Going Mobile: Pioneer Kills Premier Brand
Pioneer, for example, used to give a Premier catalog to its specialty dealers and a Pioneer catalog to the big-box retailers. The demographics of the two markets would typically remain separate, he said. But the Internet now allows both demographics the same access to all product information.
"So the consumer asks the retailer what's the difference between the two products and the answer is not always clear," he said. "Consolidating all of our products under the Pioneer brand strengthens our message." The company will continue to offer specialty dealers exclusive pricing on some lines (depending on sales and contracts) and special marketing and merchandising collateral, Cardenas said. Pioneer will also roll out a limited, higher-end line for the specialty channel, Cardenas said, without offering details. But Vogel doesn't think the time is right for a high-end line of mobile electronics. "More expensive products mean they're only for the upper level of the market, and that's what we don't need today," he said. "MERA and its independent dealers want brands that let us establish an identity, and that's what Premier was for us. I hate to see anyone back away from that type of focus." DS