Guest Interview: Joe Roberts, Core Brands

Joe Roberts has been involved in leading innovation in consumer software with companies such as Corel, The Learning Company, Broderbund, and eLanguage.

JoeRoberts-headshot-smRoberts is now VP of Products and Marketing at Core Brands, a Nortek company, which brings together some well-known brands in the home automation, audio and power management categories. In this exclusive interview with HiddenWires, Roberts explains Core Brands' perspective on the home control market, and what its priorities are for 2014.

Q: What trends do you see?
A: In the residential custom install industry, designing for lifestyle will always be important. Dealers continue to look for complete solutions that provide good value, easy installation, and dazzle their customers. For the homeowners, anticipating trends is critical to staying relevant. So we’re looking for ways, like with our Niles Cynema Soundfield speaker, to make the installation easier for the installer, thus delivering strong value to the customer.

Q: What differences do you see in Europe versus the US?
A: The histories behind the various brands that make up Core Brands has led us to be at a more mature stage in the US, so the EMEA represents a great opportunity for growth. I’m looking forward to ISE, learning more about the individual market dynamics and delivering compelling new products.

Q: What makes Core Brands unique?
A: Our uniqueness stems from the rich history that these brands all have individually and the great teams that have come together as Core Brands. 2013 was quite a year, integrating all of these brands, but the company kept up the spirit of innovation at all times, winning some prestigious awards along the way. There’s a passion for quality and innovation here, and I see us continuing to be leaders in our markets. Our dealer and distributor network is something else that makes us unique; we think we’re working with some of the best in the business. This pairing of product innovation with incredible partners in the sales channels gives us an edge.

Q: How do you keep in touch with your market?
A: Every week we host a call with our sales managers from all over the world and hear what opportunities, challenges and trends they are seeing. This 'collective wisdom' informs our product roadmap in the long term and our sales messages in the short term. I’m new to the industry and joined Core Brands ten days before CEDIA. I found that to be a great experience, hearing first-hand the needs of the channel and how we can be doing a better job. I’m looking forward to ISE in much the same way. Oh, and did I mention all the great information at HiddenWires? (I've heard that it's good too! - Ed).

Q: What are you planning to show at ISE?
A: Of course we’ll be showcasing our latest lines in all brands serving the EMEA, including some exciting new products from our ELAN brand. Our overall goals for the show are to use it as a launch point for a great 2014.

Q: What are your priorities for 2014?
A: Something we talk about all the time is our appreciation for our dealers and distributors – to them we say 'thank you for your support'. In 2014 we’re focused on product innovation as well as the service we provide, making it easier to do business with us. In short, we will strive to be the best possible partner for dealers working with our brands.

Joe Roberts is VP Products and Marketing at Core Brands. Core Brands delights clients with innovative products that improve their daily lives. www.CoreBrands.com