referral from a friend or having just experienced it in their house.

“Sonos already has partnerships with over 60 music streaming services and we’re constantly working with them to provide a better experience. Spotify alone has over 40 million subscribers, which indicates the category is steadily growing. I think the opportunity to reach paid streaming listeners has never been greater.”

Connected living

As ‘You’re better than this’ continues to roll out, on a macro level the company is also concentrating its efforts on the expanding connected living space. The interest is a no-brainer considering Sonos’ marketing and design focus on the home and its experience with innovative partnerships.

Earlier this year the brand confirmed that users with an Alexa-enabled device (such as Amazon Echo) will be able to control their sound system through voice control, as well as an integration with Spotify Connect and partnerships with connected tech companies such as Crestron, Lutron and Savant.

“These joint collaborations seamlessly integrate the Sonos’ sound platform into the connected home,” said Coomber. “Being able to control your whole home system directly from the music app of your choice is becoming increasingly important for consumers.”

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