Musica y Mercado Interview - January 2012

In : News
02 Jan 2012

Fane’s foundations to grow in Latin America

Fane International manufactures speakers for the professional audio market both in England and China following the same quality standards, and now thanks to the representation done by Penn-Elcom in the region they are sure they will be able to achieve the goal of conquering the local market.

Born in England in 1958, Fane changed its owners in January 2007 becoming property of the Barnes family who from then on brought a renewed vision to the company’s plans to look after its position worldwide even more. From some years now,Latin Americahas been under the focus and with the help of  new partner in the region, Penn-Elcom, they assure they are on the right way to achieve it.

Headquarters continue to be located in the north ofEngland, in the area in which Fane was originally established. With manufacturing facilities inEngland– having several members of the production team who have worked for the company since the early 1970s! – and inChina, its stock is held in warehouses throughout the world through distribution partners in key markets which makes products more accessible to the marketplace than at any time in its history.

“We take a truly global approach to marketing Fane with all advertising created by our marketing team inEnglandand then shared to our distribution partners around the world to promote in their domestic audio markets. We place a clear emphasis on showcasing our new product development and new loudspeaker projects which bring something innovative and exciting to the industry”, said Mark Barnes, the company’s director.

With a history of over 50 years in loudspeaker manufacturing and a host of new products launched since 2009 to support the traditional best selling models, the company’s directors admitted that “Fane presents the perfect mix of heritage and modernity and this is something that we are careful to represent in our marketing and commercial strategies: a historic loudspeaker brand with a bold and modern face, “the Sound that Started a Revolution”! 

 

Key partnership

The company’s business inLatin Americahas been developing quickly over the last few years and 2011 has been a tremendously exciting year for the brand in the region. In summer 2011 they formalized our new association with flightcase and loudspeaker solution specialists, Penn-Elcom, who have been appointed as exclusive Fane distributors in a number of key Latin American countries.

 “Fane has had a tremendous and loyal following inLatin Americafor decades but in recent years distribution throughout the continent has been patchy and failed to really capture the excitement of the brand, maximize business opportunities and make the full portfolio of the FANE catalogue of products available to the market. Penn-Elcom have enabled us to change that and put a new and exciting energy behind distribution in Latin America with offices handling Fane in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay”, commented Mark.

 They have also established distribution in Mexico through a partnership between Penn-Elcom and Audio Acústica Diamant, so Fane is now supported with stock throughout all the Latin-American territory across the full product catalogue in a way that has not existed in the past.

“Our association with Penn-Elcom is strong and successful and we share the same confidence and vision about the future, about striving hard to make our brand the most recognized, available and popular loudspeaker brand acrossLatin America; we are confident that we can provide the products and that Penn-Elcom have the expertise and logistical support to achieve it”.

 

Encouraging forecast

From the company, they assured that fortunately they have not been affected by the emerging crisis in the Euro-zone. As a UK company outside the Euro currency area they said they have always had a much wider vision than focusing primarily on Europe as the first world market.

“Many brands have a ‘Europefirst’ attitude, focusing their energies in that region and then expanding sales in other world regions. At Fane we have taken a more international strategy right from the time that we, the Barnes family, acquired the brand in 2007”, explained Mark.

Consequently they have focused their energies on developing sales in all world regions, particularly in theAmericasandAsia. They have spent several years laying the foundations and now they feel confident that they are poised in 2012 to develop their business substantially.

Their expectations are really positive so thatLatin Americawill be a massive growth market for the company in the year that is beginning; already the region is a vital part of their international distribution strategy and they have laid the foundations in 2011 with Penn-Elcom to support the growth predicted in 2012 and the years to come. “So we are very positive about prospects inLatin Americaand have great confidence that we will experience substantial and, importantly, sustainable growth in the future”.

 

Strategic movements

During our interview, Mr. Barnes gave an important opinion saying that from his point of view a successful distribution is about finding the right partners; companies that can bridge the gap to working in new markets and dealing with the specific needs of loudspeaker users in each country. “In Penn-Elcom we have found that partner with the expertise and background in high quality distribution they have. A key component of our sales strategy in the Latin American market is to make Fane more easily available than at any time in the past and making any product in our catalogue available to clients subject to demand”.

According to his statements, the ability for loudspeaker users in each country to quickly receive deliver of our products is the key to growing and expanding their business. In today’s fast-paced world, users – quite rightly – demand to have products available at short notice and the company knows that Penn-Elcom is capable of making on-time deliveries from their extensive stock of Fane products.

“Stock alone will not make Fane the number one loudspeaker brand in the region. We know thatLatin Americahas particular demands for high quality loudspeaker products with high power handling characteristics capable of working in demanding environments. Our strategy is to provide the region with exactly the products it needs and Fane is well-placed to deliver outstanding loudspeakers from earth-shattering sub-bass drivers through to HF devices of unrivalled clarity that we feel is an unrivalled package of product”.

 

High-lighted countries

Historically, Fane has been a market leader in several Latin American markets and enjoys an important following. In the past, the company has enjoyed a particularly strong position in Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. The brand has been in demand in other countries but, due to the distribution network, has not been widely available outside the countries that were just mentioned.

“Now with our new association with Penn-Elcom we are able to unlock many new countries and bring Fane for the first time to customers inArgentina,Brazil,Ecuadorand all the other territories covered by their offices. I think anywhere where there are professional audio users who want and demand high-quality loudspeaker components, there is demand and acceptance of our brand. During our recent visit to Brazil to support in the Expomusic tradeshow, both myself and Neil – my brother – were overwhelmed by the tremendous personal response from cabinet manufacturers and professional audio specialists in the country; it was clear from their reactions to us that Fane’s arrival in Brazil was long overdue and something that was very exciting for them”, said Mark.

 “We are just delighted to be able to share in this enthusiasm and bring our products to the market. All the Fane team are excited about working with our friends at Penn-Elcom throughout Latin America and know that together we can be very successful and bring our brand not only to our army of faithful followers but also to new generations of audio enthusiasts who will be hearing Fane’s tone for the first time”.

 

Dual manufacturing

The company has manufacturing facilities in both England and China with seamless synergy and sharing of expertise between our two factories. The ethos for both manufacturing plants is the same: to deliver high-quality FANE drive units made to the highest standard and manufactured to the highest levels of consistency. “Whether our product is made inEnglandorChina, the end result is the same, a genuine Fane product".

 “For example, cone materials are shipped, supplied by the world’s finest cone manufacturer located in England, from the U.K.to the China facility to be used in all the speaker production. In fact, they have used the same cone supplier since the 1960s and this consistency means that every driver they make carries the signature Fane tone that is famous around the world".

“This gives us a unique advantage with every Fane speaker utilizing the same materials whether made in England or China; we do not make ‘Asian’ speakers, we make English speakers inChina. The synergy between our two facilities and our colleagues inEnglandandChinais perfect. We are of the same mind and the same way of thinking”.

 

CHRONOLOGICAL LINE

The company was established in 1958 inEngland. The original founders were two gentlemen called Dennis Newbold and Arthur Faulcus and together they took the first two letters of their surnames to make the name FANE.

Fane was established originally to manufacture speakers for the high fidelity (Hifi) market which was new and booming in the late 1950s, then they expanded into making commercial speakers for television and radio sets. In the early 1960s and with the birth of amplified rock music , Fane decided to expand into high power loudspeaker manufacture and pioneered the glass fibre voice coil which gave previously unheard-of power handling capabilities. So we could say that from its very earliest days, the brand has been an innovator and at the forefront of musical and technical trends.

Arthur Barnes worked with Fane from 1966 and rose to become the Managing Director during the 1980s.

In January 2007 Fane was purchased by the Barnes family and is now run by Arthur’s sons, Mark and Neil with the aim of making the brand once more amongst the world’s leading loudspeaker manufacturers.

“Since our acquisition in 2007 and the major launch of new products from 2009 after two years of research and development, we are pleased to say that Fane has experienced a period of extraordinary growth and is now in a position to grow our market share in key world markets.Latin Americais a major target market for us and in 2011 we have brought a lot of focus to re-establishing the FANE brand in the Latin American region”, said Mark.

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