The Sum of Crutchfield’s Parts
New product selections for consumer electronics cataloger Crutchfield are driven by its merchandising staff, which works closely with manufacturers. Vice President of Merchandising Rick Souder and the merchandisers thrive on launching new products. Since Crutchfield deals in high-tech consumer electronics, its merchandisers are organized by product groups to gain an in-depth familiarity with a particular product category, such as televisions or car stereos.
Crutchfield’s marketing department steps in to determine if these new products will appeal to its customers, and if so, how and when this product information will be communicated. “The marketing challenge is to get the word out about your products in a way that encourages people to trust you and buy from you,” Souder explains. “Marketing and merchandising intersect with our value-added information on installation and our lifetime support for the purchased product.”
Since its business is built around non-proprietary products, Crutchfield recognizes it must excel in customer service. As such, it sends its creative staff members to the annual Consumer Electronics Show to learn the “techno speak” required to communicate effectively with customers through its content and design in catalogs and on the Web.