Catching Up With... The Meridian Sooloos touchscreen interface
CustomRetailer: Over the past few years Meridian has debuted products designed to reach beyond the audiophile market. Can you talk about the marketing initiatives to support this effort?
Peter Wellikoff: Meridian is a very unique company. It’s two founders, Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd, are both still actively involved in the business after 35 years, and have complimentary disciplines (electronic design and industrial design, respectively). Thus, our product appeal is broader than a typical CE manufacturer.
While Bob’s technology is renowned in the audiophile market, Allen’s industrial designs have been timeless, elegant and very striking. If you were to look at our older 200 Series (1986) or 500 Series (1994) products, they’re still visually stunning. Meridian products don’t age like typical audio gear, especially to the design-conscious consumers. Other recent initiatives would include Meridian’s new automotive sounds systems for McLaren, Jaguar and Range Rover vehicles. This gives our dealers and us a huge access to a broad range of luxury consumers. In September, Meridian will be announcing another corporate partnership, which will enormously heighten brand awareness and introduce millions of consumers to Meridian.
CR: Industrial design has always been a hallmark of Meridian products. The M6 introduced at CES brought a radical change to the Meridian speaker line. How has the market received this design, and what else is Meridian offering to satisfy the decor-conscious consumer?
PW: Right out of the gate, the M6 was a global success; it gave Meridian a very appealing modern alternative to its current iconic speaker design. In an effort to expand our consumer base and, as they say, fish where the fish are, we have aggressively pursued the high net worth consumer market.
We’ve successfully achieved this by creative designs and various sales and marketing initiatives. This would include our Meridian Select Program that gives the client up to 250 RAL lacquer colors to choose from (which can be applied to both speakers and electronics).
In addition to this, some of these clients can’t or won’t shop in a typical store due to their celebrity or VIP status. Thus, they can either come to our NY SoHo Experience Center or opt for the Meridian Home Demo Program, in which we bring all the respective gear to the client’s home for demonstration and evaluation. This is clearly an example of functioning outside the box, and has realized huge incremental business with a very high close rate.