When your client spends 22,000 hours of research and development innovating a new product and then 172 million dollars building a new state-of-the-art factory to make it in, you know you need to pull out all the stops for its official launch in the US market. This was the challenge Sharp embraced with Dekton by Cosentino, an innovative new line of ultracompact surfacing, as we prepared for its highly-anticipated introduction in October 2013.
Dekton is an entirely new category of material with advanced technical properties for both interior and exterior design. The key audience to reach and educate at launch was architects. To do so, we created a strategic partnership with AIA-NY and the Center for Architecture, in conjunction with Archtober, a month-long festival celebrating architecture and design in New York City.
We conceived and created an exhibition called Surface Innovation: Redefining Boundaries of Interior and Exterior Spaces, showcasing the rigorous R&D led by Cosentino to bring Dekton to market. We selected and secured six emerging New York architecture firms, including Architecture in Formation, Desai/Chia Architecture, EASTON+COMBS, MANIFOLD ArchitectureStudio, Moorhead & Moorhead, and SOFTlab, to be featured in the exhibition. Known for their innovation and creative approaches, these future leaders of the industry presented six original design concepts using the new Dekton material, showing us new ways to think about surfaces and the relationship between interior and exterior spaces.
The exhibition was installed at the Center for Architecture in late September and opened to the public on "Archtober" 3rd, with a press conference and opening reception. The press conference included a panel discussion with all six architecture firms and was attended by prestigious architect Daniel Libeskind who announced his plans to create a permanent sculpture using Dekton at the Cosentino global headquarters in Spain. This combination of emerging and world-renowned architects proved to be a compelling draw for the press, with more than 50 top-tier editors, producers and bloggers attending. The press conference seamlessly flowed into the evening opening reception which drew a further 250 members of AIA, and industry leaders, who viewed the exhibition, mingled with the architects and got a first-look at the new Dekton material. The launch day was a smashing success!
During the months of in-depth planning for the exhibition and launch, which involved the Sharp PR, Events and Social Media teams, we strategically pitched an advance exclusive on Dekton to Metropolis magazine, a leading architecture and design publication with a strong focus on innovation. They jumped at the chance and in late March, Sharp accompanied one of their editors on a trip to Spain to visit the Cosentino global HQ, tour the new Dekton factory, and see the first official Dekton slabs coming off the production line. This terrific behind-the-scenes opportunity resulted in a 2-page exclusive feature story, titled "Geology 101" which ran in the October issue of Metropolis – and perfectly hit newsstands a week before our launch events.
The exhibition remained open to the public for the entire month of October, during which Sharp and Cosentino hosted multiple receptions, industry "lunch and learns", CEU's, and networking events to introduce the new product to all the key constituents. One highlight included a cocktail party hosted with Dwell magazine for more than 150 leading interior designers in NYC.
The launch surpassed all expectations, catapulting Dekton into the spotlight in the Architecture and Design community. In the first two months alone, more than 6,828,241 media impressions were secured for the new brand and the launch event drove over 700 interactions (likes and shares) across social media. Dekton content was viewed more than 1 million times across social media in the first 3 weeks of launch.
We continue to build momentum for the new brand, executing an exciting year-long launch plan in 2014.