With the technological changes in the world new concepts have come in and to satisfy the customer's requirement of such products, new manufacturers have come up. One of those manufacturers is Rockford Fosgate. The company sells products, which are loved by the new generation, and the demand is huge. These people also swear by their audio systems and must fix the best of everything in their houses and cars. One of the cardinal principles in life is that when you make something try to make the best, as then the item will create its own demand. This statement is also true for marketing. The Company is divided into many segments catering to different markets.
In main function, this company manufactures musical electronic products, and according to their sales agents "The evolution of music has paralleled the evolution of mankind." The company caters to the music lovers of the world and continually comes out with new products with better performance and resolutions. The products are for music lovers to listen to music and movie software through the highest quality of equipment and the newest technologies. They claim that their products have the best building quality and exiting new features. Jim Fosgate designs the company's products and their processors include the registered Dolby Pro-Logic II. This is supposed to be the newest evolution in Sound Technology.
Rockford Corporation (NASDAQ:ROFO) is the mother company; a publicly traded audio electronics, speakers & accessories company manufacturing products under 9 brands. The different companies are: 1. Rockford Fosgate is the company producing source units, signal processors, amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and accessories for mobile audio markets. 2. Lightning Audio is the unit producing speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers and accessories for mobile audio markets. 3. MB Quart is the manufacturer of home audio, mobile audio and pro-audio components that are German Engineered. 4. Q-Logic is the manufacturer, marketer and distributor of aftermarket car audio enclosures under the brand names of Q-Forms, Q-Logic, and Q-Customs names. 5. InstallEdge.com is the producer of connectors, screws, wiring harnesses, and accessories for mobile audio installations 6. Hafler produces professional audio equipment such as amplifiers, powered monitors & subwoofers for recording studios, movie theaters and concert halls. 7. Fosgate Audionics is the producer of Hi-Fi home theater components such as signal processors, amplifiers and speakers. 8. Simple Devices produces software that connects digital device applications for the home, automobile and portable devices. Their brand name is Omnifi. 9. NHT is the designer for high-quality loudspeakers for stereo, home theater, custom installation and professional audio markets which come in brand names of NHT, Now Hear This, Evolution, NHT Pro, Architectural and Super Audio. (www.rockfordcorp.com/home)
As one can clearly se that the group really has one business in mind - high quality audio equipment. All the companies support the main business and many of them end up in supplying goods for the users of the main equipment. Let use look at what this means. One of the major suppliers says at the end of his sales efforts for Fosgate Audionics "Don't Forget to ADD High Performance Monster Cable, ADD Speaker Stands, TV Stands, Audio Racks or Furniture, ADD Monster Power High Performance Power Center, ADD High Definition Television, ADD General Electric Warranty Protection." (www.store.yahoo.com/wildwestelectronics) Thus one of the clear methods for the sales of the group is a tie-in sale. This means that if somebody buys one product from Rockford Fosgate, he will end up buying quite a few other products, as they will be required for the use of the product that he has bought. This is a common marketing strategy to maximize returns by selling related equipment. At the same time one must say, that sometimes the inferior quality in supporting equipment can cause difficulties to the principal equipment. However, there is no compulsion for this and the uninitiated often end up buying this "just for safety" These purchases are not compulsory.
The company may be seen to clearly support its own brand image also with the GE brand name in their talk. This is again a clever marketing strategy and possibly being exploited as much by GE as Rockford Fosgate. The next question is of their advertising. They principally advertise on the Internet, as their target audience is probably the biggest users of the net. They want to look at the product and photographs on the net. The company itself tries to contact the potential buyers on the net. Even they provide locations of their dealers on the net. The relevant section goes something like this "Protect your warranty by purchasing from authorized dealers." Then the authorized dealer in a particular area can be located by just filling up the zip code for the area. Then in the same advertisement in the site there is a photograph of a new Rockford Fosgate Nissan 350Z demo car. (www.cardomain.com/id/illzx2)
This photograph will obviously attract the person who is looking at the site. Again, in advertising this is called associated images. The car has no relation to the product prepared by Rockford but the car has an expensive superior image. This image is to be transferred to Rockford. Some items are also being given free to the person who has come to the site - like flash animation software, photo album, desktop wallpaper. These can be downloaded many times from the Internet site and do not cost much to the person who is giving it away, but they will leave a permanent reminder with the person who is downloading them. It is also clear that the company is targeting the internet user, for he is also giving away screensavers, dealer videos, etc. thus the company has a clear cut target audience in mind and trying to be top of mind for that specific audience. The product is of such a nature that it is not a regularly purchased item. It will be purchased for a house when the house is purchased and for a car when the car is purchased. Normally, these products are not replaced.
Now let us look at the car audio market in totality. Today, audio systems are available for every application and the range is enormous. There are simple systems costing only $250 and other systems that have gone overboard and cost over $20,000. Sony sells the maximum number of units of all audio, and they have remained market leaders for over 20 years now. The company is a multi-brand, multi-product seller and even in audio products it has a wide range. The web is not their main sales medium as their web site contains a lot of products and this can get only limited coverage. The next important player in these products is Pioneer. They are the biggest in car audio sales in the United States. They also have a variety of products, and they also have a good website which is easy to handle for most people. Another important player is Kenwood. (www.scs.unr.edu/~jseymour/)
They also sell audio products for both home and car. Their customer service is very well reputed. They also have a good site. Compared to these, Rockwood Fosgate is a small player. They have a focus in amplifiers and sub-woofers and a very good way of showing their products on the net. This is their strength. Though the activities on the internet has brought a lot of enquiries to Fosgate, these cannot be directly converted to sales as the customers like to purchase only after they have seen the product actually demonstrated, and have heard the system. For this purpose, good sellers have rooms where the potential buyer can listen to the system. For the major companies with a lot of brands and models, this is very important. Another problem with the Internet way of selling audio systems is that the software and applications on these soon get outdated.
Fosgate has tried to get around this problem by updating their software, and has switched to flash from ASP. The change in system now permits more than 200 outside users to log in to their site from the previous limit of 268. In the meantime, Rockford is adding 1200 new independent dealers. This means that more sales will be required and the system has to be ready for more callers. So, Rockwell has to continuously update its technology. At the same time, in spite of its good presence on the net, Rockford does not offer guarantees on products that are not bought from its retailers, though many of the other manufacturers do. They offer guarantees only on products sold by their authorized dealers.
We thus see that Rockford that Rockford is trying to opt new methods for their sales. They realize that they are competing with world leaders and cannot really compete in terms of the number of products available. Their product quality in itself is good, but it is limited in range. They also have limitations in terms of image and support from the trade due to their size. So, they…