Some of you guys may know that I wear two hats in the electronics industry: one as an unabashed consumer electronics geek, and the other as a huge fan of the custom installation market, who often goes so far as to attend weeklong training sessions for advanced home automation systems. If I were a Donnie & Marie song, I’d be a little bit CEDIA, and a little bit CES. Which is why a comment left by reader Mark on Chris’ story about NuVo’s new consumer-focused Wireless Music System caused quite a twinge:
what a joke…read the last page of Residential Systems this month regarding the CEOs comments about keeping Nuvo within the CI channel.
This may not seem like such a huge deal to many of you, but it kinda is. The custom installation market is struggling in part due to easier and easier DIY streaming audio solutions. If you can zap music from one end of the house to the other with a system that installs in minutes, that eats into integrators’ ability to sell you more refined, sophisticated, better-integrated solutions that, on the surface, appear to do much the same thing.
And granted, that’s just the reality of the new market we find ourselves in. But when a company like NuVo says one month that it’s dedicated to the custom installation channel, and then the next month introduces a totally DIY consumer-focused product, those of us who value (or work in) the custom business have a right to ask what gives?
Which is exactly what my editor at Residential Systems, Jeremy Glowacki, did:
A recent blog post about NuVo Technologies caught me off guard when I read it. The article made a big deal out of the Hebron, KY-based manufacturer’s decision to bypass integrators and installers to sell its new Wireless Audio System for multi-room, multi-stream wireless music. This news came as a surprise, because I had just published my own story about the long-awaited NuVo product in the January issue of Residential Systems, and the manufacturer had made no mention of a change in distribution strategy.
Having built what I felt was a trustworthy relationship with NuVo president David Rodarte, I thought it unlikely that he would have intentionally deceived me and my readers by failing to mention a change in his company’s go-to-market plans. So I reached out to Rodarte through his marketing manager Desiree Webster, and found out that the company’s distribution strategy had not changed in 10 years. Wanting to further clarify this point, Rodarte agreed to an interview, where he emphasized that “NuVo remains committed to the custom install channel,” but that its dealers also want the manufacturer to help drive leads to them from consumers.
If you’re interested in the brouhaha, hop on over to Jeremy’s blog at Residential Systems and read the interview. Whether you’re purely consumer-focused or sympathize completely with the custom-installation angle, there’s a lot to be learned here about a company that fully embraces the changing electronics market, and yet remains dedicated to the professionals who’ve invested years in training and have decades of experience delivering the most rock-solid, reliable, and professional electronics installation and maintenance services.