Unlocking the appeal of ‘dull’ technology

NAS devices are seen as mostly utilitarian, therefore lacking the appeal of entertainment, gaming and other high-end devices.

Synology Inc is a Taiwanese company that creates and distributes network-attached storage (NAS) devices and other network equipment.

While it had established a local presence, the company had limited brand awareness among consumers. The client approached Red Ribbon Communications to build brand awareness and a positive reputation among consumers. The aim would also be to drive sales of the company’s desktop NAS devices, the DiskStation.

Challenges faced by Synology included strong competitors in the market and a weak appetite for coverage from consumer technology journalists. NAS devices are seen as mostly utilitarian, therefore lacking the appeal of entertainment, gaming and other high-end devices.

As such, Red Ribbon would need to create awareness around the product that was seen as “unsexy” or “dull” by potential reviewers.

A total of 25 reviews were published over the 18-month campaign.

Objectives
The client wished to raise brand awareness through reviews by technology journalists and additional PR. While they had a local presence, their product promotion had only been done through distributors.

As Synology’s local PR agency, Red Ribbon would facilitate and motivate product reviews from consumer-facing technology publications. We needed to make the technology more appealing to consumers and journalists by highlighting the benefits of NAS devices over cloud storage.

Approach
The campaign was split into two phases: foundational work and journalist/consumer reviews.

The first leg of the campaign focused on building a foundation of content to establish Synology as a thought leader relevant to local publications. We provided product articles and thought leadership articles with localised angles.
Red Ribbon organised a trip to Computex 2018 for a journalist from Popular Mechanics, one of the biggest consumer technology publications in South Africa.

From this foundation, we could move towards reaching the target audience through product reviews in major consumer publications. We also approached early adopters and influencers to review and cover Synology products. This included notable photographers and videographers who could promote the products to other visual content creators.

We also used the novel approach of consumer reviews, facilitated through the MyBroadband forum audience. Certain forum users were given DiskStation units to review.

Overall Results
Synology’s brand recognition among consumers increased significantly as a result of Red Ribbon’s review campaign. Not only were we able to place relevant content across publications for the client, but we also used unique approaches to get consumer coverage of a non-mainstream product.

Computex 2018 trip: The Computex 2018 trip was successful in creating content for a consumer audience. It resulted in three different articles published in Popular Mechanics based on interviews with Synology and the visit to the Synology booth at Computex. The coverage was a major building block in making Synology products more applicable to consumers.

High-level coverage and reviews: A total of 25 reviews were published over the 18-month campaign, with notable coverage including:

● Popular Mechanics
● Memeburn
● NAG Online
● Shawn Ogulu (Photographer)
● Craig Howes (Photographer)
● Htxt Africa

Increased brand recognition: When comparing H1 2018 to H1 2019 (the period before/at the start of campaign compared to the end of the campaign), there is a 100% increase in Google search interest for “synology”, “synology nas” and “diskstation”.

Consumer reviews: The partnership with MyBroadband forum users resulted in 10 reviews from 10 ordinary consumers, shared with the large forum audience. These reviews were then aggregated into a MyBroadband article and published on the main website.

Through our continued work with consumer publications and novel approach to getting consumers directly involved, we were able to get past the initial concerns about the technology being unappealing.

100%
Increase in local Google search interest.
35+
Reviews