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Do You Guys Still Rep…?

I get asked that a lot.  Do you still rep brand XYZ?  I guess from the outside it looks like we change a lot.   Recently it has been true.  For years it was not the case.

So why the changes?

When we started in the late 80’s, we were audio.  In fact, commercial video presentation was not really a thing yet.  Microphones, speakers, cables…not much has changed, including their go to market strategies.  It is a mature business.  These folks found a system that worked.  We represented some big audio brands spanning 3 decades.  Literally 30 years.  Then we got canned.

We didn’t really “get canned”.  But we kinda got canned.  To me, getting “canned” means that you had a job and now you don’t.  And it wasn’t your call.  So, if everybody gets canned, we are ALL canned.  So, we got canned.  Bummer.  Canned is canned.

So, I have been canned by numerous brands.  And many I have canned.  It is probably 50-50.  Some folks that do what I do boast of never being canned.  Like when one brand buys another brand and decides not to use the same reps anymore, they claim that is not being canned.  But if we were super-duper AWESOME, we would still have the gig.  So canned is canned.  One brand canned me 3 different times.  Panasonic canned us twice (so far).

So effective June 30th, we are no longer the Barco reps.  But this time we did NOT get canned.  Let me tell you that we loved representing Barco.  I am going to miss working with Sal, Vince, and Robert.  We will miss making waffles and clicking our Clickshare clickers.  But it was time to move on.  We made the call.  We didn’t get canned.

The video industry is challenging.  Many factories are desperate to turn complex things into commodities as fast as they can.  They want our stuff on hooks at warehouse shops available from “purchasing vehicles” (whatever that is).  I love custom AV.  I think we add value to custom awesome AV.  If a factory and my company can’t agree on our value proposition, it is time to say ‘bye bye.’  It doesn’t mean the product is bad.  Or the people are mean.  It doesn’t mean The Farm is on some awesome ethical high-horse and we made a big decision.  It just means that we need to go our separate ways.

It might be safe to say that the commercial video equipment industry is not static.  Formats, standards, brands, all of it changes super-fast.  And salespeople that looked like heroes one week look like idiots the next week when RGB goes away.  And they get canned.

Bottom line, it’s cool if you ask, “Do you still rep XYZ?”  It if is an audio brand, odds are YES.  If it is video, I am not sure.  Maybe you can tell us.  Is HDMI still a thing?  Last I checked it was…