BenQ is making a $A12 million play to establish itself as a name in the digital home market this year. From March, new products will arrive each month, and the vendor will kick off its branding efforts with a high profile stint as a sponsor of Sydney's Mercedes Fashion week in May.
The vendor has also aligned itself with distributor Tech Pacific Holdings as a route to the mass merchant retail space. The two signed an agreement last week.
Tech Pac will take on the range of Ben Q products, which encompasses notebooks, LCD monitors and TVs, MP3 players, digital cameras, projectors and keyboards and mice.
"It is certainly part of our strategic push into developing a product portfolio for the digital home market," Tech Pac category manager for systems and peripherals, Josh Velling, said.
He was unable to confirm when the distributor would have stock available.
Tech Pac brings BenQ's national distributor portfolio to four, a figure with which BenQ managing director, Phil Newton, is happy.
"Tech Pac has added value that we're not addressing across the channel in any way, shape or form," he said. "I have no plans to shrink the distribution base at all." The right distribution channel, along with consumer mindshare, was crucial to BenQ's repositioning as a retail brand, Newton said.
He has earmarked half of this year's $12 million marketing budget to co-marketing with distribution partners.
The $1 million a year sponsorship deal with Fashion Week would help the brand court A-list trendsetters, Newtown said.
BenQ will be the sole IT sponsor of the event for three years.
The vendor will also sponsor European soccer championship Euro 2004.
It hopes that retail products will account for half of its business by the end of the year, up from 10 per cent.
Standalone devices such as set-top DVD players and smartphones would also be a big play for the vendor in 2004, Newton said.
New screen technologies and high end notebooks were also on the cards for this year.