CR Talks To...: Paul Starkey, Senior Vice President, Marketing, CORE Brands
CustomRetailer: What is the state of the current CI industry, and how did these conditions influence the formation of core brands?
Paul Starkey: The past few months have been encouraging. While spotty geographically, new starts and spending on A/V and IT goods seem to be heading up. Several dealers are reporting a full backlog of projects, and for some businesses, “keeping up” seems to be the new mantra.
In 2010, the arrival of a new executive management team at Nortek prompted a complete review of the way our brands go to market. Initially, this led to the combination of ELAN, Niles, Xantech, Sunfire and ATON into one business unit. CORE Brands expands this idea further, and now includes 10 brands, with the addition of SpeakerCraft, Proficient, BlueBOLT, Panamax and Furman.
Consumers are demanding a great variety of more innovatively designed products. Manufacturers need to be able to collaborate creatively to provide these consumers with a whole range of solutions. Manufacturers and dealers need to market their offerings in a broader way, to make people aware of them.
This is what CORE Brands is focused on delivering—a greater variety of innovative products, marketed more broadly to reach more customers than traditional vehicles, which will end up creating more business for our dealers, and ultimately driving the health of the CI industry.
CR: Is it accurate to say that the primary objectives of CORE Brands’ formation was to eliminate redundancies and optimize synergies?
Starkey: I would put it differently. Our primary objective was to unleash a new era of innovation for each of our brands by sharpening each brand’s focus, maximizing the performance and business synergies between the brands, and eliminating the redundancies that interfered with efficiently meeting the needs of our dealers. The debut of CORE Brands represents a strategically sound way for our company to go to market in the new CI industry.
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