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Interview – Chris Bundy Works to Preserve Core Brands’ Legacies

Bundy is charged with developing and delivering innovative branding, marketing strategies, and product launches across ten brand lines within the home and commercial technology sectors.

Core Brands has named Chris Bundy as its director of marketing communications.

Bringing more than 12 years of AV marketing experience to Core Brands, Bundy is charged with developing and delivering innovative branding, marketing strategies, and product launches across ten brand lines within the home and commercial technology sectors: ATON, BlueBOLT, ELAN, Furman, Niles, Panamax, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Sunfire, and Xantech.

Bundy has worked as a sound engineer for many of the Bay Area’s most notable musical acts of yesteryear—including Eddie Money, Night Ranger, Rose Royce, and Y&T. An integral part in the community movement to bring the musical arts to San Jose, he also works with many up-and-coming acts, such as his own band Rebelskamp. 

Kirsten Nelson, editor of Systems Contractor News, talked about the appointment with Bundy in an exclusive interview.

Kirsten Nelson: What is your position, and what does it entail?
Chris Bundy: As director of marketing communications, I’ve taken on the monumental task of revitalizing the legacies of a collection of brands that have been staples in the custom integration, commercial, and music industries. My work to shepherd these newly associated brands will include directing all outbound communications, including the web, advertising, and PR.

KN: How has your background prepared you for this new role?
I was born into the world of marketing, and actually established my own personal brand identity while still in high school. I’ve worked on marketing campaigns ranging from fast food to consumer electronics, and have filled a wide variety of roles encompassed by marketing communications, including public relations, brand design, product marketing, programs manager, and marketing director. My pedigree aside, I’ve spent quite a bit of time on both sides of the marketing equation. My personal life is filled with installation and design projects that help me understand what both end users and integrators are looking for.

KN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
In the short-term, I will focus on the individual brands, working to emphasize the personalities and legacies of these industry powerhouses. I will also work heavily with the sales force to develop programs that will encourage resellers and integrators alike to “cross pollinate” by adding other Core Brands products to their lineup.

KN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
The greatest challenge I currently face centers around the industry perception, often attached to mergers like this, that the collective brands will be homogenized to fit a draconian corporate image. I, along with the rest of the Core Brands leadership team, believe that preserving the individual brands’ legacies is top priority. I feel that if SpeakerCraft is not seen as the edgy brother to Niles, or if Xantech fails to live up to the image as the industry’s most trusted source for IR, then the Core Brands vision is not succeeding.

SCN: Where do you see your market heading?
I think the CI industry has a bright future. As the average price for custom in home media, energy, security, and network management comes down; it opens a huge new segment of consumers already primed and ready to upgrade their homes. I feel that this path is free from potential pitfalls such as dips in the U.S. and European economies during the next couple of years, or the potential influx of direct-marketed goods from Asian-Pacific companies. In this way, a cooperative collection of brands such as the Core Brands may be the best way to insulate from these outside threats, allowing brands to share developmental and operational costs, and mitigate risk.

KN: What new initiatives are we likely to see from Core Brands?
I see the Core Brands as an opportunity to provide a level of interoperability that the industry has previously only dreamt of. In the long run, I hope to see a push among the brands themselves, as well as across all partner agencies to develop new technologies and business practices that support a seamless world of products and services for the end user. I see this initiative starting with the sales side of the business, with an end-of-year push for cross selling brands to integrators already under way.

KN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services Core Brands has to offer?
In order to take advantage of all of the exciting programs and the wide variety of product offerings, system contractors can prepare by attending the numerous cross-brand trainings being offered throughout the end of the year and Q1 of 2013.

Kirsten Nelson is the editor of SCN.