Kicker Performance Audio is a leading brand of audio products designed for the car, home and personal audio markets. Kicker’s most recent product offerings are home and personal audio products designed to be used with iPod and other portable digital media players. Recognizing that high concentrations those using these devices were gathered on college campuses, Kicker desired to develop a program to build awareness among this valuable audience. 4D Marketing Strategies was contracted to develop and manage a pilot program eventually titled “Kicker @ College."
4D Marketing Strategies researched and authored a program plan that included specific recommendations for Student Brand Managers including:
• Eligibility and Recruitment
• Student Brand Manager (SBM) Reporting, Duties and Compensation
• SBM Job description • SBM Agreement
• SBM Training & Promotional Materials
• Program Budget
• Program Calendar & Metrics
4D Marketing Strategies managed a pilot program employing two Student Brand Managers on each of four campuses, recruiting, hiring, training, directing and coaching students on their campus. Student Brand Managers were selected for their enthusiasm and given wide latitude in the performance of their duties. 4D marketing Strategies tracked the weekly activities of Student Brand Managers evaluating the effectiveness of the program and making adjustments.
The video above was used to recruit Student Brand Managers during the second phase of the pilot program. It shows the enthusiasm of existing SBM's in the performance of their duties.
Many of Kicker’s existing marketing initiatives were incorporated into the program. As Kicker products are sold primarily through independent specialty retailers SBM’s were introduced to, and instructed to work with management of the retail outlet selected by Kicker in their community.
Kicker had developed the concept of audio interventions as a “cure” for a fictitious malady known as Audio Quality Deficiency (AQD.) A campus sampling campaign was developed around this concept. Student Brand Managers were instructed to approach students on campus that they found using other brands of audio products and offer them the opportunity to upgrade to Kicker products if they were willing to destroy the products they currently owned on camera.
The primary goal of increasing brand awareness for Kicker’s entry into the home and personal audio categories was achieved. Both unaided and aided brand awareness surveys were conducted during the first month of the fall semester and the last month of the spring semester. Kicker unaided brand awareness rose from a fourth place ranking with 12.2% of all brand mentions to a second place ranking with 16.5% of all brands mentioned in the headphone product category. In the iPod speaker dock category Kickers unaided awareness grew from 9.8% (5th place) to 17.4% of all brand mentions garnering a second place ranking in this category as well. First brand mentioned measurements rose more dramatically rising by an average of 9.26% across all product categories and placing as the number one ranked brand in two of three product categories. Quality perceptions of the Kicker brand also rose during the program.
Survey tabulation and anlysis were provided in reports and the beginning of the fall semster and end of the spring semseter. View a PDF of one complete report here.
Our goal was to figure out a way to raise awareness for the brand on campus. To do so, we determined our best move was to identify, appoint, train and empower a small group of students to represent KICKER on campus. This was a huge task, and internal staff didn’t feel we could tackle this successfully without help. We turned to 4D Marketing Strategies and asked them to take on responsibility for virtually all facets. 4D played the lead role in making this ambitious project happen and from the Spring of 2009 through Fall, 2010, they succeeded at raising awareness for both KICKER car and home audio lines, with product presentations, displays, interactive events, viral videos and word of mouth.
Kevin Campbell, Director of Marketing Kicker Performance Audio