Field Reports1 Nov, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response
DRMA Marketer of the Year Spotlight
Tristar’s ‘Talkmercials’ Build on Company’s Decades of Success
In its October 2010 issue, Response announced and spotlighted the three finalists and winner of the Second Annual Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Marketer of the Year Award. Beginning in this issue, we are spotlighting the other seven nominees in a monthly section. This month, we caught up with Keith Mirchandani, CEO of Fairfield, N.J.-based Tristar Products Inc.
With nearly two decades in the direct response business, Mirchandani continues to take his company and brands to new levels. Tristar attributes its most recent success to its continued drive to build the Web side of its business and to its success in the relatively new format of one-hour DRTV “talkmercial” shows.
Q: What does it mean to you and your company to be one of the top 10 nominees for the DRMA Marketer of the Year Award?
A: We are honored to be recognized among our peers as a leader in DRTV. This is very exciting for Tristar.
Q: What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for your company?
A: We were pleased this past year to continue to see growth and success among some of our core brands, such as the Jack LaLanne Juicer, Montel Williams Health Master and the new line of Joan Rivers Beauty products. We have also been recognized by a number of organizations this year — from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance for our fundraising efforts, to Inc. magazine as being one of the fastest growing companies in North America.
Q: How did the successful products you had over the past year fit within the overall concept behind your company? Were any of those products so successful that they changed the way you do business? If so, how?
A: We continue to build brands like our Jack LaLanne Power Juicer, which has been going strong for eight years. These programs are paving the way as models for newer brands we are building around Montel Williams with the Health Master. Also, this year we launched our Joan Rivers Beauty line, and we are very pleased with these new products. Along with building our brands, we continue to focus on continuity.
Q: Why do you think your business responded well during the recent economic downturn?
A: Even in challenging times, people still want to feel good about themselves. They want to purchase products that are going to make them feel and look better, like the Ab Coaster, Power Juicer and Health Master. We need to continue to give the customer innovative products at a good price with great value!
Q: What is your outlook for the next 12 months? What are the top items in your pipeline?
A: Our plan for this year is to continue to create more “talkmercial” shows with Montel Williams. As for our top items, we are fortunate to have many great programs doing well: Health Master, the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer, the Ab Coaster, Joan Rivers Beauty products, the Banjo Minnow Fishing System, and many more.
Q: What vertical markets do you believe are best equipped to survive current economic issues — and even thrive — in 2011? Why?
A: Retail, of course, continues to be a big part of our business. Our retail sales have increased due to the growth and exposure of our products. We are very excited with the continued growth of the Internet and mobile marketing. In both cases, we are working hard to keep ahead of the curve and maximize sales and customer reach. We are also implementing programs that allow us to cross-sell and re-sell existing customers.
Q: Does today’s consumer respond better to short-form or long-form DRTV? Which of these two formats are best supported by other media, including online, mobile, print and radio?
A: If you have a great product, that is what people are going to respond to. We are very focused on brands and, with that, long-form is a better fit for us. However, we have actually created a new category in direct response with our one-hour format called the “talkmercial.” We are also getting much more active in social media with plans to continue to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others to create more awareness of our brands. ■