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Mirage Readies New Brand Strategy

Indianapolis – Mirage plans to resume consumer and trade advertising and boost dealer support as part of a new brand strategy that will be reflected in the largest launch of Mirage speakers since the brand’s acquisition by the Klipsch Group in 2006.

The new brand strategy focuses on expanding Mirage’s appeal to décor-conscious consumers by offering a greater selection of smaller and sleeker in-room speakers for music and home theater listening, said Jill Escol, marketing manager for Mirage and sister brand Energy. Mirage will also reinforce its position as the only company using proprietary Omnipolar technology, whose spherical 360-degree dispersion pattern delivers a room-wide sweet spot and creates a larger, deeper, and more realistic sound stage than competing technologies, the company said.

The technology appeals to the décor-conscious because its wide sweet spot allows for flexible speaker placement, and it appeals to today’s mobile consumers, who often listen to music while moving about in a room and can now enjoy a wide image from any spot in the room, the company said.

The technology also delivers what the brand contends is the same ratio of direct-to-reflected sound that listeners would hear as if they were at a live event. The mix of direct sound and sound reflected off the walls, ceilings and other surfaces yields a larger, deeper, and more realistic soundstage, the company explained.

In a new $1,200-suggested Mirage MX 5.1 home theater speaker system due in mid October, Mirage will bring the Omnipolar approach to its smallest speakers ever. The MX system will consist of five two-way palm-size satellites and the brand’s smallest-ever powered subwoofer, the MM6. The satellites are 4.3×3.2×3.5 inches in size with 100-watt maximum power handling. The MM6 features 800-watt (peak) amp and 6-inch driver in an 8-inch cube.

Earlier in late September or early October, Mirage will ship the MM6 as a separate SKU along with the MM8 9-inch cube subwoofer with 8-inch driver. Pricing was unavailable.

In mid-September, the company will ship a third-generation Omnisat series, which consists of a floorstanding speaker, center channel, and satellite, all of which are slimmer and curvier than their predecessors and available in high-gloss black instead of silver to match today’s dominant flat-panel TV color. The satellite will retail for a suggested $250, the center channel for $400 each, and the floorstander for $600 each in high-gloss black or $500 each in brushed black aluminum.

Also in September, Mirage will ship a refreshed Nanosat series, an $800-suggested 5.1 speaker system. The satellites will also be available separately at $125 each or as a package without subwoofer at $550. They feature brushed black-aluminum cabinets instead of a combination black-and-silver aluminum finish to match black flat-panel displays. A soft grille replaces a hard grille, and an upgraded subwoofer adds variable crossover.

“We’re dedicated to delivering the highest performing lifestyle-oriented speakers on the market, offering the most enveloping sound and realistic reproduction of recordings possible at any given price point,” Escol said of the latest products and the brand’s position.

To support its brand position, Mirage will launch consumer and trade advertising for the first time since its acquisition by Klipsch Group, offer more POP, and work with dealers on in-store promotions, Escol said. Mirage has already redesigned its logo and plans a redesigned web site in late August or early support its market position.

The brand will focus its consumer advertising beginning in the fall or winter in venues to be determined, Escol said. Also in October, Mirage will launch “some” trade ads backed up by video emails to dealers and direct mail to dealers, she said. New POP will likely be available in the fall as well.

In the revised logo, the brand’s name is enclosed in arcs to illustrate the concept of immersive sound. The web site focuses on how Mirage speakers blend in with a consumer’s lifestyle, and functions have been streamlined for quicker and easier access to information need to make a purchase decision.
 “Our logo and web site have been redesigned to reach out to those who don’t yet know the Mirage name, while demonstrating our enthusiasm and our revitalization to those who already do,” Escol said.

Since it was acquired, Mirage has expanded distribution in retailers such as Magnolia Home Theater, Ken Crane’s, Ultimate Electronics, and Electronics Expo, and the company hopes to use its new products to add additional AV specialists.

The company is not exhibiting at CEDIA 2008.