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Skullcandy On Broadening European Reach

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With the recent launch of its new campaign Supreme Sound, Skullcandy is zeroing in on the European market with several projects that have an even stronger focus on music. The first in the series, a collaboration with Paris-based producer Onra and musical artist and close friend Walter Mecca, will feature a limited run of exclusive tracks on vinyl and custom engraved Skullcandy Supreme Sound Aviators, which will only be found at two shops in the region: Democratie and Betinos Record Shop.

“Simply put, music is an increasing focus with our new brand message, Supreme Sound, being so prominent,” says European Brand Manager Thierry Peuchot. ”The European market has its specialities, and this explains the dedicated European approach. These are the first steps to a complete music program that will unfold in 2013.”

Peuchot shed some additional light on the brand’s new music-focused  campaign, how it’s differentiating marketing efforts across the pond, and how the brand hopes to gain a new consumer base within the European market by working together with its retail partners.

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How will the Supreme Sound campaign differ in the European market as opposed to in the US? 
In the same spirit, we are using global images of the icons, and focusing on skate and NBA for a more urban feel. So campaign wise, we’re sticking to the global guidelines.

What do you see as the major opportunities within the European Market, and how does this campaign zero in on them? 
Music is an important element of our brand, and it’s a great way of reaching out to potential brand fans we don’t talk to right now through action sports. Remember that in Europe action sports are not as mass market as they are in the US, although it’s obviously changing. This program is the first step of a strategy that’s still in the works for 2013. It’s humble, yet we’re pushing highly respected artists that have real followers.

What about challenges? How will Skullcandy work toward overcoming these? 
The marketplace is  more crowded than ever, so in order to raise the bar and set ourselves apart from the pack, we heavily invested in improving and differentiating our product and brand from any other out there. We made our focus on engineering and moving the needle on product technology.  This is a complete brand refresh from top to bottom.

We are starting a fresh book at Chapter One… with the best team building and the best product in the industry.

It’s about communicating this at the shop level. We have trainers in each key market. The other challenge is growing while keeping customers happy. A few of us having a large sport company background— (Nike, adidas)—  we understand how this works. Proper segmentation is key. Keeping CE products and core products exclusive to those channels.

How many European retailers does the brand have? Is this something you are working towards growing or narrowing down to keep the product more exclusive?
I don’t have a number but I can tell you that the goal is to grow the business with our best partners and not open new ones if they don’t do the brand justice.

What are your predictions/goals for sales as a result of this new marketing approach? 
I can’t communicate regional numbers but the strategy is aggressive and there is a lot of room to grow. Whilst we are a strong brand in the UK, we are under penetrated in France and Germany, for example.

What are the next steps to the music program that will launch next year? What parts of that campaign will be specific to the European market? 
Music is a different beast, and there will be regional differences, not like in skate for example where it’s pretty much the same vision from the US to the rest of the world. We’re still working on the program, but we can say it will be a focus for the brand in Europe. So many artists, genres, festivals—all this can lead to cool and interesting projects for Skullcandy and the artists we work with. We just need to define how to make it live on its own while still connecting to the rest of the marketing assets that we have.

What are your goals/predictions for the brand within the European market over the next six to 12 months?
First we get our Supreme Sound messaging out there and make sure our customers and retailers understand the time and energy we’ve put into raising the bar of the Skullcandy brand. Then, the possibilities are endless with our new refreshed vision. The sky’s the limit here.