Aggressive approach helps boost Mio brand presence

When you think of global positioning systems, a few brand names come to mind: Magellan and Garmin, specifically. But what about Mio? Most Americans would answer, "Me what?"

When you think of global positioning systems, a few brand names come to mind: Magellan and Garmin, specifically. But what about Mio? Most Americans would answer, "Me what?"

Launched overseas in 2003, the Taiwanese brand was popular in Europe, yet it had little name recognition in the US when it engaged Text 100 Public Relations in fall 2005. "It did not have any brand presence," says Craig Troskosky, Mio's account director at Text 100.

Strategy

Text 100 wanted the name Mio to come to mind right away and for it to be seen as a solid product, not just some Asian knockoff brand. It had to get early adopters talking about the name and get product reviews in tech magazines next to the big names. 
 
Tactics

Text 100 started pitching Mio products as perfect gifts for the holidays. Without a booth, it forged relationships with more than 40 journalists at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show. It submitted Mio products for review to trade and lifestyle publications and made Mio executives available for interviews on such subjects as partnerships, sales initiatives, channel relations, and product development.

Results

Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, InformationWeek, Crain's, Investor's Business Daily, and TWICE featured Mio products, and the brand was mentioned positively in more than 30 articles, Text 100 notes.

Eric Larsen, Mio director of marketing, says distributors started asking for the products before the salesforce even approached them. For example, Mio got a call from a Wal-Mart buyer who said he had seen the product in PC World magazine. "We found that distributors and buyers have already heard about us, and that's more valuable than anything," Larsen says.

Future

Mio and Text 100 continue to work together, with a focus on several new products, including the DigiWalker, a handheld personal navigational device.


PR team: Mio Technology, (Fremont, CA) and Text 100 (San Francisco)

Campaign: Launching New Devices and Establishing Brand Awareness
in a Crowded Market

Duration: September 2005 to February 2006

Budget: $20,000

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