How do you present your brand experience to audiences? Start with a cuppa coffee. Find out how Sennheiser engage youths through coffee culture.
South Koreans are now amongst the top global consumers of coffee, and the country is home to over 12,300 coffee shops.(1) It is apparently a common habit amongst Koreans to have three to four cups of coffee a day.
When interviewed, a local said, “Koreans have this urge to have a cup of coffee even if they do not get to have a bowl of rice”.(2)
The coffee culture has its roots as early as 1902, when coffee shops were known as “dabang”. In 1960s, the “dabang” became a popular place for dating couples. The first themed dabang, or café, surfaced in 1970s – a music café. It was a place of freedom for college students who could express political opinions. (2)
Today, coffee culture has seeped through the Korean lifestyle. Visiting cafes have become a main event for some – before and after meals, coffee dates for couples, gathering with friends, or studying session at café.
This is especially so amongst Korean youths. Going to the café is like an escape, a breath of fresh air from their busy school schedule.
Riding on this coffee culture, premium headphones brand Sennheiser opened its first concept cafe in Korea. At the “Sennheiser Music Café”, customers enjoy premium coffee in a relaxed environment and get to test-drive the wide range of headphones. They are also introduced to new music, via the café’s playlist. Most customers at the café are students - either doing revision, or having a chat with friends.
One of them was Lee Gin-ha, 26, from the nearby SungKuenkwan University. The law undergraduate who drinks coffee 3 – 4 times a day said, “I listen to music all the time, while I study, while I commute on the subway.” It was his first time at Sennheiser Music Café, and he was interested to try out the products.
Lee Gin-ha (left) studying with a friend
“Sennheiser Music café” is situated at Daehakro, where you can find many arts performances and universities, including the best university in Korea, Seoul National University. Mini concerts are held regularly at the café, congregating youths to support the local muscians and bands.
“Sennheiser Music Café” is a partnership with dal.komm Coffee, a coffee franchise chain. With a strong position in the arena of music and entertainment, it has set itself apart from franchise giant Starbucks, the first foreign café chain to enter South Korea in 1999.
Koreans are sensitive to new trends and curious about foreign culture. From music, fashion, to food, they are constantly hungry to try new experiences. As such, it is increasingly competitive for brands and businesses to engage the consumer.
Sennheiser’s approach towards the Korean market is at the intersection of music, coffee and youth culture. The brand has not just involved itself in the lifestyle of individual Koreans, but also ventured into the heart of the community, where people can come together and share experiences.
So how does a brand start engage effectively?
Start by seeking where the market thirsts, in this case, their thirst for coffee, literally.
* Interesting fact *
Most ordered drink in the menu at cafes amongst students: Americano
//Ashlyn Julia, Marketing @ MynewsdeskAsia
We are happy to feature Sennheiser as a part of Mynewsdesk's #TellYourStory series. #TellYourStory is a series to showcase stories from different brands, told by the people behind it and whom, made it happen. Find out what goes on behind-the-scenes of the brands you know, love and are inspired by.