BenQ Has A New Story To Tell
Projectors and specialty monitors fuel renewed retail strategyJanuary 3, 2013 By Jeff O’Heir
After lying dormant in the U.S. for several years—roughly between 2007 and 2010, although it remained a top player in Europe and Asia—BenQ has spent the last two years rebuilding its brand and figuring out ways to be more relevant to CE retailers, especially as dwindling shelf space becomes more valuable and prices decline. “If I look at the dealer and retailer discussions I’ve had, once you get past talking about flat screens and customer acquisition products, there’s really a dearth of products that cause consumers to want to visit stores and spend time there,” said Bob Wudeck, BenQ America’s director of retail and e-commerce.
After a limited presence through some U.S. based e-tailers, BenQ is now ramping up its brick-and-mortar sales strategy. It recently signed up Fry’s Electronics, B&H, TigerDirect and Micro Center and is looking for more regional independents to partner with. “Now we have to have products with greater features and value, that have twice as many turns (as competing gear),” Wudeck said.
BenQ America boiled those offerings down to projectors and specialty monitors, mainly aimed at gaming.
On the projector front, Wudeck believes BenQ’s new units can help retailers double ASPs over flat-screen TVs when they add in the screen, cables and additional installation services. “If they can sell one projector to make up for a bunch of flat-screen TVs, then there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, adding that the new projectors have more features and sell for less than competing units.
The new generation projectors are the MS517 ($449), MX518 ($549), and MW519 ($649). They feature 2800 lumens; contrast ratios of 13000:1; and support 3D Blu-ray via HDMI 1.4 and NVIDIA 3DTV Play. The line is aimed at small-to-medium size spaces, and based on BenQ’s SmartEco technology.
SmartEco is designed to provide 6,500 hours of lamp life. It automatically adjusts the lamp power to maximize power savings by delivering the best contrast and brightness performance using only as much light as needed, Wudeck said. “One of our advantages is to be innovative, to come out with technology first and faster than the competition,” Wudeck said.