New England Rep Firm VAM is Resurrected
After shuttering four years ago, Value Added Marketing is back in business.
Let’s hope this becomes a trend: Companies that went out of business coming back.
That’s the situation with Value Added Marketing, which suspended its operations nearly four years ago. Co-founder Chuck Schneider says he has re-launched VAM, making it “New England’s oldest new rep firm.”
The new incarnation of VAM, which will be located in Carver, Mass., has locked up one manufacturer, but Schneider declined to name names. “I’m superstitious,” he says. “But we should have three or four prominent manufacturers that we’ll be representing between the next 24 hours and one week.”
VAM wouldn’t reveal its targeted manufacturers, but Moorhatch says it’s safe to assume they’ll be “custom” brands because he and Schneider are “old audio guys” who still embrace vinyl.
The lines VAM will represent “have broad appeal to custom installation specialty dealers and storefronts, but there are some portions of the lines that can be brought to big-box stores too,” Moorhatch says.
VAM’s first go-round hit unavoidable trouble when a co-founder and partner experienced a personal tragedy. A resulting spiral led to the end of the company.
At CES 2010, Moorhatch, after checking with Schneider, tested the waters by asking manufacturers if there is demand for VAM’s rep style in New England. The response was positive. But after losing Bernie’s and Tweeter, New England is left with very few specialty chains.
“New England is pretty much dominated by single-store brick and mortar merchants,” Schneider says. Those dealers have opportunities to fill gaps left by defunct specialty retailers, he adds.
VAM’s somewhat old-school approach is timely, according to Moorhatch. The custom and specialty dealers that are left “need to know they’re important to their manufacturer.”
Moorhatch says his and Schneider’s traditional approach of “getting out there,” “going to job sites” and getting personally involved is needed for the unique New England market.
“I’m not saying we should revert back to the way things were 15 years ago - just that there are some real lessons we can learn from that approach.”
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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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