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Sonos lands in Hong Kong with big plans for audiophiles

The US-based sound experience brand Sonos has recently landed in Hong Kong through Asian major distributor TC Acoustic. Fiede Schillmoeller, Sonos head of global expansion spoke with Marketing Interactive about the brand’s plan of expansion in Hong Kong and the potential of the Hong Kong audio market.

Sonos has partnered with electronic appliance retailer Fortress. Its full sound system is available exclusively at selected Fortress retail outlets and eShops across the region for the first year of its launch in Hong Kong. The partnership aims to introduce Sonos to Hong Kong audio lovers.

“We know that 75% of home audio lovers in Hong Kong use their products at least once a week with just under half of those listening several times a week. People who unwind and destress from HK’s hectic lifestyle will find value in our open system and great design that fits with their home and lifestyle,” said Schillmoeller.

Potential Sonos customers are being told they can build their system according to their personal preferences and needs. The system includes smart speakers and sound bars, with multiroom wireless audio set-ups, that can be combined, matched and expanded over time. Through an intuitive design feature – that enables different modes of control – users can simultaneously play the audio of a film in the living room, a podcast in the kitchen, and a song in the den.

In addition, the system is fully compatible with major streaming services in Hong Kong, including Spotify, Apple Music, Kkbox, QQ Music, and Tidal.

“Our audience love music and major culture seekers. They love podcasts, audiobooks, television, food, art, design and even a good meme,” Schillmoeller said.

“Sonos provides a simple set up and effortless control. From unboxing the first speaker to custom-tuning the fifth, the Sonos experience is easy. Sonos is designed for the novice first, and expert second. We want to help Hong Kongers listen better.”

Founded in Santa Barbara, California in 2002, Sonos is capitalising on three trends: the rise in paid streaming, rise of voice assistant speakers, and the rise of the smart home.

Schillmoeller explained, “When these three converge we call it the sonic internet. Access to all of the riches of this golden age of content, simply by asking for it. We’ve moved from an era of swipe and type, to speak and listen.”

“We are seeing these trends developing in Hong Kong. We feel we’re in this market at the right time. The wireless speaker segment here has tripled in size from 2012 to 2017. The music industry and tastes are so developed here. Hong Kongers love music, and they listen to music out loud. 18% of households currently own a home sound system, while there is 15% for US and Canada.”

Schillmoeller believes that the partnership with TC Acoustic and Fortress provides Sonos with reliable and fast expansion into Hong Kong’s mature audio market.

“We know TC Acoustic and Fortress places customer service and experience first — values that Sonos share as we strive to become the world’s leading sound experience company. Following our soft launch, we’re delighted with the traction we’ve already achieved in less than two months, having already expanded from an initial five stores during our pilot period to today’s official launch of a total 14 doors.”

Sonos will undertake a fully integrated marketing program in Hong Kong, including in-store, POS, TV, social, digital and a PR campaign.

“Our market strategy is aligned with our global vision and mission to empower the world to listen better. It’s just the beginning – we see a huge future for smart speakers and audio systems worldwide as the trends of paid streaming, smart home and AI voice assistants Converge,” Schillmoeller said.

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