D+M Brands Expanding Customer Base



The company that owns Denon, Marantz, Boston Acoustics and McIntosh unveiled a new logo, new tag line, a subtle name change, and new products designed to expand the company’s customer base and target new growth opportunities.

D&M Holdings becomes D+M Group to underscore the “common vision” of its brands and their operation as a single group rather than seven independent businesses in a holding company, executives said during a press briefing last Tuesday.

A new logo, which incorporates sound waves, symbolizes the sweeping changes the company has implemented during the past year and a half. The new tag line is “Performance is Everything” to stress the brand’s focus on performance.

The new products include the first docking speaker systems from Denon and Marantz, the first Boston Acoustics tabletop audio products with wireless multi-room-audio distribution, and 11 Denon headphones priced from a suggested $149 up to $1,199. The headphones are segmented into four series, each targeted to four different users: audiophiles, frequent travelers, fitness enthusiasts, and 18- to 30-year-olds whose music tastes differ from older age groups.

D+M also announced plans to boost its North American marketing expenditures three-fold to support the 70 new products being introduced this year by the three brands. The marketing initiatives include merchandising displays, digital and print advertising to consumers, and promotional programs for dealers. The company’s efforts in these areas in the past have been “insignificant,” said Brian Poggi, D+M Group’s sales and marketing president for the Americas. Consumer advertising will start in the summer after new products ship.

The launch of the new headphones and new tabletop speakers provide “a vehicle for us to get into new sorts of distribution channels,” Poggi added. The company has talked to a “long list” of retailers in new channels and has received a “good reception” so far, he said.

Other new product categories are also under developments, said D+M Group president/CEO Jim Caudill.

All of the new products reflect a new product development strategy in which product development was moved closer to individual regions of the world, Caudill added. The products also reflect an increased emphasis on working with dealers and engaging in more consumer research to develop products, he added.

In docking tabletop speakers, D+M launched the $1,199-suggested Marantz Consolette, a one-piece two-way retro-style system that looks like a mini hi-fi system and features retractable iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, DLNA networking, Internet radio, Apple AirPlay, biamplified 150-watt output and widedispersion tweeters.

The Denon Cocoon at $599 and Cocoon Portable at $499 feature retractable iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, AirPlay, DLNA networking Internet radio and curved styling. The Cocoon is a biamped two-way system with 100-watt output, and the portable version is 25 percent smaller and weatherresistant. The latter features full-range drivers, 50-watt output, five-hour rechargeable battery, DLNA, AirPlay and Internet radio.

The Denon and Marantz models also feature Windows 7 compatibility, USB input and 96kHz/24-bit streaming. Additional details, such as whether Wi-Fi is built-in, were unavailable.

All Denon and Marantz speakers ship in the summer.

Under the Boston Acoustics brand, the company unveiled a wireless multi-room audio system consisting of the $399-suggested MC350 one-piece tabletop docking radio and a companion $249 MC Plus One, which lacks Wi-Fi network technology but features wireless-audio technology to stream music from the MC350. The MC350’s sources a docked iPod/ iPhone, AM/FM tuner and mobile devices equipped with stereo Bluetooth.

The MC 350 and MC Plus One, shipping in October, are targeted to consumers who would rather not deal with the complexity of a Wi-Fi network, the company said. They feature 50-foot wireless range inside a house. Up to six receivers can play at a time, and up to four MC 350 models can play at a time.

For consumers comfortable with home networking, Boston Acoustic is launching the $399 MC200 Air with AirPlay, DLNA networking and Wi-Fi. It lacks Internet radio. It ships at the end of August.

In other comments, Caudill said the group met its “profitability objectives” for the fiscal year ending March but declined to elaborate.


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