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article imageVisionQuest Boldly Joins Crowded LCD TV Fray With Competitive Pricing and Impressive Product Lines

By David Silverberg     Feb 28, 2007 in Technology
Digital Journal — In business, go where the money is. And in the red-hot LCD TV market, a new entrant in the market is hoping to cash in on the must-have for home-theatre enthusiasts.
VisionQuest might sound like a laser eye surgery company, but it’s actually an electronics brand that arrived on Canadian shores in December 2006 (it opened a sales and marketing office in the U.S. in 2001). Offering stunning LCD TVs, LCD monitors and DVD players, the company is hungry to lure attention away from the high-profile brands to its line of products mostly found in independent resellers.
“How many big companies take time to support the independent channel?” says VisionQuest’s general manager Jimmy Davlouros in an interview with DigitalJournal.com. He answers his own question: “Few and far between, but we’re focused on accommodating the independents.” In an aggressive business strategy, VisionQuest plans on going after the 12,000 indie resellers in Canada, along with the 15,000 IT resellers who are now selling LCDs.
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So far, the move is paying off: Since arriving in Canada nine weeks ago, VisionQuest has already sold 3,000 LCD TVs and 6,000 LCD monitors. Its 3,000 media players in Canadian stores have completely sold out, Davlouros says.
Don’t know anyone with a VisionQuest product? Never seen a VisionQuest ad? Brand awareness will get a shot in the arm in the next few months, Davlouros promises, also hinting that more product lines will soon hit the Canadian market: patio heaters, fridges, mini bars and even notebook PCs dubbed SurfBooks.
Isn’t there a danger in spreading a business too thin? “No way, it’s a consumer digest,” replies Davlouros. “By going broad, we’re appealing to various niches. You’ll soon see VisionQuest on patios, living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens.”
So far, the company — supported by a Chinese manufacturing plant — is setting its target on the lucrative LCD market, which accounted for $14 billion (all figures US dollars) of the total $30 billion spent on TVs last year. And in the 2006 holiday season, LCD TV sales ($925 million) topped the usual best seller, digital cameras ($825 million), according to NPD Group market data.
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With its Picasso and Rembrandt LCD TV models, VisionQuest wants to be both “sexy and cool,” Davlouros says. “What’s here to stay is sexy, and we don’t want to be just hot but also hot-priced.” The more affordable Picasso line, which Davlouros describes as “funky punky,” ranges from $500 CAN to $1,900 CAN for 20- to 37-inch LCD TVs. The Rembrandt TVs, displaying an elegant look, is a higher-end model that adds HDCP so consumers can play from any high-definition source. The Rembrandts also boast touchpads that offer volume, channel and power control (although fingerprints dotting the screen might be a problem).
“Everyone wants an LCD,” Davlouros declares. “They’re glamorous. I bet you even want one.”
My tastes notwithstanding, the LCD market is booming but also crowded with powerhouses such as Sharp, Philips, Sony and Samsung. How does a smaller player stand out? “The secret is consistency,” Davlouros says. “And we have to structure a young cool team so I can stand back and build other markets.”
Fat chance Davlouros will be content with merely observing a company’s rise through the ranks. Previously in executive positions at Brother Canada, Samsung and BenQ Canada,
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Davlouros is one of those executives who prefers to involve himself with firms floating to the top of the biz chain. Twenty-five years of experience in consumer electronics will make even the most hardened professionals intrigued by market challenges.
In order to lead VisionQuest to profitability, Davlouros is riffing from his days as a session player in popular bands. “As a musician, I learned how to create something from nothing, to give people the biggest thrill,” he says. “I want to generate excitement in the consumer, the employee, or the supplier.”
Judging by the appetite for all things LCD — heck, all things home theatre — the profitability possibility is there. It’s waiting to be nabbed by the company with the best product, the most powerful marketing campaign, and a reputation that grows each passing month.
If VisionQuest fulfills its promises to deliver the goods, expect to see this brand flooding store shelves – and living rooms.
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