Chicago Symphony

Case Study with CSO | Situation

In today’s market, if your company wants to make a profit, doubt should be nowhere in the equation. That’s why corporations from non-profit organizations to automative, beauty and health, to retail sectors rely on our expertise for their bottom line. We know the urban consumer.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was awarded a grant by the Joyce Foundation to reach out to underserved communities. The CSO decided to focus their initial efforts on the African-American market.


HMG won the two year project and implemented a design that included qualitative research (focus groups) and quantitative research (direct mail).  Findings from both research phases provided insights and direction for the market strategy and planning.

HMG assisted the CSO marketing team with the development of the “Classical Tapestry” Program (“Relevant” three concert series and pre-concert receptions with artists) which included identifying and engaging relevant media and affinity groups to partner with the CSO.


Per the qualitative and quantitative research, year two and three of Classical Tapestry, the results were better and showed improvements on key aspects versus the initial program.

> Higher recall of the brochure
> Higher purchase incidence of Classical Tapestry packages and tickets
> Higher African -American satisfaction levels

In fact, the percentage of first time African-American CSO attendees declined from 37% to 15%, and second time attendees increased, indicating that Classical Tapestry is working to introduce African Americans to the CSO.

Today (2011) , Classical Tapestry has evolved from an “outreach” concept to a “cultural” event

> Culture from an artistic and African-American standpoint
> Has “cache” in the Black community
> Many of core original attendees are repeat users



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