NEW YORK — Denon will use its 100th anniversary as a platform to promote the brand and, hopefully, expand market share.
Denon is targeting a larger share of $1,000-plus A/V receiver (AVR) and premium-headphone markets, promote a bolstered entry-level AVR lineup, drive step-up Blu-ray player sales, and boost support for authorized online retailers.
Phil Cohn, senior sales and marketing VP, told TWICE during a press briefi ng last week that the brand will revamp its authorized online dealer policies to “partner with the right people” whose Web sites meet a content “benchmark,” he said. The benchmark is designed to “highlight the technology, performance and usability” of Denon products and the brand will make such content available to its online dealers for their use, he said.
The brand is “reviewing all aspects” of its authorized online dealer policies, which already include MAP pricing, but “not necessarily” to expand the brand’s roster of authorized online dealers, he added. About 11 dealers, fewer than the competition, are currently authorized to sell online, and most are Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) dealers, he noted.
The company will promote its 100th anniversary, which occurs in October, throughout the year with brochures, in-box thank-you cards, merchandising, advertising, and a Denon micro site that’s already up and running, Denon said. The program includes 100thanniversary products that “represent our heritage” and will be announced at the CEDIA Expo, Cohn said.
The celebration will “engage channel partners and end users” and will include in-store consumer events, Cohn added.
The campaign will highlight a 100 years of firsts, including the first professional disc recorder in 1939, the first sales of stereo records and stereo systems in Japan in 1951, the invention of the first PCM recorder in 1970, the first consumer-use CD player in 1982, and first audio component with Dolby Digital/THX 5.1 decoding.
Although Denon’s 2010 initiatives include an expansion of its AVR market share, the brand already won top dollar sell-through share in AVRs in 2009 through the specialty channel, Cohn said in citing NPD statistics. Denon’s 2009 dollar share hit 35 percent, and in $1,000 to $1,499-plus AVRs, it hit 40.9 percent, he said. In $1,500-plus AVRs, Denon’s share hit 45 percent in specialty channels.
Denon also hopes to boost its share of the entry-level AVR market with the launch of a $249-suggested AVR, which features HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs that support all mandatory 1.4a 3D formats. It also features HD audio decoding and iPod-dock connection. The company never had an AVR priced below $300 before, said Jeff Talmadge, product development and systems integration director.