Linear solidifies brand

ChannelPlus, Open House, AirVac, M&S, OSCO to disappear
Saturday, March 1, 2008

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Linear, a manufacturer of a wide range of residential and commercial electronics products, has announced it is consolidating all of its internal product lines under the Linear name. According to a press release, "The new branding strategy affects all the Linear product lines, including ChannelPlus distributed AV systems, Open House residential structured wiring products, M&S Systems intercom and home speaker systems, AirVac central vacuum cleaners, OSCO residential and commercial gate and door operators and controllers, and AllStar radio control and wireless garage door operators. Although the model numbers of existing products will not change, the entire catalog now will be offered under a single Linear umbrella brand."
However, noted Chuck Stevens, Linear's vice president of sales and marketing, other recent acquisitions that are operating independently, such as CCTV maker Aegis and access control manufacturer IEI, will retain their brands for the foreseeable future.
"They have similar customer bases," he said, "but they have some other things in place that don't lend themselves toward rebranding right now."
The thinking behind the rebranding, he said, was as simple as, "We have to do something about all of these different names. If you're a salesman for this company and you have to walk into a customer and talk to him on Monday about telephone entry systems for a high rise, and you tell him you're selling the Linear brand of telephone entry and you have five different products in that category, you have him focused on the fact that you sell Linear systems." But if you start cross-selling AirVac and M&S and OSCO, "He thinks you're a manufacturers' rep, just earning commission," Stevens said. "Now, if you say, 'Hi, I'm with Linear and we're manufacturers of all these products, for both residential and commercial applications,' now the guy's thinking, 'oh, you guys make a lot of stuff.'
"And that's what we hope will happen," Stevens said. "We want to become a household name."