Name: John Powell
Company: Pioneer DJ Americas
SCN: What inspired Pioneer DJ to address the commercial install market?
JOHN POWELL: A big inspiration for this initiative has been the pressure on retail and hospitality brands to create an attractive, aspirational brand experience in their properties. To attract and engage customers, many have sought to create a club vibe and club sound in their stores, hotel lobbies, and restaurants. This is especially relevant and compelling to retailers who are seeking to create an experiential destination that outshines the online experience. As Pioneer DJ is synonymous with the club scene and elite DJs, it was only natural that they would come to us to create the sound for their properties—and it’s turned out to be a strong fit.
Customers and integration partners came to us with the challenges they sought to address, and our engineering team developed some really great loudspeakers that are, admittedly not for everyone, but are ideal in terms of specifications, build, and price for the retail and hospitality applications.
I may be biased, but I do have deep experience in commercial audio and I’ll proudly and confidently stack these commercial market loudspeakers in a shootout against any competitor in the field.
SCN: What unique value/perspective does Pioneer DJ bring to this market?
JP: I think our knowledge of the club scene and what it takes to move people is really unique and valuable. The most successful retailers, hospitality pros, and even small businesses know that they need traffic and that means creating a brand experience—and we do that extremely well.
We have deep pedigree in the club market ,but also in the broader audio industry and the professional sound market. This depth of engineering and pro audio experience is essential if you’re going to operate in the commercial audio space.
I would also say we’re hungry to grow our commercial install business, so when you see some of the larger brands and groups go after enterprise business, they’re, in fact, walking away from smaller-scale installations. We’re happy to address this business opportunity and support the integrator and the customers with great sounding, good looking gear that is affordable, easy to install, and allows them to express their brands and strengthen the on-site experience.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face in addressing this market?
JP: The greatest challenge we face is combating commoditization. The value that Pioneer DJ provides in terms of the sound, look, feel of our equipment coupled with comprehensive integrator care is more compelling and effective than trunk-slammer boxes, and we need to communicate that value loud and clear. The integrator and the customer will each have a stronger business if they partner with Pioneer DJ.
SCN: How can systems contractors position themselves to capitalize on your offering?
JP: It’s all about how you view your business and position your brand. If you believe in quality and are confident in your brand, then you’ll naturally gravitate to Pioneer DJ. Every contractor will have a speaker brand for the large airports and another brand for the warehouse store, but if you’re challenged to create the very best club sound or replicate the club sound in a retail or hospitality environment, then we’re your go-to solution.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals for this market?
JP: My goal is to give clubs, small/mid-sized venues, retailers, and hospitality venues access to our iconic brand from systems contractors who themselves understand how to create an experience that will attract and engage customers. We now have a comprehensive range of decks, controllers, studio gear, and loudspeakers with a knowledgeable and committed organization that's ready to serve.
I think we can do this and, in turn, we can enable integrators to offer club-grade sound and commercial customers to create the compelling brick-and-mortar experiences that retailers and hospitality brands need!
SCN: Is there anything else our readers should know?
JP: We have a great organization and we’re ready to listen to systems contractors and partner with them on products, systems, and programs. I personally know this market well, having held senior roles at JBL and Harman Professional. I have the strong belief that ,while we’re not the sound for all applications, we have the best offering for savvy brand professionals who want traffic, movement, and growth—something contractors can sell!