By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: The supplier side of the consumer electronics industry needs to work together, even whilst competing fiercely, to better attract consumers and support retailers, according to Robbee Minicola, the CEO of Hybrid TV, the exclusive licensee of TiVo in Australia.
After reading reports of DViCO’s criticism of TiVo from its launch event on 14 October, Minicola responded to the barbs, saying that promoting one’s product on its features is a more effective way of enhancing sales than taking swipes at competitors.
In her response to the criticism, (which can be read in full here), Minicola said, “I don’t think that infighting is going to help, and that’s why you’re not going to hear anything nasty from me against this person, whom I’ve never met.
“You’re going to hear from me, ‘listen that’s not the way to do it, stick together to provide fantastic products for retailers to drive consumers in there to buy these products’.”
Not one to be negative, but also not one to shy away from a debate, Minicola said that, ultimately, this attack was a thinly veiled compliment for TiVo, which she said is leading the market in high definition personal video recorders (HD PVRs).
“I see it as a compliment, because if someone’s going to try to challenge your brand to promote the launch of their own brand, then they obviously see our brand as being a significant product in the market place.”
On the broader subject of product marketing, for which Minicola is well-regarded both here and in her native United States, the TiVo boss questioned this as a viable marketing strategy. She said the DViCO product launch was about introducing a new HD PVR into the market, and that this was essentially a good thing, as it raised awareness of the category with consumers and helped drive consumers into retail stores. By taking this crack at TiVo, the supplier muddied its own message, and that doesn’t help in the ongoing battle to make consumers choose a PVR over pay television.
“I don’t think it helps a retailer with one manufacturer of one product fighting with another manufacturer of another product,” she said. “The reality is, the retailer just wants to get the right product to the right person, achieve a good price and get a good margin, so they can stay in business.”