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interested in classifying brands.


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advanced_audio 
Copper - Posts: 170
Copper spacespace
Joined: July 07, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: July 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM / IP Logged  
I can agree as well as location isn't too big an issue but still something worth considering. For example a place called Hi Fi Buys in Antioch,Tn in a real run down neighborhood does excellent buisness and they carry Morel, Alpine JL Audio and other high end brands.
audiocableguy 
Copper - Posts: 630
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 27, 2003
Location: Idaho, United States
Posted: July 29, 2008 at 7:02 PM / IP Logged  
What was quality yesterday is crap today. Hifonics for example. The older Steve Mantz/Zed stuff was top quality. Hifonics stuff today is absolute garbage. PPI, Orion, Soundstream same story. People will still buy the products on name sake alone.
All you can do is invite the Reps. See who offers the best terms and conditions. Indiana should be widely open for territories. Try to carry what the Big Brand stores don't and see what the other local shops offer. The cheap stuff will sell but with it comes warranty and return headaches. The high end stuff might sit on the shelf for a while requiring you carry the paper on it till it sells.
Too High End and your a boutique. Carry to Low End and your a flea market. Good Luck.
megaman 
Copper - Posts: 385
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 24, 2008
Location: Montana, United States
Posted: July 29, 2008 at 7:23 PM / IP Logged  

For me the rule of thumb is to keep the Mid's/Highs the same brand, front to rear.  As far as mix-matching subs and amp brands, no problem.  We routinely get our customers into mid-level amplifiers with entry level subwoofers.  It creates a repeat customer when they want to upgrade their bass system and all the have to do is bump up the subs.  Plus it creates an image of respect for the shop when we do this kind of thing, instead of saving them money up front and then hit their wallets hard when they want to upgrade, we ease them into a killer sound system.

We have been mildly successful because we have the stigmata that we're the "High-end" shop in town, which has pushed away the far more popular entry level customer.  However, we have been hitting the advertising hard for our entry level equipment to break that barrier and after 4 months we've seen an increase of traffic and sales of those "deck and pair" customers.

We sell for our entry to mid-level subs and speakers: Eclipse.  For mid to high-end is the JL Audio lines.  For decks we dabble in a few brands but are direct with Eclipse for the High-end customer.  Eclipse has been great because they have the image of extremely high-end but their unit pricing is low enough to compete with the main-stream brands such as Pioneer and Alpine.

We have a very limited inventory of Dual single din CD players and Mobile vid's which we don't even display.  We use those decks for the customer who is looking for the cheapest thing they can get their hands on, or our Car Dealership customers.

Like I said before, what I've seen in my 15 years in the industry is that those shops that have been successful, are the ones that offer about two or three brands of head-units, two or three brands of amps/speakers, and focus on the entry and mid-level customer.  In reality we all like to say that we tailor to only the high-end customers what what works is a great selection of mid-line equipment with a limited selection of High-end equipment.  A smaller line of High-end equipment lets your customers know you mean business and builds the mystique of the high-end audio systems.  If you focus on added accessories such as bluetooth, iPod adaptors, etc., then you'll make up the margin on those entry and mid-line CD decks.  On entry level decks, Kits and harnesses are essential to making any kind of profit for your business.

With Jensen you will retain the popular brand by servicing the entry level customers.  You can use that brand as a stepping stone to the quality lines such as Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, JVC, Sony, etc.  It all comes down to the quality of your sales staff and how effective they can step the customer up.  Try top-down selling.  Start at a fairly high-end peice and then come down a few models to give the customer the illusion that they are not paying top-dollar, but it's better and easier for your staff to sell a less expensive unit, than starting at the Jensen line and trying to work up.

For speaker and amplifier lines, we've tried in many different markets the less known brands, and unless you have a great sales staff, it is very difficult to sell an unknown brand.  I've sold Memphis Audio in the Ft. Lauderdale market and killed, then tried that market up in the Northwest and it was a devastating dud.  When it comes to choosing your lines it comes down to business.  What brands are you partial to, and can you get them at a decent price?  Are the reps in your area for the products returning phone calls or e-mails?  For me, if it were my business I would start at the distributor level, pull in a few name brands like JBL, Infinity ( great group of products for entry-mid-high end products, and they are both from the same company), also decks from Kenwood, pioneer, Eclipse, Alpine, those are your four heavy hitters.  You can try out the "boutique" type brands like MA Audio, Audison, Memphis, AudioBahn, and the like, but be fore warned that your sales staff needs to be keen on these products.  Excitement for the product in your staff creates excitement in your customers.  For mainstream brands that cater to all levels, you have Rockford Fosgate, MTX, and Kicker.

Our business direction has been to cater to the entry-mid level customer, and get the word out as much as we can.  For High-end systems we don't advertise or focus on them, as they are truly a rareity in my market.  I'll get maybe five complete systems in a month which makes me good money, but is a drop in the bucket compared to the vast sales of entry to mid-level product. 

greektek 
Member - Posts: 11
Member spacespace
Joined: February 06, 2008
Location: Indiana, United States
Posted: July 29, 2008 at 7:57 PM / IP Logged  
audiocableguy wrote:
What was quality yesterday is crap today. Hifonics for example. The older Steve Mantz/Zed stuff was top quality. Hifonics stuff today is absolute garbage. PPI, Orion, Soundstream same story. People will still buy the products on name sake alone.
All you can do is invite the Reps. See who offers the best terms and conditions. Indiana should be widely open for territories. Try to carry what the Big Brand stores don't and see what the other local shops offer. The cheap stuff will sell but with it comes warranty and return headaches. The high end stuff might sit on the shelf for a while requiring you carry the paper on it till it sells.
Too High End and your a boutique. Carry to Low End and your a flea market. Good Luck.
i completely agree
megaman wrote:

For me the rule of thumb is to keep the Mid's/Highs the same brand, front to rear. As far as mix-matching subs and amp brands, no problem. We routinely get our customers into mid-level amplifiers with entry level subwoofers. It creates a repeat customer when they want to upgrade their bass system and all the have to do is bump up the subs. Plus it creates an image of respect for the shop when we do this kind of thing, instead of saving them money up front and then hit their wallets hard when they want to upgrade, we ease them into a killer sound system.

We have been mildly successful because we have the stigmata that we're the "High-end" shop in town, which has pushed away the far more popular entry level customer. However, we have been hitting the advertising hard for our entry level equipment to break that barrier and after 4 months we've seen an increase of traffic and sales of those "deck and pair" customers.

We sell for our entry to mid-level subs and speakers: Eclipse. For mid to high-end is the JL Audio lines. For decks we dabble in a few brands but are direct with Eclipse for the High-end customer. Eclipse has been great because they have the image of extremely high-end but their unit pricing is low enough to compete with the main-stream brands such as Pioneer and Alpine.

We have a very limited inventory of Dual single din CD players and Mobile vid's which we don't even display. We use those decks for the customer who is looking for the cheapest thing they can get their hands on, or our Car Dealership customers.

Like I said before, what I've seen in my 15 years in the industry is that those shops that have been successful, are the ones that offer about two or three brands of head-units, two or three brands of amps/speakers, and focus on the entry and mid-level customer. In reality we all like to say that we tailor to only the high-end customers what what works is a great selection of mid-line equipment with a limited selection of High-end equipment. A smaller line of High-end equipment lets your customers know you mean business and builds the mystique of the high-end audio systems. If you focus on added accessories such as bluetooth, iPod adaptors, etc., then you'll make up the margin on those entry and mid-line CD decks. On entry level decks, Kits and harnesses are essential to making any kind of profit for your business.

With Jensen you will retain the popular brand by servicing the entry level customers. You can use that brand as a stepping stone to the quality lines such as Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, JVC, Sony, etc. It all comes down to the quality of your sales staff and how effective they can step the customer up. Try top-down selling. Start at a fairly high-end peice and then come down a few models to give the customer the illusion that they are not paying top-dollar, but it's better and easier for your staff to sell a less expensive unit, than starting at the Jensen line and trying to work up.

For speaker and amplifier lines, we've tried in many different markets the less known brands, and unless you have a great sales staff, it is very difficult to sell an unknown brand. I've sold Memphis Audio in the Ft. Lauderdale market and killed, then tried that market up in the Northwest and it was a devastating dud. When it comes to choosing your lines it comes down to business. What brands are you partial to, and can you get them at a decent price? Are the reps in your area for the products returning phone calls or e-mails? For me, if it were my business I would start at the distributor level, pull in a few name brands like JBL, Infinity ( great group of products for entry-mid-high end products, and they are both from the same company), also decks from Kenwood, pioneer, Eclipse, Alpine, those are your four heavy hitters. You can try out the "boutique" type brands like MA Audio, Audison, Memphis, AudioBahn, and the like, but be fore warned that your sales staff needs to be keen on these products. Excitement for the product in your staff creates excitement in your customers. For mainstream brands that cater to all levels, you have Rockford Fosgate, MTX, and Kicker.

Our business direction has been to cater to the entry-mid level customer, and get the word out as much as we can. For High-end systems we don't advertise or focus on them, as they are truly a rareity in my market. I'll get maybe five complete systems in a month which makes me good money, but is a drop in the bucket compared to the vast sales of entry to mid-level product.

Megaman, i truly appreciate the time you have spent in helping explain your standpoint, and it is so easy for me to love what you are saying because i feel the same exact way.
Appealing to the masses. and the masses are not "high end" customers. I want to sell high end equipment for the couple of customers that come in looking for it, but i completely understand that mid-entry level is where the bulk of sales are going to take place.
That is why i want to choose a very well rounded line up of equipment, and also why i am interested in getting the feedback of others, so thank all of you for your input.
There are some brands that i personally just have black-labeled in my mind already.
There are also lines of equipment that i have on a pedastal in my mind, and there are lines that i am very unsure about how well they will blow over.
Memphis and JL audio are already taken, and that leaves me questioning who i should use as the upgrade from my MTX/Kicker mid level line. Any input on who would be a good fit to look into?
Thanks
Louie
DYohn 
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Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: July 29, 2008 at 11:09 PM / IP Logged  
See if Hertz/Audisson is available in your area, and maybe Diamond Audio.
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greektek 
Member - Posts: 11
Member spacespace
Joined: February 06, 2008
Location: Indiana, United States
Posted: July 30, 2008 at 11:59 AM / IP Logged  
DYohn wrote:
See if Hertz/Audisson is available in your area, and maybe Diamond Audio.
Hertz/Audisson is definitely not. i am going to check on Diamond Audio.
Right now i know JL is a no go and Focal is iffy.
I am about 100percent sure that memphis is a no go so i didnt even ask.
MB quart, rockford, Kenwood, MTX, audiovox seem to be locked in without a problem
Waiting to hear back from infinity, Alpine, Pioneer right now.
What about Image Dynamics. i hear good things about their subs, however, i have never personally played with them. Opinions on ID?
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