A recent blog post about NuVo Technologies caught me off guard when I read it. The article made a big deal out of the Hebron, KY-based manufacturer’s decision to bypass integrators and installers to sell its new Wireless Audio System for multi-room, multi-stream wireless music. This news came as a surprise, because I had just published my own story about the long-awaited NuVo product in the January issue of Residential Systems, and the manufacturer had made no mention of a change in distribution strategy.
Having built what I felt was a trustworthy relationship with NuVo president David Rodarte, I thought it unlikely that he would have intentionally deceived me and my readers by failing to mention a change in his company’s go-to-market plans. So I reached out to Rodarte through his marketing manager Desiree Webster, and found out that the company’s distribution strategy had not changed in 10 years. Wanting to further clarify this point, Rodarte agreed to an interview, where he emphasized that “NuVo remains committed to the custom install channel,” but that its dealers also want the manufacturer to help drive leads to them from consumers.
“I want NuVo to succeed, and I want our dealers to succeed too,” Rodarte said. “That is as true today as it was over a decade ago when I took the reins at NuVo. We both need customers in order to succeed, and homeowners can only want products if they know those products exist.”
Rodarte explained that NuVo’s new Wireless Audio System was designed to meet the demands of the company’s dealers. “It was a tall order—a step-up system that features high-quality audio, built-in streaming source variety, third-party connectivity in a robust and reliable wireless system, and rack-mountable products for truly custom wired solutions,” he said. “And they wanted a product that maintained profitability and brought more value to their business.”
But, Rodarte added, NuVo’s dealers also asked the company to help generate more direct customer requests for its brand. “They recognize the sales benefits of customers walking into their showroom—or calling their office—with a specific product already in mind. As such, NuVo has been working to build our brand recognition beyond dealers and installers, because consumer awareness drives business for all of us.”
So the new wireless system is available online through two specific internet authorized dealers, SMARTHOME Inc. and Parts Express. But, Rodarte was quick to add, both of these online distributors have been partners of NuVo for more than 10 years.
“Nothing has changed,” he stated. “This strategic and controlled consumer availability is necessary for consumer-read publications to review and recommend, hence raising consumer awareness. This exposure is designed to introduce NuVo to a larger audience, for the benefit of both our dealers’ and NuVo.”
Rodarte added that a posted retail price and “a commitment demonstrated over 10 years” to his company’s stated policy on price maintenance remains its focus. “NuVo recommends that all of our systems be purchased through trained, authorized dealers,” he explained.
The NuVo Wireless Audio System was designed with dealer-minded features, and includes dealer-only SKUs that ensure they can offer their customers the most complete high-fidelity wireless or wired whole home audio system, Rodarte pointed out.
“We stand by our dealers, and we look forward to continued growth and success with them in the future,” he said.
Jeremy Glowacki is editorial director of Residential Systems.