PITCH PERFECT / by Mark Izatt

Last weekend I attended an 'invitation only' event hosted by Linn, the renowned Scottish designers and creators of music systems in The Violin Factory, London.

In my opinion, as customer immersions go, it was a well conceived and executed event.  Four factors were key to their success;

(1) The venue selection was absolutely on brand.   Creating an immersive environment with the minimum of build resulted in a very authentic space which allowed product and brand to be showcased.    You felt like you were in a private home, a contemporary living space thus placing Linn firmly in the domestic context with strong tech and design cues - space reflected the product and amplified (pun not intended) the appeal of the experience.

(2) The concept of the event was "Your Style, Your Sound" which was helpfully communicated via a lanyard around your neck (a nice 'live' event prop) and this was the theme.   Guests got to chose how things looked and what they listened to.   There was, therefore, a deeper connection and intimacy with the various demonstrations (which felt more like informal conversations) because they were based on music we had selected.  That made the Linn message all the more powerful - WE know our favorite pieces of music and how we want them to sound.

(3) Creating an experience which lasted a week and making it the anchor for a range of contact groups (media, trade, opinion former and VIP consumer) delivers a higher return on investment which in turn justifies a higher original investment.   Bringing people to one location (even international guests) can be a more efficient and effective way rather then diluting effort over many events.   Linn had also partnered with a high quality wine merchant to provide an additional feature.   Pooling equity with a non-competitive brand can only enhance the experience and reduce cost.

(4) Lastly, but probably the most important aspect, the event was staffed by Linn employees - passionate, expert and authentic.  All too often this is where brands fail.  No "hired help", everyone present had a role back at HQ and therefore over the course of the evening the transfer of knowledge was persuasive.   

This was the sort of evening you probably planned on allocating 30 - 40 minutes to but when we finally managed to pull ourselves away from the live music performance (an artist with whom Linn work) we had almost been there for 2 hours.  We were not alone.   

The whole evening left you with the impression that if they apply the same amount of diligence to the product (which clearly they do) it's worth every penny.

If only more brands followed this script.