Establishing Market Dominance by Leveraging a B2B Brand in a Hostile B2C Environment

Challenge

In the face of intensifying competition, convergence of technologies, product commoditization, and potential erosion of licensing revenues, our client (a global leader in digital entertainment technologies) needed to better understand and leverage the strength of its brand worldwide. The company had limited knowledge of its consumer brand due to its historical emphasis on B2B technology licensing and co-branded relationships. It also believed that consumers narrowly defined the brand as a high quality audio technology brand.

Solution

We undertook a rigorous brand assessment and competitive positioning initiative, involving extensive qualitative and quantitative consumer research in five countries to identify key consumer expectations and needs, as well as existing and potential strengths and vulnerabilities of the brand. The effort uncovered significant brand strengths and points of leverage that were remarkably consistent across demographics and geographies. We repositioned the corporate brand from its historically functional/technological orientation to a more emotional and aspirational promise, establishing the brand as the leader in “entertainment enriching technologies” – i.e., making the entertainment experience richer, fuller, more realistic, and more immersive in any entertainment environment (cinema, home theatre, online, gaming, mobile audio, etc.). We then created a robust communications platform and brand development strategy designed to increase leverage with marketing partners and licensees worldwide, and enable the company to expand its brand and technology offerings into new and emerging technology categories. We also assisted with the development of a new brand management structure and assisted in the recruitment and development of in-house brand management capabilities to manage the increased emphasis on B2C brand marketing.

Impact

The company achieved superior licensing margins amidst intensifying competitive pressures, and successfully expanded into video, digital cinema, and online and mobile audio. Today, the company enjoys revenues and market capitalization 10 times the size of its next closest competitor, and after a highly successful IPO, is considered by some market analysts to be the “next Intel.”