SanDisk selects H&K to drive lifestyle push

MILPITAS, CA: SanDisk has selected Hill & Knowlton as its consumer AOR, several months after enlisting the agency as its corporate AOR.

MILPITAS, CA: SanDisk has selected Hill & Knowlton as its consumer AOR, several months after enlisting the agency as its corporate AOR.

Ryan Donovan, senior director of corporate communications at SanDisk, said H&K won the mid-six-figure business following a competitive review that included incumbent Cohn & Wolfe. The consumer business was also shared with Lyman PR, who continues to handle SanDisk's b-to-b business.

A representative at C&W declined to comment.

“We're going to drive more consumer media coverage,” Donovan said. “[In the past] we did a good job in terms of getting product reviews, but we want to see more consumer lifestyle, more broadcast, and more social media.”

Rather than focus on technical details, he says, the strategy will be telling people why using SanDisk products matters to their digital lives.

“Historically, we've been really product-centric, and now we're more about the lifestyle of the product,” Donovan said.

SanDisk, best known for its flash memory technology, is a premium brand that competes in a space that is largely price driven. The task ahead for the company is educating consumers on the benefits of considering more than price, Donovan said.

“Because people store the photos from their honeymoon or videos they take a concert on their memory card, the quality of the product matters,” he said. “They need to be able to trust their memories are safe and will be there when they get home.”

MaryLee Sachs, director of H&K's worldwide marketing communications practice, explained that the business will include people with technology and consumer expertise.

“This is a very significant win,” she said. “Because it's a great brand and builds on some great work we done have in the space... and technology is our biggest area in the US. This win strengthens that practice.”

Donovan previously worked with H&K while handling corporate media relations at Hewlett-Packard.

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