Legendary piano maker Steinway & Sons hadn’t launched a major new product in more than 70 years. In the intervening period, the role of live music making had shifted dramatically. No longer was it de rigueur that people of a certain station played, much less owned, a piano. However the desire for authentic, immersive cultural experiences was higher than ever. How could Steinway capitalize upon its universally renowned brand and become the conduit to culture for a new generation of music lovers and experience seekers who were not necessarily musicians themselves?
We partnered with Steinway to bring to market a breakthrough new instrument that transcended the space between live performance and recorded music. Steinway Spirio is a fully functional Steinway piano that can play back the performances of live artists in identical form. We crafted the strategy for this new brand in its entirety: the space it should, and should not, occupy in the minds of affluent culture lovers, the product’s name, as well as an entirely new go-to-market plan designed to resonate with people who might never play the piano themselves.
Spirio started with a two-city pilot in the U.S. and now has been launched across North America, Europe and China. The test markets have produced great results: Sales across the eight pilot cities sales represented an 80% incremental lift at a margin that was about +50% higher than Steinway’s standard products.