PORDENONE, ITALY —
Sim2 is separating itself in the home theater video display market by maintaining both premium prices and an elite product profile within the high-end home theater projector business.
While this step may seem counterintuitive to those living in the cut-throat mainstream consumer electronics channel, Sim2 USA executive VP Alberto Fabiano said it makes perfect sense when you see the growth of other premium goods from manufacturers that don’t dicker on price, such as Ferrari or Apple.
In fact, as other display manufacturers are scaling back, Sim2 USA, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the Republic of Italy, continues to upgrade its R&D, assembly and service facilities here and even recently added a white room for the manufacture of its own DLP light engines using Texas Instruments’ Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs).
Simply put, Fabiano said, Sim2 is an elite high-performance front projector developer “dedicated to producing realism in the home that rises above everything else to people who can pay for it.”
That mission might have slipped away if Sim2 had continued to follow a brief marketing divergence that saw it add an entry-level, Asian-sourced model (the D60) following the lead of its volume-oriented competitors. But the company quickly recalculated that strategy last year sensing the dangers of the commodity trap that has hurt other display makers.
The Sim2 brand is now once again focused solely on the production of high-value, Italian-assembled products worthy of a higher price tag that sophisticates can justify.
This is a mission that Maurizio Cini, global company parent Sim2 Multimedia president, now says he sees the company maintaining another 15 years in the future.
“We will invest in different technology, but in the future Sim2 will still be acting, and still leading the home theater market,” Cini told TWICE, adding it is unlikely that Sim2 will look to integrate smart technologies into its displays, opting instead to focus on the company’s strengths in the display component end of the business.
To help read and react to this segment, Sim2 is listening more carefully than ever to its 250 U.S. dealers, Fabiano said, calling them all “members of the Sim2 family.”
“The Custom Integration channel is made of dealers. They are consultants and they really should be the brand. We are just suppliers, and we supply products that these people can use to propose to their customers excellent systems. They cannot do it themselves and we cannot do it without them.”
“This is what is going to keep this channel up. If we aren’t successful in doing that, this channel is going to disappear,” Fabiano warned.
Cini said, “the value of a company like us is to be able to provide customized service and support. We cannot even consider becoming part of a larger consumer distribution [operation] because we don’t provide any special benefit to this. I think our strategy was right in the past and even if the market shrinks, because everyone is looking for numbers, there is still space for service excellence in specific products and specific brands.”
At the same time the global parent Sim2 Multimedia is poised to add on to its current businesses including, commercial and home theater display systems, and LED room and area lighting systems.
The company recently acquired full rights to the Brionvega brand that is long known in Italy as a manufacturer of uniquely crafted radio, home audio and portable TV products. It is now formulating plans to expand that brand’s reach into other markets in the near future. Details will be announced later, company executives assured.
Cini suggested that Brionvega could be taken into global markets that promise the Sim2 line the most growth and opportunity, including major emerging targets China and India, in addition to core growth pockets of Europe and the United States. The latter, he said, is Sim2’s largest current global market segment, representing better than 30 percent of the global mix.
One of the main challenges Sim2 has is the difficult financial situation as the value of the U.S. dollar continues to collapse against the Euro, and price increases seem inevitable this summer.
Cini commented, “We were obliged in the past to raise our prices because of this unfair currency situation and if nothing changes I think we will be obliged [to do it again].”