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Behind the Business: OnQ/Legrand

Manufacturer Wants its Products to be Extension of a Homes Dcor.

The acquisition of On-Q by Legrand and a subsequent merger with Greyfox in 2006 resulted in the pooling together of two product engineering and marketing leaders. Combining Greyfox’s engineering talent with On-Qs marketing and sales expertise, says the companys director of marketing Amy Hahne, has given On-Q/Legrand the ability to not only manufacture innovative products, but to provide best practices and tools for selling them. In 2007 the company added UStec, another industry leader, which further enhanced its products and expanded its customer base to include custom integrators. Hahne took a moment, recently, to describe her companys renewed focus on product design and how it has further defined what On-Q/Legrand means to residential systems integrators.

How would you describe On-Q/Legrands value proposition in the residential systems integration market?
On-Q/Legrand has always been devoted to creating products that are easy to install and easy to sell. Our value to our customers is driven by the fact that we treat them as partners; we solicit input from dealers and builders, and then develop products that respond to their needs. Since launching On-Q/Legrand, weve maintained the goal of creating innovative products, but weve recently broadened our focus to include our vision of the advent of design in home systems.

You have been emphasizing industrial design more in your products lately. Whats the motivation behind using more colors for wallplates, etc.?
Homebuyers expect choices when picking out their floors, cabinets, and lighting fixtureswhy should home systems offer only the bare minimum? Home systems are an integral part of the home and should therefore be an extension of the dcor. Weve anticipated this need with the Studio Collection, which is a suite of wall plates and devices that are inspired by color and design trends from around the world. Featuring 17 color options and a contemporary design that includes a screwless finish and titanium edging, the Studio Collection is the first product line designed for the entire homeboth above and below the chair rail.

Why do you believe consumers value design now more than ever when it comes to many things, but namely their home electronics?
American consumers, including homebuyers, are driven by the desire to own the latest and greatest stuff. And, how their stuff looks has become as important as how it works, especially given the unlimited opportunities to customize and personalize consumer electronics. Our industry is just starting to recognize the value of great design married to practical function and advanced technology. Applying great design ideas to home technologies, a segment currently with little or no personalization options, can create similar desires among homebuyers, boosting sales and upgrades, and lifting our industry to the next level.

What programs or initiatives is your company offering to help your dealers and builders succeed in a bad economy?
We believe that now more than ever dealers and builders need to do everything they can to differentiate themselves from the competition. Thats why weve continued to support our customers with the great marketing tools and sales support they expect from On-Q. However, in addition to our standard marketing tools, weve also completely revamped our training program, bringing our installers updated installation training via our online program and in facilitator-led sessions. Weve also added a revolutionary new module to our training program, Lifestyle Sales Training. This one-of-a-kind training program focuses on effective solution-selling processes and techniques for builders and installers. The primary goal of the program is to teach students to listen and understand homebuyer needs and learn how to prescribe the home systems solutions that best address these needs. The guidance given to the builders and installers teaches them to work with their customers to fill a void, and implement a home system that perfectly complements the customers needs.

What kind of sneak preview can you give us about your new product plans for this fall?
This fall at CEDIA we will unveil an unprecedented new product that will shake up the production home market. This product combines revolutionary function with inspired design, and we believe it will shape the future of home systems. But, thats all I can reveal at this pointyou should stop by our booth at CEDIA for the unveiling.