Arlington, Va. – The 12-Volt
Initiative, a group formed to raise consumer awareness of car stereo,
previewed its plan for an industry marketing campaign before the automotive
electronics division board of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) last
The plan could lead to the kick off of a fall campaign if it is endorsed and
funded by enough industry members.
The plan’s details are being withheld from the public until
members of the 12-Volt board vote on the proposal, said Steve Witt, chairman of
the 12-Volt Initiative acting board and marketing VP for Alpine. He expects the
“go/no go” votes could be tabulated within two weeks.
The proposal is designed to help boost business for a category
that has lost sales at a rate of more than 20 percent annually for the past
Witt said reaction to the plan has been positive so far.
For now, he said, the goal of the campaign is “to improve the
awareness and understanding of what you can do in the car to drive purchase
consideration of our category, because that’s the fundamental problem in the
downturn of consumer demand. People just don’t understand what the aftermarket category
The plan will also include creating a three-tiered governance
structure for the 12-Volt Initiative that includes a small executive body, a
task force and then industry members who want to participate.
Witt said the governance structure, the marketing communications
strategy, the message, budget proposal and the business model designed to drive
interested consumers to retail were all presented in Virginia last week.
The idea to form an industry group to raise awareness of car
stereo was first suggested by Pioneer in early 2008 and led to an industrywide summit
in Dallas last summer, where car stereo industry members met to redefine
their target audience and learn about new marketing opportunities. One outcome
of that meeting was to create an acting board of the 12-Volt Initiative and
empower it to develop marketing ideas.