2B Heard director David Wooster on boosting K-array’s presence in the Irish market14 September 2017
Last month, K-array’s UK distributor 2B Heard struck a deal, which saw Ireland’s Professional Audio named official dealer for the brand across the country. 2B Heard director David Wooster gives Daniel Gumble the inside track…
For David Wooster, director at K-array’s UK distributor 2B heard, the Italian-based speaker specialist is entering something of a purple patch. Despite boasting an impressive line-up of high-end compact audio solutions, the K-array brand has arguably been seen by some as an alternative option, as opposed to a “go to product” as Wooster puts it.
Now, however, the perception of the brand is starting to change. The company is ramping up its presence on the international market, most recently with a new exclusive official dealership agreement with Ireland’s Professional Audio, and, says Wooster, consultants and designers are waking up to the possibilities of its offering.
“Globally, the brand is changing and is becoming more accepted, with people appreciating how good it sounds,” Wooster enthuses. It’s establishing itself as a go-to product. More consultants and designers are realising it is exactly the right product. They are going to it now, rather than it just being an option, because they know it ticks all the boxes.”
So what can Professional Audio bring to the table? According to Wooster, the shared vision and symbiosis between the companies will provide the perfect platform for long-term success in the region.
“We needed a reliable partner who is strong in the pro audio install sector – and they really fit the bill in Ireland,” he explains. “They are growing in a really strong way. They have exactly the same outlook and vision as us, and that will hopefully benefit our growth. K-array products bring them a high-end loudspeaker system that is unique in the market, in terms of quality, performance and form factor.”
Another appealing factor for 2B Heard was Professional Audio’s history with K-array, having served as its official dealer when the brand was previously distributed by Sennheiser.
We needed a reliable partner who is strong in the pro audio install sector – and they really fit the bill in Ireland. They are growing in a really strong way
Gareth McCarthy, business development manager at Professional Audio, tells PSNEurope: “We already have experience in selling K-Array into the country and it was only natural that this deal would come at this time of growth in this sector in Ireland. Both companies (Professional Audio and 2B Heard) focus on high quality product and top customer service. Our past experience in selling K-array gives us a unique position within the Irish market and will allow us to go back to our past customers with good news and some new products to promote and sell.”
McCarthy also claims that the business is ready to hit the ground running with K-array, with a raft of promotions and sales initiatives already in place.
“Besides the usual social media and marketing channels, the first thing we intend to do is the K-array open day in October,” he continues. “We have already spoken to a few key accounts within the country and interest in this is high. We also have the advantage of having a man on the ground who can visit the customers directly, and finally we have a 25+ year old address book with whom we can spread the word.
“We have also discussed looking into offering some initial buy-in discount or solution based deal – for example if a customer buys a K-Array system we can look at offers within our full product catalogue to offer the most complete solution possible.”
The biggest challenge, and, indeed, opportunity, McCarthy adds, is differentiating K-array from the rest of the competition and enabling customers to experience exactly what it has to offer.
“We need to demonstrate why K-array is a premium solution as compared to brands that are positioned towards the lower end of the market,” he says. “But we have a tremendous advantage because as soon as customers experience K-array, they understand what makes it special. It’s all about giving people the chance to see the quality and hear the fidelity of K-Array solutions, and that’s precisely what we’re going to do.”
As far as new products and launches are concerned, mum is very much the word as we enter Q4, although Wooster hints at some big announcements on the horizon in the not too distant future.
“There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up from K-Array over the next 12-18 months,” Wooster concludes. “Globally, America and Asia are really driving forward, but orders we are trying to place are in the queue and are having to wait because there are such significant orders coming from outside the UK at the moment. As a brand it really is growing. “K-array has a vision other companies don’t seem to have, and they follow that through in everything they do, which is good for us – but also for the market as a whole.”
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