Being a Rock Star Integrator
Music roots and a “you can’t outwork me” mentality have helped David Frangioni raise Audio One’s cultural status.
There’s no crossover star - no Tony Hawk, no Yo-Yo Ma - in the custom electronics industry. No transcendent integrator has broken through the CE pro community and achieved mainstream celebrity. David Frangioni has taken steps toward changing that, as evident by the name of his company: Audio One, a Frangioni Company.
Like a lot of CE pros, Frangioni rubs elbows with plenty of A-listers. His company has carved out a rather long, referral-driven celebrity client list, driven in part by the recording studio work Audio One does in addition to residential systems.
Meanwhile, Frangioni, once an aspiring musician, appears comfortable in the limelight. He was the installer showcased - or exploited for humor’s sake - on MTV’s “The Osbournes.” He wrote a book on Clint Eastwood movie art collectibles, “Clint Eastwood Icon,” and you can find Frangioni promoting it on YouTube.
Frangioni doesn’t give the impression that he wants to be famous, or that he wants to be something of a “rock star integrator.” Neither, however, would be a bad thing for the custom installation industry. It might help it get over a cultural hump and appeal to mainstream America.
That doesn’t mean custom electronics dealers would make their offerings more palatable for the middle market, but that they’d become so sought-after that mainstream Americans would aspire to owning a custom system much like they might dream of wearing a Rolex, driving a Jaguar or dining at Nobu.
Audio One appears closest to breaking through the glass ceiling. It would be a good thing not just for Audio One but for any CE pro frustrated that so many Americans aspire to owning a Bose system.
There is “a lot of prestige” associated with owning an Audio One system, says Sam Runco, “but it’s really more about credibility with David.” Meanwhile, Frangioni’s professional work with prominent musicians has elevated his reputation among residential clients.
Runco recalls a classic Audio One referral story: Ringo Starr and his manager Mark Hudson apparently recommended David to Ozzy Osbourne, not by his urging.
“Then David gets a call from Ozzy out of the blue who said, ‘Ringo tells me I have to have you build my [expletive] system.’ David thought it was a joke, but acted professional just in case.”
Frangioni says Audio One is influenced by Runco and Monster Cable. Not coincidentally, these are two manufacturers whose brand identity is linked to that of their founders.
Two major influences on Frangioni are Monster’s Noel Lee (left) and Sam Runco (right.)
Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at email@example.com
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