CustomRetailer March 2009 issue
It can be daunting for consumers to confront technology with which they are not familiar. And it can be easy for custom integrators to get carried away explaining all the options involved with home automation such as lighting control.
When compiling and organizing the content of any issue of CustomRetailer, the No. 1 priority is relevance to the reader. “What is the reader benefit?” is a question I demand the answer to for every feature, column and case study before it runs.
With the Dow recently dipping to 11-year lows, what’s the commercial job a New York-area integrator might be least likely to snag right now? Perhaps, say, a brand-new stock trading floor in mid-town Manhattan?
As I’ve often discussed in this column, your brand is your company. Your brand is the collection of every symbol, communication and experience associated with your products and services you provide.
Tuesday, February 3, marked the kickoff of CEDIA’s 2009 Survival of the Fittest Webinar series. The attendance was overwhelming as participants listened to Molly Gibson, president of Overflow Marketing, Inc., present “Effective Down Market Promotions.”
If there is anything the last two years have taught us, it is that things are not getting any easier in the business world, and that the A/V business is struggling to find its place. The independent retailer and custom installer are struggling to find relevancy in the never-ending pricing erosion, with the competitive picture ever worsening.
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the professional/residential trade show aimed at electronic systems integrators, attracted record attendance this February, the challenging economic climate notwithstanding. Nearly 25,000 were drawn to Amsterdam for the exhibition—a 12-percent increase over the body count last year—as were 564 exhibitors, up 16 percent from the 2008 show.
Letters From CustomRetailer readers
Not every innovation in the custom electronics industry comes from major corporations with deep pockets. VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and control solutions, was founded by two degreed engineers. Using their technical knowledge and design capabilities, the team of Steven Cheung and Sergio DeAlbuquerque, now president and vice president of VidaBox, have created innovative media center and control solutions for the custom integration market.
It’s a skill that involves selling nuances. It’s not as easy as selling a better grade of television or A/V receiver. But, if you can promote properly, it’s one of the most lucrative sales you can make.
If you deliver more than you promise as a custom integrator, your execution of a project will be absolutely top drawer. These days, though, that may not be enough. What is it, then, that oftentimes trumps functionality and ease of use, when it comes to impressing a client? Answer: the ‘bling.’
Our recent survey on brands and security-related products that CustomRetailer readers are selling was a real eye-opener. In the past few months, we have found that selling more products and services to fewer customers can maintain revenues and even grow revenues. Besides wanting to know what products custom retailers are selling, we also wanted to know what is making them profit, how labor costs are fitting into the changing picture and more on the subject of security systems in the custom integration arena.