Plantronics hires WagEd as it focuses on consumer marketplace

SANTA CRUZ, CA: As headset maker Plantronics tries to shake its call-center image, the company has called in Waggener Edstrom as its US agency.

SANTA CRUZ, CA: As headset maker Plantronics tries to shake its call-center image, the company has called in Waggener Edstrom as its US agency.

Plantronics previously worked with Porter Novelli for about four years.

The growth of the mobile devices, gaming, and small and medium-sized businesses has opened new opportunities for the company, which has been a b-to-b player till now.

Plantronics launched a new branding campaign last year, focusing on its innovation, leadership, and legacy in the headset market, said Clay Hausmann, VP of corporate communications.

"Consumer behavior is driving the growth of the market," add Hausmann.

But that also means Plantronics is facing more competition than it had when it dominated the market for call center headsets. But as it becomes more focused on consumers and mobile professionals, Plantronics now faces competition from companies including Motorola and Logitech.

To meet the demands of these growing markets, and to take on competitors, Hausmann has been building the in-house PR function. When Hausmann joined in May 2005, he found just one PR person. Plantronics hadn't made huge investments in marketing because its core market of call centers really didn't need to be marketed to, he said

Plantronics now has an in-house team of four people, and Hausmann said the team has a very diverse set of needs.

He selected Wag Ed for its understanding of the market, and because the agency proved that it could be "agile along with us."

He also cited a similarity in the companies' culture and chemistry. Wag Ed's Bellevue, WA office will lead the account, with help from its San Francisco office.

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