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Millennials Targeted By ProSource For Future Growth

The ProSource Buying Group is targeting millennials to achieve future growth and believes it has the selection and services this key demographic appreciates.

The ProSource Buying Group celebrated its sales growth in premium consumer technology categories at their recent spring meeting in San Antonio. They are targeting millennials to achieve future growth since the group believes it has the selection and services this key demographic appreciates. The issue is that members of this diverse buying group, which consists of 500 local and regional specialty retailers and custom installers (CI), are somewhat unknown to millennials.

Andy Orozco, business development director of ProSource, says, “CI businesses need help because up until now they have been based on word of mouth [via] designers, architects, and builders. They are not that great in going out to consumers.”

Dave Workman, president and CEO of ProSource says, “Some of our dealers are doing a fabulous job in a variety of different ways.” However, more work needs to be done.

Reflecting on how regional retailers used to attract younger customers into their stores a generation ago with car audio, Workman notes, “You would go through the pain and aggravation of it because it was your entrée to the customer that was younger than your typical demographic. Car audio was the place you could bring in the 25 and younger crowd into your showroom.”

Workman says, “Millennials love audio and are now just discovering quality sound.” And ProSource members are experts in established quality audio categories, as well as wireless multi-room, Bluetooth audio, headphones and turntables. He adds, “ProSource’s strengths match what millennials want. Studies say millennials like products that are customized to them, they like a good in-store experience. They are not just an online customer — that just is not the case.”

In consumer technology the biggest challenge he says, “For retailers large and small is always going to be awareness. Top-of-mind awareness by consumers is for Amazon, Best Buy and maybe some big, visible [regional] dealers.”  Some ProSource dealers are not considered by this key demographic, “Yet much of what they do is provide a more customized [experience] which is what millennials are looking for versus some more well-known alternatives.” 

He adds that ProSource’s new marketing effort that is being tested will, “Reach out to [millennials]. We believe we have the products they want, we believe we provide the personalization they want. But we have to tell them we exist because they don't know us.”

ProSource’s digital marketing program that will debut later this year will integrate its suppliers’ digital assets. Orozco says, “Some of our vendors do a very good job of targeting millennials for their retail customers.” He adds that the program is designed specifically for independent specialty dealers. 

The program was developed by an ad agency it shares with AVB/BrandSource, the retail buying group which ProSource is allied with and “One Firefly, a service provider for mostly CI-type dealers,” Orozco notes. The effort is undergoing a 120-day proof-of-concept beta test with 15 members and a group of key vendors and will roll out later this year, he adds. 

Workman says that the issue for ProSource, a group of local and regional specialty retailers and CI operations is that it is hard for them to “get the word out to millennials that we exist. A good digital media program will help us find that customer in different ways,” he says.

Steve Smith was the longtime editor in chief of TWICE and a member of the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame

Steve Smith