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Denon Marking 100 Yrs. With New Programs

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.