INTERVIEW Allan Lu, Marketing Director, Aukey
by Liam McSherry, Monday 3 February 2020
[Channel EMEA] [CE] What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What are your key goals for the event? Will you make any specific company announcements at the event?
Allan Lu [AL] We are brands doing TWS earphones/ headphones and AIoT products, and the fair is targeting Europe, the Middle East and Africa; we hope to meet as many as distributors, wholesalers and resellers from these areas, especially those ones with rich channels resources and experience in audio industry and AIoT products. We will announce our great innovative product in this event: for the first time to bring to Europe the world’s first True Wireless Hi-Res earbuds housed in a fitness band- Wearbuds W20 by AiPower.
[CE] What products/solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What do you want distributors to know about your portfolio?
[AL] We have two brands in or portfolio that we will be highlighting during the show.
Key Series: Key Series is an innovative audio brand that combines the best premium quality materials with comfort and durability. Our technology produces a true crystal-clear sound that makes users feel the music.
AiPower: AiPower was established to create unique and better consumer electronics that aim to take the industry to a new level. As a parent company of three independent dynamic brands Wearbuds, KORONA, and SPARK, AiPower seeks to lead the world as a revolutionary player in smart device development.
At DISTREE EMEA 2020, we will showcase our hot selling TWS earphones with ANC function (Active Noise Cancellation) and our Wearbuds W20, which has got 16.234 backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and pledged more than 100 million USD. I believe these products will cause a sensation in the market.
[CE] Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?
[AL] Our fast-developing, newly-launched brands are fortunate to have the experience and strong background of the AUKEY brand. Our business has developed both online and offline. For online, we launched our products on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Amazon, JD, China, Shopee and Lazada in Southeast Asia, as well as a number of other online shopping websites all over the world. For offline, we have partnered with retailers such as Challenger in Southeast Asia, and Virgin and iPort in EMEA.
In 2019, we almost covered online distribution fully in major markets. In 2020, our target is to rapidly enter major offline channels in EMEA.
TWS+ANC Earphone/ Headphones will be the main developing trend in Bluetooth earphones market and Key Series has good technology and product advantages over others in the market. In 2020, Key Series will bring our customers more products that meet the market expectation.
For the ‘Wearable Audio’ part, we will launch our ‘Pro Version’ based on Wearbuds W20. With new functions added, Wearbuds W20 Pro will further support users’ needs.
[CE] Which geographic areas and/or channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA and globally?
[AL] Generally speaking, we attach great importance to EU market, North America, East Asia and Middle East markets. These markets will contribute major volume in sales in line with the appetite for our products.
[CE] Why should distributors and retailers focus on your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?
[AL] Firstly, we are one of the very few manufacturers of TWS earphones with ANC functions in the market. We have leading technology as well as mid-to-high end products. Secondly, we constantly deliver innovate products. Our Wearbuds W20 is a good example of this, having recently attracted a lot of attention from press and distributors at CES 2020.Thirdly, we have clear and comprehensive product roadmaps. This gives our partners great confidence that our clear product development and line up can steadily increase market share. Last but not least, we deem creativity, design and patents as ‘our life’. We have more than 84 patents in design and invention, and our hot-selling TWS earbuds T10 recently won the IF Design Award in 2019.
[CE] Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners? Please explain this area of your business.
[AL] We have a very attractive programme to stimulate and award our partners including rebates, special awards financial awards, marketing support and more.We leave up to 70% margin space to our channels.
[CE] What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?
[AL] We provide comprehensive marketing to support our partner’s sales initiatives:
Digital marketing: KOL reviews on YouTube and other social media channels, SEM on search engines like Google, and brand public fan page maintenance on Facebook and other platforms.
Offline marketing: we provide marketing/ promotional materials for peak seasons such as Christmas, Black Friday, Nov 11, as well as the dead stock or star products. We also support co-exhibition opportunities to enlarge markets.
Financial support: we provide a certain amount of money to agents when our branding job cannot fully cover the market needs, extra marketing is needed during a certain promotion season or if agents need to tailor their own marketing initiatives for AUKEY’s brands.
[CE] How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?
[AL] We’re anticipating rapid growth in 2020, particularly in the fast moving market for TWS earbuds - a great opportunity for high quality manufacturers with great brand reputation. Our Key Series brand is well placed to do some great business.
[CE] Is your company channel friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the EMEA market? What are your overall channel goals and aims for 2020 in EMEA?
[AL] Yes, our company channel is very friendly. We welcome every channel to cooperate with us, and we have a systematic and omni-channel solution for our ‘go to market’ approach in EMEA.