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D+M Brands Expanding Customer Base

6/04/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

MAHWAH, N.J. – The company that owns Denon,
Marantz, Boston Acoustics and McIntosh unveiled a
new logo, new tag line, a subtle name change, and
new products designed to expand the company’s customer
base and target new growth opportunities.

D&M Holdings becomes D+M Group to underscore
the “common vision” of its brands and their operation
as a single group rather than seven independent businesses
in a holding company, executives said during a
press briefing last Tuesday.

A new logo, which incorporates sound waves, symbolizes
the sweeping changes the company has implemented
during the past year and a half. The new
tag line is “Performance is Everything” to stress the
brand’s focus on performance.

The new products include the first docking
speaker systems from Denon and Marantz, the first
Boston Acoustics tabletop audio products with
wireless multi-room-audio distribution, and 11 Denon
headphones priced from a suggested $149 up
to $1,199. The headphones are segmented into four
series, each targeted to four different users: audiophiles,
frequent travelers, fitness enthusiasts, and
18- to 30-year-olds whose music tastes differ from
older age groups.

D+M also announced plans to boost its North
American marketing expenditures three-fold to support
the 70 new products being introduced this year
by the three brands. The marketing initiatives include merchandising displays, digital and print advertising to
consumers, and promotional programs for dealers. The
company’s efforts in these areas in the past have been
“insignificant,” said Brian Poggi, D+M Group’s sales and
marketing president for the Americas. Consumer advertising
will start in the summer after new products ship.

The launch of the new headphones and new tabletop
speakers provide “a vehicle for us to get into new sorts
of distribution channels,” Poggi added. The company has
talked to a “long list” of retailers in new channels and has
received a “good reception” so far, he said.

Other new product categories are also under developments,
said D+M Group president/CEO Jim Caudill.

All of the new products reflect a new product development
strategy in which product development was moved
closer to individual regions of the world, Caudill added.
The products also reflect an increased emphasis on working
with dealers and engaging in more
consumer research to develop products,
he added.

In docking tabletop speakers, D+M
launched the $1,199-suggested Marantz
Consolette, a one-piece two-way
retro-style system that looks like a mini
hi-fi system and features retractable
iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, DLNA networking,
Internet radio, Apple AirPlay,
biamplified 150-watt output and widedispersion
tweeters.

The Denon Cocoon at $599 and
Cocoon Portable at $499 feature
retractable iPod/iPhone/iPad dock,
AirPlay, DLNA networking Internet radio
and curved styling. The Cocoon
is a biamped two-way system with 100-watt output, and
the portable version is 25 percent smaller and weatherresistant.
The latter features full-range drivers, 50-watt
output, five-hour rechargeable battery, DLNA, AirPlay and
Internet radio.

The Denon and Marantz models also feature Windows
7 compatibility, USB input and 96kHz/24-bit streaming.
Additional details, such as whether Wi-Fi is built-in, were
unavailable.

All Denon and Marantz speakers ship in the summer.

Under the Boston Acoustics brand, the
company unveiled a wireless multi-room
audio system consisting of the $399-suggested
MC350 one-piece tabletop docking
radio and a companion $249 MC Plus
One, which lacks Wi-Fi network technology
but features wireless-audio technology
to stream music from the MC350.
The MC350’s sources a docked iPod/
iPhone, AM/FM tuner and mobile devices
equipped with stereo Bluetooth.

The MC 350 and MC Plus One, shipping
in October, are targeted to consumers
who would rather not deal with the
complexity of a Wi-Fi network, the company
said. They feature 50-foot wireless
range inside a house. Up to six receivers can play at a
time, and up to four MC 350 models can play at a time.

For consumers comfortable with home networking,
Boston Acoustic is launching the $399 MC200 Air with
AirPlay, DLNA networking and Wi-Fi. It lacks Internet radio.
It ships at the end of August.

In other comments, Caudill said the group met its “profitability
objectives” for the fiscal year ending March but
declined to elaborate.