Seeing CEDIA Expo in a Whole New Light

Keynote speaker Dr. Michio KakuWednesday, the day before the 2012 CEDIA Expo opens its show floor, is both the day many integrators come to the convention center to take educational classes – and also the press comes for a day full of press conferences.

I approached the event this year with a high level of anticipation, as our CEDIA survey suggested that attendance might be better than originally anticipated. As I approached the convention center, I was surprised by the lack of activity around the outside of the hall. Then a CEDIA hotel shuttle bus showed up and – suddenly – we had a fair amount of activity.

Little did I know that when I entered the hall, I had a rather intense surprise waiting… Continue reading

Watch for Our 2012 CEDIA Expo Coverage

2012 CEDIA Expo LogoIf it’s September, it’s time for CEDIA Expo! Can’t make it to this year’s main event? will be there for the duration of the show collecting observations, data, interviews, and – hopefully – reporting on some savvy strategies! Watch for our upcoming reports where we’ll review the show, tell you what we saw that WOW’d us (if anything), and help get you connected to the important stories of the day.

Don’t want to wait?… Continue reading

Nortek Noise Continues – Xantech President Hallett Leaves Company

Photo of Graham HallettBREAKING NEWS
Multiple industry sources have confirmed that Xantech President Graham Hallett has resigned his position with the company, effective September 1st. Xantech is one of ten Nortek, Inc. brands being consolidated under the new “Core Brands” umbrella company, the formation of which we recently reported.

Since the consolidation of the various Nortek brands began back in 2010, there have been many employees leaving the company – mostly at lower- and mid-level positions. Recently, however, some of the top-level executives of the various Nortek brands have joined the exodus.

List of Nortek’s ex-execs continues to grow…

Continue reading’s 2012 CEDIA EXPO Survey is Bigger Than Ever

Indiana Convention Center - CEDIA Expo’s survey on the 2012 CEDIA Expo has wrapped up and we want to thank everyone for their participation. And participation this year was up over 90% as compared to last year – which was off 20% as compared to the 2010 survey. We have no explanation as to why so many more people took part in the survey this year – however, we received more support from various industry members spreading the word on Twitter and other social media networks than in year’s past, which may have been a factor. A special thanks to those who helped spread the word!

More of you shared your thoughts…and we heard you!… Continue reading

Question: How Many ‘Connected’ Devices are in Your Home?

Graphic of Connected Device StudyNew research released today from marketing consultant Chetan Sharma says that the typical American home has on average a total of five connected devices. A connected device is any device which is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, wired, or cellular networks.

Think that’s a lot? You won’t believe what else they discovered… Continue reading

Here We Go Again – Nortek Reorganizes Its Reorganized Reorganization

Nortek's Core Brands LogoThis Monday, Nortek, Inc. announced yet another reorganization, their third major structural change since the company decided to group its A/V assets under one roof back in April 2010. The company has created yet another new company called Core Brands which will further consolidate and control a total of ten of the company’s A/V brands in their Technology Solutions Segment (TECH).

The brands affected by this consolidation include Aton, BlueBOLT, Elan, Furman, Niles, Panamax, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Sunfire, and Xantech. Core Brands will be based at offices in Petaluma, CA; Calrsbad, CA; Riverside, CA; and Marblehead, MA.

Aren’t 10 brands under one roof really just a new conglomerate?…

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7 Lessons on Marketing Strategy from My Day with the Cake Boss

Photo of front of Carlo's Bake ShopTwo weekends ago, we celebrated my wife’s birthday. For the last few years, one of the things she most wanted for her birthday was a birthday cake. Not just any cake, mind you, but a cake made by Buddy Valastro – TLC’s Cake Boss. This is not as simple of a request as it sounds and for the last couple of years, I couldn’t fit it into my schedule to make it happen.

This year, I made it happen – and learned something about marketing strategy from the Cake Boss… Continue reading

Yamaha Launches New PRO Headphone Line with High Performance & High Design

Photo of new Yamaha PRO500 HeadphonesYamaha Corporation of America’s AV Division announced today a new line of on- & over-ear headphones that they call their PRO series. Straddling the markets for pro audio, musician, and consumer – the new PRO series is clearly targeted at a more serious listener who appreciates higher fidelity…but with a contemporary, high styling. Featuring what the company calls a “racing inspired” look – the PRO series has a design style more similar to BEATS, SOUL by Ludacris, or SOL Republic, as opposed to previous more utilitarian designs.

But, there is a twist…

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Japan, Inc.: The Cuts Keep Coming

Photo of busy intersection in JapanIn a rash of news coming out of Japan, it is clear that manufacturers are still struggling with the global economic slowdown…as well as an electronics industry retrenchment. As painful as it’s been for Japanese manufacturers (often called Japan, Inc.) over the last 12-24 months or so – adding insult to injury, the China market has slowed down dramatically recently. Considering that China was everyone’s favorite “emerging” growth market – this amounts to a swift kick in the pants and is forcing many to revisit their estimates for this fiscal year. Below is a sample of the latest painful announcements to come out of Japan over the last few days.

See the latest roster of who’s hurting below… Continue reading

Is Best Buy Now Worst Buy?

Photo of Best Buy Store SignIt’s been a rough week for Best Buy. And if something doesn’t happen soon…it’s only going to get worse as the company is on a slippery slope and quickly losing the support of Wall Street. Already the company was embroiled in turmoil having recently dismissed CEO Brian Dunn for an inappropriate relationship with a young, female employee…scolding and then losing founder and chairman Richard “Dick” Schulze who knew about the relationship and didn’t tell anyone…and then enduring a reasonably PR-savvy public campaign as Schulze announced intentions to buy the company and take it private. Finally – as if to emphasize how bad things had become – this past Monday the company announced their fiscal Q2 results with a shocking 91% drop in profits. But wait! There’s more…

How bad is it at Best Buy? They had to pay someone $32 MILLION to come run it!… Continue reading