Internet At Center Of Kenwood Initiatives

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Kenwood came to International CES to launch new programs to reach Internet-connected consumers and tamp down on predatory Internet pricing by unauthorized dealers.

The programs are part of what the company called the Kenwood Leadership Initiative.

First, the company will dramatically step-up enforcement of its enhanced minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policy and anti-transshipping policy, said senior VP Keith Lehmann. “In 2010 we reworked our MAP policy and created tougher remedies for violators of Kenwood’s MAP and anti-transshipping policies,” he said. In 2011, the company will intensify its effort “to help deter much of the predatory comparative pricing existing online and through smartphone apps,” he said.

Because Internet sales and smartphone usage are skyrocketing, Kenwood will develop online and in-store programs “that are relevant to these connected consumers,” Lehmann continued. Some of these efforts will include the development of QR codes embedded in in-store materials as well as smartphone-optimized content for Kenwood’s website. The online and in-store resources are expected to be released by April.

The company needs “to pay attention to how customers are shopping and what drives their purchase decisions,” Lehmann said. About half of all shoppers researched their purchases on the Internet prior to making purchase decisions in 2010, Lehmann said in citing National Retail Federation statistics. More than 60 percent of smartphone users browsed the Internet, and around 26 percent made a purchase through their phone, he noted.

In another initiative, Kenwood will build its presence on Facebook by creating new content, starting conversations and providing a forum for consumers to discuss product and music-related topics with Kenwood staff. “Once we have a strong following, we will begin directing these newly-minted Kenwood enthusiasts to our dealer network for in-store demonstrations, quality installation and expert advice,” Lehmann said.


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