Vendor View: Stellé: Defining the Art of CE Couture
Stellé also markets the Pillar, a brushed aluminum Bluetooth speaker that retails for $349. The product won Dealerscope’s recent CE Week Best in Show Award for fixed Bluetooth speakers.
Stellé’s marketing and retail strategy is more haute couture than consumer electronics (although the company is searching for the right type of specialty dealer partner). Taking a page from fashion designers, they shot a lookbook—a photo collection complete with models and the product—as part of their marketing campaign. The product is available at Ron Robinson’s Style Objects in Los Angeles’ Fred Segal department store, and online at StelleAudio.com, RebeccaMinkoff.com, and ahalife.com. The company targeted outlets popular with female consumers. “We’re already there with our credit card in hand,” says Perelman. “We always had this alternative distribution strategy.”
CE should be looking at the female wallet, Perelman said, because it’s worth $20 trillion globally. What she’s looking for in a retail relationship is what they’re offering the female consumer. Packaging an existing product in pink isn’t going to cut it, either. “As a female consumer you’re, like, Really?” she said. “Just because you made it pink, you think I’m gong to love it?”
What Stellé Audio wants to provide is an authentic product and to create an emotional connection with the consumer, and that means putting their product in an environment attractive to women. “It’s less about [the fact] that we’re against the CE channels,” Perelman said. “It’s more about, can they cater to the female consumer in a way that she actually enjoys being there?”
For in-store displays, Stellé has eschewed the conventional pre-loaded playlist and limited product interactivity. Instead, they want shoppers to be able to play with the Clutch, and hook up their own devices to find out how easy it is, and so they can hear their own music. That means having several units charged and working, along with helpful sales associates. “Nine out of 10 times, [shoppers] want to connect their own phone,” Perelman said. “They’re saying, ‘Wow, can I actually play my own music here?’ I don’t think you can do that in any other retailers.”
Next steps for Stellé are more designer collaborations, and expanding the current line with new colors and designs. Their original strategy was U.S.-only, but consumers in Asia and Europe are clamoring for their Clutches, so they’re expanding quicker than planned. But the one constant is being true to their target market. “We’re always focusing on the female consumer and what’s lacking in the CE space for her, and how we can close that gap,” Perelman said. DS