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BenQ Expands Distribution Behind New Visual Image

BenQ, a supplier of corporate and home theater video displays and IT peripherals, has launched a new visual identity campaign today that it hopes will convey the company’s new image as a supplier of lifestyle enhancing devices.

The company also hopes the campaign will help it cast off any old associations retail buyers may make between BenQ and its former corporate parent Acer, whose exit from the market scorched a number of its former dealers.

Charlene Wan, BenQ America’s marketing and communications director, said the new visual identity is based on “a conceptual design” using the patterns inside a butterfly’s wings to communicate a kinship between the company and the “trendsetters and experience seekers” it targets as its core constituency.

“Using organic shapes and dynamic colors, patterns and textures, we are telling people that we are very original, vivid and enjoyable,” said Wan. “The most important message we intend to convey to our customers is that BenQ is a different company. It is not simply the IT and computer peripheral company you have seen in the past. BenQ is about design. It is about lifestyle, freedom and energy.”

The new visual concept will be featured on products, packaging and all corporate and marketing materials, including retail merchandising displays it recently started testing in its expanding retail channel strategy. It will replace the old purple logo that emphasized the capital letter “Q.” The name BenQ symbolizes “Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life.”

The former logo had been in place since the BenQ company separated from Acer and opened sales offices in the United States in 2001.

“We felt the old logo didn’t really relay the type of corporate personality we are trying to project,” Wan said.

Meanwhile, Wan said BenQ’s new retail channel strategy is opening doors to the consumer electronics and home-theater retailers it hopes will carry its new flat-panel TVs and video projectors targeted at home entertainment applications.

Wan said that because BenQ has an extensive background in IT peripherals and monitors, it is perfectly positioned as “a one-stop shopping resource” for consumer electronics retailers exploring the burgeoning home-networking market. It is using its offerings of wireless-networking devices as “a bridge” category between the IT and home-entertainment categories.

She said BenQ is currently testing with Best Buy a 46W-inch plasma display panel (model PDP-46W, $5,995 suggested retail) for home theater and business applications. The two companies are said to be in talks to broaden the plasma display involvement.

“We will be working with them to possibly carry BenQ LCD TVs and digital projectors in the future,” said a BenQ spokesperson.

At the same time, the company also has started selling plasma displays through select Costco outlets, using one of its key video display distributors, Boxlight.

“Our plasma displays are HD compatible (480p, 720p, 1,080i) and come with built-in TV tuners. Models are available in both silver and black bezels, with optional speakers.

New to the company since January are LCD TVs. BenQ’s 2003/04 lineup includes currently shipping 20.1-inch (H200, $1,995) 4:3 and 15-inch (model Q150, $995) 4:3 models. A 30W-inch DV3080 16:9 model with 1,024 by 768 resolution is due to ship in September at a price to be announced. All are HDTV compatible, and have integrated speakers and SRS surround sound. The 15-inch adds an integrated subwoofer.

Meanwhile, the company is preparing to deliver this summer its first high-end DLP home-theater projector — model PE8700 ($9,995 suggested retail) — through custom installers and system integrators. The product, which is based on Texas Instruments’ Mustang HD-2 DLP chip, offers about 35 points of margin for dealers.

BenQ’s 8000 series DLP projectors are positioned as crossover products that equally apply to commercial users and more moderately priced home-theater applications.

Models in the series include the PB8120, BenQ PB8220 and PB8230. All feature six-segment color wheels and high-definition component video inputs.