Written by: David Kaplan, Partner, bluesalve partners
Anchor Audio is a U.S. based manufacturer of portable PA and sound systems, powered speaker monitors and audio-facing lecterns. The company manufactures many SKUs, targeting such markets as Education, Athletics, Parks and Recreation, Police, Fire, First Responders, Auctions, Hospitality and Worship.
As with many enterprises affected by the pandemic, Anchor found itself needing to engage with new market conditions. The most immediate challenge was how the company could rebuild its sales with a leaner head count. The shift toward online shopping and engagement had not been adequately addressed prior to the pandemic, which contributed to gaps and inadequacies in the marketplace. Several product introductions did not meet projected targets, while taking up development time and capital.
From our conversations and observations, it became clear that the company needed assistance in rationalizing its current assortment, optimizing its new product development plans, and understanding the available opportunities, fully and realistically, for Anchor Audio products by segment and channel.
To create a cornerstone for its post-pandemic sales recovery, as well as its long-term growth, Anchor Audio engaged bluesalve partners to assist in the evolution of their strategy. Our first initiative was to provide the company with detailed market assessments, so as to understand the total available market (TAM) for portable PA products in general and the serviceable available market (SAM) for Anchor Audio products in specific channels.
bluesalve partners approached this task as a two-phased project. The first stage entailed discovery and data aggregation. To begin a full strategy and product portfolio download, we conducted in-depth interviews with all key Anchor Audio internal stakeholders. From these discussions, we were able to identify and understand previous successes and failures, as well as understand possible process issues within the company. We then conducted key dealer interviews to identify impediments and opportunities to increase sales. The interviews not only represented the top accounts, but also a cross-section of dealers of various size, specialty, and expertise in all the verticals served by the company. We then focused on data collection. This involved researching market data and validating marketing intelligence regarding the total available markets and demand. We made a point of examining all channel tributaries and identifying all possible sales channels. The second project phase entailed creating a market assessment for Anchor that tied all this anecdotal and empirical data into unified intelligence that could serve as a foundational document for the company's short and long-term go-to market strategies. The entire process, from beginning to delivery took ten weeks.
The bluesalve team provided a detailed report that summarized marketplace trends and included go-to market and sales share of 21 identified competitors. The report identified market size and opportunity across all verticals. Findings called out the company’s marketplace strengths and weaknesses, with specific concerns regarding its e-commerce strategy addressed in full.
In February of 2021, we presented our report to the management team at Anchor Audio. It was acknowledged by the CEO as “answering strategical questions we’ve struggled with for years.” Going further, the CEO commented that" I now have a focused summary of where my business is at in the industry, and top initiatives we can take to improve the business in the near future. The whole process was affordable, timely and specially targeted to our needs. I highly recommend bluesalve to anyone needing assistance with assessing their current position, markets and strategy.” Anchor has subsequently engaged with bluesalve to achieve remaining corporate objectives, including assistance with ideation and evolution of new product development and to identify new potential customers, partners and channels.
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