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VISTA,Calif. (September 21, 2018) – Directed participated in the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America (MESA) Summit in Denver, CO this week and shared its latest product offerings with attendees.

The MESA buying group holds the MESA Summit once per year. The Summit provides an opportunity for MESA members and their manufacturer partners to get together, share business insights, review new product offerings and, importantly, write business.

Bob Struble, Directed CEO said, “Directed has been a MESA manufacturer partner since 2010 and we look forward to catching up with long time friends and planning for the Remote Start and Security season at the Summit. I was especially pleased to share our exciting new products, and some special Summit promotions, with our MESA partners. Based on MESA members’ enthusiastic reception, it’s going to be a great year.”

From the show floor Directed showed off its newest entrant in the Connected Car space, the Viper SmartStart Pro VSM550, its recently launched and quick selling PowerSports alarm and GPS products and the growing ecosystem around Directed’s breakthrough DS4 Remote Start and Security technology.

The Powersports products were included in two interactive demonstrations: Directed’s Viper Powersports GPS VPS450 and 3121V Powersports security system were installed and demoed on a Polaris side-by-side and a sweet Harley Davidson Street Glide.

Directed is a world leader in automotive electronics, the largest North American designer and marketer of consumer-branded vehicle security and remote start systems, and a pioneer in the connected car space. Its products connect more consumers to their vehicles than anyone else on the planet. Directed markets its broad portfolio (sold under Viper®, Clifford®, Python®, Autostart®, AstroStart® and other brands) through leading national retailers and specialty chains. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

11-8-2017, Mobile Electronics -- Back in 2010, there was a collective mindset bubbling in the minds of 12-volt retailers across the country. Margins weren't sustainable at their previous levels due to challenges with educating the general public about all products and services available. The buzz soon built into a roar, resulting in the formation of the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America, known best as M.E.S.A. 

"It was formed by a handful of retailers that were looking to be part of a buying and marketing group. They all had the same marketing needs in trying to get customers in the door and all ran similar sales," said Ryan Gunter, executive director of M.E.S.A. "As long as you don't have overlapping territories, why can't we all just share? The goal was to maximize their efforts and spread across the country to match the high tide, raising all boats."

The group began with a core group of 10 members and has grown to include 135 members today. With only one retailer allowed per territory, growth is limited, but continues with over $269 million in sales to date and 261 store locations covering 43 states. Membership is broken into different levels, with the Platinum level requiring sales of $1.8 million a year and above, while the Gold level requires a minimum sales of $700,000 per year.

2017 marks the sixth year of the M.E.S.A. Summit, which took place in Denver, Co. The event began in the organization's second year with two primary goals, according to Gunter. "For all of us to get together to share best business practices. 'What are you doing different from what I'm doing?' The second was for our member partners to have face to face meetings with our members and bring opportunities for Q4 buys for the year," he said. "A lot of our retailers in the past were not very promotional because they assumed they couldn't compete with big box and online retailers. But with the marketing materials we provide members, they are now more involved in Black Friday sales. It gets people really engaged just before you go into Q4, gets them loaded up with product for the holidays, then leads into tax season. It's become the place that our members go. The majority of them don't go to CES anymore; they get more out of the summit than they get from CES."

This year's event featured its first ever show floor to allow vendors to feature new products in the hopes of both educating retailer partners and selling the latest product to them in time for the holiday season. Having been in the business since the 1980s, when he started his career as a product specialist for Kenwood reps, Gunter has a deep understanding of what both retailers and vendors need from each other.

"I noticed the retailers were looking to put together a buying group and I knew all the guys because I called on most of them, except the east coast as I was mainly a west coast guy. Manufacturers needed someone who's been on the vendor side of things and understood their point of view in working with a retailer," Gunter said. "The thought was, 'If we want this to be a success long-term, it has to be a win-win for both vendor and retail partners. Otherwise, someone will not feel they are getting their fair share. It's been a great blend to make it a win for both sides."

Meeting of Minds

Unlike other trade shows, the M.E.S.A. Summit is unique in how attendees interact. Rather than use classroom settings, the majority of the educational opportunities are one-on-one, vendor-to-retailer or retailer-to-retailer. Attendees would gather in a meeting hall that housed around 150 people, which was filled with round tables, where they could interact freely with each other. The structure, while loose, offered topics to discuss based on a universal theme, which changes each year.

"The main thing we focused on in general this year was reminding our members to work on their business because we get caught up working in our businesses and not on them," Gunter said. "Make the time to work on your business and not get caught up so much on the day-to-day."

Among the attendees this year was Dean Magnesen, owner of Sound Warehouse of Utah, former Mobile Electronics Retailer of the Year. Being one of the first members of the buying group, Magnesen has a deep connection to the organization and belief in its core values and benefits to 12-volt business owners.

"The original enticement was it being a buying group that was independent. We were built by the factory—whatever discounts we earned, we took. The entity didn't take the profit, the dealer did," Magnesen said. "Then it got to the buying group with best practices, with only one member per market. I thought that was a great idea. We're all willing to share with each other. As a group it grew into a very powerful marketing arm too. We're not just a buying group. We're a buying, best business practices and marketing group."

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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