Assured Systems, the dealer-owned buying and marketing group, and Audio/Video Independent Dealers (AVID), a division of the AVB buying group, formally merged in late 2000 to create the Home Entertainment Source (HES). The merged group, a division of Brand Source/AVB, has since expanded its roster of member A/V specialists to 215 from about 115, said HES.
Whereas AVID focused mostly on buying, the new entity is focused on buying and marketing. During this month's PARA conference, HES unveiled its first marketing initiative, which includes direct-mail pieces targeted to consumers and architects, a customizable 16-page brochure intended as a positioning piece, newspaper-ad creative, and targeted direct-mail lists. All marketing materials are co-branded with the HES logo.
The approach is modeled after the Brand Source branding effort, which "buys products and promotes them with special programs" for owner-members, said HES CEO Stewart Greenberg.
To date, HES hasn't offered dealers an opportunity to co-brand their stores with outdoor signage, as the Brand Source initiative does for the buying group's appliance/electronics dealers. But "Brand Source is a template of where we can go," Greenberg said.