For successful c-tailers and custom integrators, it has been several years since the light bulb went on in their collective heads about the profit potential in tying control of other than audio and video gear into an installation package. Getting that tungsten to fire up in clients’ brains about home automation, however, has been a challenge rife with hurdles that include skepticism, techno-fear, and cost concerns- obstacles that none but the best can surmount. The home, as it turns out, can only be as intelligent as the client is willing to let it be. So, how do integrators across this land get more of
Opportunities are wide open for the custom retailer who can peer beyond flat-panel's pixels By Nancy Klosek It isn't video. It's audio. And it isn't easy. In fact, it takes a village—C-tailing business owners, manufacturers, salespeople—to make the case for a high-ticket audio purchase. Suppliers and C-tailers who get it know that conducting a good demonstration is only the culmination of the presentation process. The development of cannily designed product lines on the manufacturing side and, on the retail side, an unvarnished self-examination of the dynamics which influence audio purchases are the requisite preludes to a sale, say industry participants from each camp
…NAD focuses on beauty as well as brains and brawn with its new Master Series. By Nancy Klosek Lenbrook, which markets the NAD and PSB brands, has trademarked "Build-Artistry" as an umbrella phrase for its NAD Master Series. These new products, which make their North American debuts at CEDIA Expo, represent an attempt to formalize the company's oft-stated commitment to no-nonsense, clean-line audio components and truth in power specs. However, NAD knows that in today's marketplace, how a product looks is increasingly as important as what's inside—so the Master Series takes NAD's salt-of-the-earth heritage and gussies it up for a night on the
Can Furniture Be Monsterized? By Marshall Lager Monster Cable is arguably the most compelling success story of the CE industry. Few companies, regardless of size, goods or approach, have been able to satisfy dealers and consumers the way Monster has for 30 years. As a result of the company's ambitious dealer programs, canny marketing strategies and extensive product mix (not to mention margins), Monster has developed an intensely loyal dealer base at all levels of the industry, from mass to specialty. Possibly more than anyone else in the industry, Monster makes money for its dealers. Naturally, this earns the company a lot of love.
Not-so-conventional wisdom for finding and keeping quality employees By Jessica Millward The custom retail market, for better and for worse, is anything but typical. Its business proposition—to offer individualized service in a standardized way—is a tricky balancing act in the best of circumstances. So it's oddly fitting that the greatest difficulty facing such an industry, in an era of slow economic growth and an abundance of unemployed and underemployed workers, would be recruiting and retaining the right people. As of September this year, nine million jobless workers were on the hunt for work, and 23.2 percent of them, or 2.1 million, have been searching
Custom Installation Education Diversifies By David Dritsas The front line of any custom retail business is the employee. Because the employee—whether a member of the sales, design or installation team—is the primary contact to the customer, it's essential that employees genuinely know what they are talking about. They are the ones that must convincingly convey to the customer the value of what the customer is buying—or could be buying. That's not an easy task in the increasingly complex landscape of custom CE. There's a lot to know, and classes aren't taught on college campuses. Manufacturers, retailers and installers unanimously agree that the need for