Premium Swiss loudspeakers targeting high net worth music lovers through performance and design
Piega is the premier Swiss audio brand, designing and creating beautiful, precision-engineered loudspeakers since 1986. Incredibly successful in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Nordics, the brand had tried to broach the important UK market on several occasions without success. Yet, thanks to the UK’s strong heritage in Hi-Fi, the UK is still widely regarded as the ‘litmus test’ audience for audiophile products. If audiophile products are reviewing and selling well in the UK, key Asian markets are much easier to enter.
Founded by Leo Greiner and Kurt Scheuch, Piega has always focused its loudspeaker design premise on sound quality, precision engineering and sumptuous aesthetics that appeal to a wide range of homeowners – not just audiophiles.
The company’s signature design concept is aluminium cabinets, often left with a raw brushed metal finish and ribbon tweeters, known for their sweet treble performance and wide sound dispersion.
Piega’s previous entries in the UK market had seen retailers warm to the brand and the sound, but push back through lack of reviews and the unique aesthetic. Slim, elegant, metal cabinet loudspeakers do not conform to the UK audiophile’s predilection with large, wood-built cabinets and aggressive looking drivers on full display.
In 2018 Quick Brown Fox PR entered discussion with Manuel Greiner, son of founder Leo, and undertook a 360-degree evaluation of the brand. We looked at its products, competitors, suitability for the UK market and the potential that good press in UK media could do for distribution channels and retail sales, not only in the UK, but around the world.
The brand’s unique aesthetic and impeccable build quality had an obvious association with Swiss precision engineering, a concept that has an appeal far beyond traditional audiophile and Hi-Fi buyers. Where previous entries into the UK market had been centred exclusively around the traditional Hi-Fi retail channel, we identified a larger potential audience in affluent home-owners. Comfortable and high net worth individuals looking for premium sound and a design-lead aesthetic, where loudspeakers become objects of design in the room.
With Piega deploying a dedicated B2B sales team in the UK, the first task was to build trade awareness through B2B press and direct mailing with target retailers. Regular audiophile retailers remained a part of the brief, yet the messaging would be subtly different, selling-in to retailers that were looking for a design-led alternative to mainstream speaker brands.
Yet a whole new channel presented itself with the Swiss precision and design-led message; retailers that focused on premium household goods and premium lifestyle brands. Driving a visual-led message through magazines, journals and blogs that specifically targeted high net worth individuals, we crafted an ongoing PR and editorial campaign underlining the design aspect, pedigree and Swiss engineering behind the brand and its products.
The third piece of this Swiss jigsaw was to create an ongoing portfolio of reviews and accolades through both specialist audio journals and mainstream press. With the large number of bulky samples required, we created an active sample-sharing system between reviewers and Piega’s UK sales team, giving them instant access to dealer demo stock.
While most PR agencies would struggle to house 20 or 30 samples of large loudspeakers and would unlikely have the infrastructure to deliver them anywhere nationwide in 24 hours, we simply engaged our partner brand, Quick Brown Fox Logistics, as a part of the package.
As the media and editorial campaigns unfolded across mainstream press, high-net-worth titles and Hi-Fi journals in print and on-line, we started building a scheduled review plan. This kicked off with a press trip and product briefing at Piega’s Zurich HQ for key editors.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, through 2020/21 Piega enjoyed one of its best years for business in its 35 years of creating sumptuous loudspeakers.
From 2018 we launched Piega to the mainstream media gaining image-driven editorial splashes in the likes of ‘How to Spend It’, ‘Luxury Living’, ‘International Smart House’ and ‘Long Live Vinyl’ magazines from the outset. The consumer coverage backed up by driving by-lined thought leadership articles into the retail trade press, focusing on up-selling to affluent consumers. The results saw the brand sell in to retail and out to consumers from the outset.
With mainstream media press launches and specialist press reviews over the following year, the brand began to build-up not only its sales volume but progressively raise the bar on its UK portfolio price points. By 2019 the brand dropped its entry-level Classic range for the UK, building on its growing success with Premium and Coaxial series, the latter cresting £20,000 at retail for the flagship model.
With specialist high-end audio and luxury retail outlets getting behind the brand, we launched the Master Line Source series to the UK. Several prominent retailers took the MLS2 model straight away, despite its retail price being close to £80,000 per pair.
In growing an enviable portfolio of coverage and reviews for the brand across print, digital and video channels, we looked into further driving the benefits of that coverage. We began negotiating copyright deals to create an ongoing portfolio of media content for use on Piega’s own digital channels and collated into pdf and print brochures. These could be used by Piega’s sales teams around the world as a sales tool in supporting and opening new Piega retailers.
Piega’s growth into the incredibly competitive UK loudspeaker market continues to gain momentum, backed by its ongoing relationship with the Quick Brown Fox team. Through the traditional audio press, lifestyle and high-net-worth titles, and a growing army of high-engagement blogs and video review channels, the Piega story continues to unfold in the UK press, with the media subsequently shared around the world.
“We have worked with Richard and his team for many years and appreciate their cooperation and understanding of the products and the UK market. These guys do a fantastic job.”
Manuel Griener, MD, Piega SA