Ian Geise

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

Differentiating accessories products on the sales floor is a brand’s biggest challenge, even if a product is an R&D masterpiece. When consumers are confronted with many me-too choices that offer similar functionality, the confusion can often end in a walkway rather than a takeaway at the checkout counter. But when they see a grouping of complementary accessories solutions under the same brand banner, presenting a unified story, they’re far more likely to buy.

The consumer call for higher-ticket universal remote controls in recent years should be no surprise to anyone, said Ian Geise, vice president of marketing for Audiovox Accessories. It isn’t just the rise in diversity and number of home theater components, the increase in new-TV acquisitions that preceded and has followed the mid-year DTV transition, or the bump in the gaming market.

“People couldn’t find their coffee tables any more,” he joked, in explaining the company’s decision to market its new AR-branded Xsight universal remote line to the typical electronics buyer or service subscriber who’s tired of complexity and clutter – the inevitable byproducts of multiple remotes.  After being announced at the 2009 CES, the models have just reached nationwide distribution in Best Buy and regional electronics outlets including Electronics Expo, ABC Warehouse and Nebraska Furniture Mart.

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