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Internet At Center Of Kenwood Initiatives


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.