Kenwood has been manufacturing kitchen appliances since 1947 and last year decided to break into the coffee-maker market with its BrewMaster Cafe. It also brought out a new version of its Smoothie Pro drinks machine and launched a limited-edition range of the Kenwood Chef. Retained agency Clarion Communications was charged with stirring up interest in all three product launches among young, wealthy professionals.
To increase Kenwood's overall market share in each of the products' markets.
Strategy and Plan
To impress journalists with Kenwood's coffee credentials, Clarion created a 'cafe atmosphere' for the BrewMaster launch in the head offices of consumer magazine publishers IPC and The National Magazine Company. Correspondents from relevant titles were invited to sample the coffee.
Attendees left with branded mugs and coffee samples, while national news journalists were sent the product to try for themselves. The team also attempted to place the product on home improvement and design makeover TV shows, positioning it as a bachelor pad must-have.
To drive awareness of the Smoothie Pro among, the team persuaded Ross Simon, head mixologist at London club the Lab Bar, to create cocktails and healthy smoothies. The team then sold in these recipes to lifestyle, fitness and regional publications. Colourful, stylised photographs were also used in an effort to add strength to the story.
The team wanted to emphasise the uniqueness of the Limited Edition Kenwood Chef, which was only being sold at John Lewis. It asked celebrity chef Phil Vickery to undertake a 'limited-edition culinary challenge' in front of carefully selected food and style journalists at John Lewis's flagship Oxford Street store. Vickery created three courses using the product in 15 minutes. Vickery was also made available to the media for interviews, while cooking shows and trade press were targeted.
Measurement and Evaluation
Coverage included 340 articles in the consumer and trade press, and features in national newspapers and consumer and regional titles, as well as 21 TV appearances. Highlights included Ready Steady Cook, Observer Food Monthly, Hello! and the Evening Standard.
Kenwood's market share increased from 75 per cent to 85 per cent over the six months to November 2004. The company now uses PR as the main launch vehicle for all of its major products.
'Clarion knows how to target the media because it knows the market for its products,' says freelance journalist and home economist James McIntosh.