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B&O Boosts Pace Of Intros, Ads

4/05/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Bang & Olufsen of
America (BOA) has stepped up the
pace of product introductions and
consumer advertising in the U.S.
following a 2008-2009 restructuring
by its corporate parent and the
adoption of a more focused product
strategy.

From late last year through this
summer, BOA will have shipped six
new products, said BOA president
Zean Nielsen during a press briefing
on some of the new products. Now
that new products are hitting Bang
& Olufsen-branded stores, he said,
the company has begun ramping
up its advertising schedule with ad
placements in The New York Times,
Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe,
San Francisco Chronicle, Toronto
Globe and Mail, and Canada’s National
Post. In North America, the
company’s ad schedule had been
“light” because the company was putting resources into new product
development, he added.

The luxury brand’s new products
include the BeoCom 5 DECT
6.0 cordless phone, shipping in volume
at the end of March following
a November prelaunch; the company’s
first alarm clock, the Beo-
Time, which shipped about three
months ago; the 55-inch BeoVision
7 LCD TV, which shipped in January;
the 40-inch BeoVision 10 LCD
TV, shipping in May to June; a 46-
inch BeoVision 10 LCD TV due later
in the summer; and a planned audio
product to be disclosed in the coming
weeks. The products are sold
through 47 B&O-branded stores in
North America, most of them independently
operated.

In late 2008, BOA’s parent
launched a worldwide restructuring,
which left BOA largely unscathed,
and a new product strategy that,
among other things, reduced the
number of digital platforms per core
category to accelerate product development
and increase sales and
marketing efficiencies. The strategy
also focused R&D resources
on three core categories — TV/video,
audio (home and OEM car), and
home integration.

The company remains in the cordless-
phone category and launched
its first alarm clock, Nielsen said,
because those products are manufactured
in-house, ensuring quality
control, faster time to market and
ability to integrate with core B&O
products. The cordless phone, for
example, features integrated IR remote
to control the volume of B&O
TVs and audio systems.

In its fiscal year ending May 2008,
B&O globally posted a profit but fell
into the red for the year ending May
2009. For the year ending May 2010, the
company forecasts a much narrower
loss or possible break-even status.

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