Sherbourn Targets Prosumers by Going Direct
Sherbourn Technologies has overhauled its distribution model and will now bypass distributor and rep channels to sell its entire line of high-value AV components at greatly reduced pricing directly to prosumer enthusiasts – a model that has been a success for its Emotiva and Emotiva Pro lines. At the same time, Sherbourn dealers are being offered the opportunity to continue making margins on Sherbourn product sales by buying the line at accommodation pricing through Sherbourn’s new Direct Dealer Program.
The change was made to bring the brand in step with what company president Dan Laufman said are the changing dynamics within the custom integrator channel. “That robust, mid-channel brand opportunity doesn’t exist any more,” he said, adding that in his view, the market since the housing crash has become segregated into lower-end, distributor-based products and ultra high-end goods. Because of that change, “we spent money and time building a great product line without getting traction in the market, while the Emotiva and Emotiva Pro brands are on fire,” he explained. That trend, along with requests from Emotiva buyers for a way directly to purchase products in categories that Sherbourn products already populate, prompted the decision to make the move. “We’re not anti-dealer,” he said, but “we want to get ahead of the emerging business model.”
“The custom channel that existed before the housing crash is gone and it’s not coming back,” Laufman said, adding that consumers’ ability to access the Sherbourn line directly – at pricing that can be as much as 40 percent less than before – will “democratize the process” of attaining a high-quality theater audio setup for the savvy do-it-yourselfer hobbyist who may not need a great deal of hand-holding from a dealer. “I think people will get more service and support by being involved with the people directly designing and supplying the product,” he said.