The market was saturated with brands big and small, all offering similarly constructed IEMs for musicians at every level and price-point. Gaining distribution was also difficult, as competitor brands had developed solid relationships with artists for on-stage use; thereby owning the influencers in the market.
“The world didn't need another IEM. Not sure what new they [Fender] are bringing to the game.”
- Music Industry Retailer
As it often does, the opportunity presented itself from simply listening to the consumer. While musicians liked current IEM offerings, they felt they weren't capturing the highest highs and the lowest lows. The components used by 99% of the market simply couldn’t deliver the true, authentic full spectrum of sound.
Working in collaboration with the Fender Product and Marketing teams, we identified their most respected IEMs were constructed using a different type of “driver” than the rest of the industry. Through artist, producer and audiophile research, we helped Fender identify that this unique driver was the sole differentiator for serious musicians, and the path to a powerful and ownable position within the market. We then helped them develop a new product line based on this unique construction. And then named it, branded it and created a launch campaign to tell its story.
With a distinct positioning, a refreshed line and most importantly, a product poised to gain adoption at the highest levels in music, Fender IEMs delivered on their lofty brand expectations. Global retail adoption increased by 42% in year one with artist adoption trending in a similar fashion.
In fact, the research with industry players opened up an even larger brand opportunity; consumer headphones based off the same professional technology. In 2018, we helped Fender launch its first IEM-inspired in-ear headphone line named “Pure Sonics” in the consumer audio space.
Brand and Product Strategy
Product Naming & Branding
Campaign Creative Development
Over its 70+ years in music, Fender has become a respected authority in sound. As a brand, Fender exists to serve artists and the music they create; knowing full well that since music is a boundless form that will never stop evolving, innovation and adaptation are table stakes to survival.
Over the last several decades, artists seeking their best performance on stage adopted In Ear Monitors (IEMs) to hear themselves with ultimate clarity. The industry gradually moved to IEMs, but Fender’s offerings did little to live up to the high expectations of the music community it had cultivated.
Fender wanted to create something that both delivered on the authentic needs of musicians seeking IEMs as well as staked their rightful leadership position in the music category.
Instruments for your ears.
“Audible helped us hear the artist and formulate a clear path to innovating on their behalf. Their ability to work across the organization to connect product, sales and marketing functions allowed us to make fundamental changes to how we were approaching this product segment and opened up new ones.”
EVAN JONES, CMO - FENDER