A 10 percent sales growth target and a goal to increase brand awareness of JVC were at the top of the agenda at the company's national sales meeting held in Orlando.
Held just five weeks after CES, JVC executives invited the press to the meeting to get details of its plans for 2000 and to see some new products that were not at the show.
Katsuhiko Hatori, president of JVC, said that for the company to achieve its sales growth target it must "increase brand awareness, improve customer satisfaction and expand our leadership in consumer electronics."
Hatori estimated that half of all consumer electronics products sold in the next year or two will be digital-related and that "JVC will fulfill that goal." He also noted, "A new wave of products, networked across all categories, will be available."
To meet its 2000 sales goal of 10 percent growth, JVC is embarking on a "new marketing approach" that includes a "new branding campaign across all categories," Hatori said.
As part of that effort JVC has formed the New Products & Special Markets Division to focus the company's market development activities in the areas of accessories, blank media, satellite television and special products. Al Levene, previously VP of JVC's East Coast Branch, is now VP and merchandising manager of the new unit.
Harry Elias, executive VP/COO, volunteered that 2000 "looks like a strong year for the industry." He used many of CEA's bullish projections on this year (TWICE, January 24, p. 1), such as a sales increase of 6 percent giving the industry total sales of $86 billion, to make his point.
As for retail conditions, Elias said that much of the traumatic downsizing and closing of independents and chains of a few years ago "is behind us now. Independents are brighter, wiser to survive in this marketplace." When asked about e-commerce and the appearance of JVC products on Amazon.com, he said, "We have not partnered with any [e-tail-only] sites. If you see product on such sites, we didn't sell them direct."
Elias told TWICE that he had meetings with "about a half dozen" e-tailers during CES. "I'll never say never, but so far we have not cut any deals with them," he added.
As for JVC selling direct to consumers through its website, at this point the company is only selling accessories direct.
Kevin Gordon, advertising and promotions manager, said the company's main effort in emphasizing the JVC brand will be a major advertising campaign to break around June and will include extensive broadcast and cable spots, as well as national magazines. Details, which are being finalized now, will be available in April, Gordon said.
JVC will continue to sponsor several events, which include the seven JVC Jazz Festivals, the JVC Tokyo Video Festival; the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the ESPN Zone restaurants in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Baltimore.
Gordon reminded one and all about JVC's CES announcement about its sponsorship of Megadeth's "Maximum Rock" summer tour, which should benefit its Mobile Entertainment division in attracting 18- to 29-year-old males, a prime demographic group for those products, the company said.
Also, beginning March 1 and running through August 31, consumers buying any JVC digital video camcorders will receive a coupon for the purchase of a special JVC edition of Pinnacle Systems' Studio DV editing product for $75, half of the usual retail price.