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Day 5 - IFA International

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Advertorial Did You Hear

Advertorial Did You Hear That? Great sounds joins great images in Element Electronic’s home-entertainment systems Flat TVs are becoming a commodity item in many stores, but a major drawback is very often the sound quality, as speakers get smaller and screens get thinner. Element Electronics comes to IFA for the first time to introduce its products to the world market. On show at its stand is a high-design set featuring fully integrated 2.1 sound system with proprietary Harman Kardon JBL technology. The sound system built into the TV is, according to Mike O’Shaughnessy, Element Electronics’ President and CEO, the equivalent to “having an HTIB solution plugged into the TV”. He adds: “Consumers want out-of-the-box convenience, where they buy the TV, take it out of the box, plug it in and enjoy a full experience.” Soon to be released is the stunning Element/ JBL 2012 ID (pictured), whose design has been refined still further. Watch this space… Hall 26 Stand 705 14

Exclusive Interview Element’s mother company, Shenyang TongFang Multimedia Technology Company is owned by Shenyang university, and is situated in ShenYang National High and New District, close to Shenyang university town, 18 kilometres from ShenYang international airport. Element’s credo is the delivery of products with superior quality and outstanding reliability, without compromise. Element products are accompanied with a two year constructor guarantee. Element electronics has a “passion for the environment” and encourages all its customers to recycle their used consumer electronic items. TongFang possessed wide-covered, wellestablished sales and service networks; It has set up 27 sales branches and offices, 1500 shops and more than 1000 service centres across China. Overseas business has mainly focused until now on OEM and ODM products, however recent years have seen significant success in the USA and Europe with the Element brand and Seiki brand. Exportation of TVs covers more than 20 countries and regions around the world such as the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Russia, Singapore and Hong Kong. All the Right Elements THTF’s new electronics company makes IFA debut American marketing overtones and Chinese manufacturing oomph make THTF’s Element Electronics — on show for the first time at IFA 2011 — an interesting company to follow. Element President and CEO, Mike O’Shaughnessy, gives IFA International the inside line… Interview by Richard Barnes Element electronics is a US brand that was launched five years ago. Our business is aimed at large retailers in the US. About two years ago, Element partnered with TongFang Global in China and, through that partnership, we merged this year into one entity. Element is now one of the brands that make up TongFang Global. We have global ambitions and attending IFA is out first step in that direction. Coming to IFA is our first opportunity to introduce ourselves, acquaint ourselves with new customers, and introduce our brand and value proposition. So your aim is to introduce the brand to Europe… Yes, that’s correct. First and foremost, we have appointed Gary Pinson, who spent 16 years with the Dixons group, as our General Manager for Europe. He’s based in the UK and he’s is putting together the infrastructure to serve this marketplace. Our strategy will be to introduce the brand to retailers in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and India, among other places. It’s an investment over time. Introducing a new brand is not an easy thing. We have a strategy of introducing our brand as a strong value proposition, but we are also patient in terms of letting the buyers get to know us. Frankly, what we will be doing is taking the lead from the retailers. We don’t pretend to know everything. For me as an American, and for my business colleagues from Asia, this is a different kind of market and it has to be treated as the unique gathering of marketplaces that it is. Will you be selling direct to retailers or through channel partners? Both. We have had a lot of success at IFA and there is a tremendous amount of interest in what we are doing. I can’t reveal the confidential nature of some of the discussions we have had, but there are a number of customers who will start to do business with us in 2012, if not sooner, on a direct basis. We will, however, also be working with distributors where appropriate. Winning team: TongFang Global’s President TH Lam (left), Element Electronic’s President & CEO Mike O’Shaughnessy and TongFang Global’s GM Mickey Cho Tell us more about your globalisation strategy… Our business strategy is called GL: Global Localisation. We aim to bring the Elements brand to a broad global market. Already in the US, we are present in such retail chains as Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Costco. Europe is the next step. Over the past months we have built up our service foundations — including a call centre, and service and repair centres — for customers across Europe. We want to bring user-friendly, human-related products on to the market. People tend to label Elements as an American brand name and a Chinese manufacturer. But if you ask what our goal is for Europe, it’s to be just a brand — a brand that represents great quality products with features that consumers want at a value price point. We are going to be a global brand. That’s why we are here. Elements is an established brand in the US and an established factory in China, so it’s time for us to stretch our wings a bit. When we think about Samsung, we don’t think about them being a Korean brand any more — we just think about great products. That’s what we want Element to be: a brand that is recognised for great products at a good price. Hall 26 Stand 705 Mike O’Shaughnessy Element President and CEO “Our goal for Europe is to be just a brand – a brand that represents great quality products with features that consumers want at a value price point” www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Tuesday 6 th September 2011 15

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