|Thomas and Maria Rasmussen|
|Key Statistics & Information|
|Harman Brands Supported||
Arcam, JBL Synthesis, Lexicon, Mark Levinson and Revel
The Harman Luxury Audio Group is proud to have some of the best high-end consumer electronics partners across the globe. Each month, we have the pleasure of learning a little bit more about one of our dealers or distributors. This month, we spoke with Thomas Rasmussen of Bülow:Steensen.
How did Bülow:Steensen start up?
Bülow:Steensen dates back to 1935, when it started selling battery-powered EL fences to farmers. For the past 30 years, the concentration has been around distribution of high-end audio and video equipment in both Denmark and Sweden. The company is based in Aarhus and has demonstration facilities for both stereo and surround. In addition to distributing exclusive audio products, Bülow Steensen also offers installation of exclusive home theatres. As of April 1 the company is now owned by myself and my wife, Maria, who run the business after taking over from Claus Bülow.
How many people are on the team?
Maria and I run the business and look after sales, service, and everything in between. We have some help for administration and the warehouse. Previous to owning the business, Claus and I joined forces five years ago and I become the Sales Director for the company. I have 12 years’ experience with the JBL Synthesis brand and had become a specialist for home theatre. We have represented JBL Synthesis for many years but we now represent all five of the Luxury Audio brands.
Tell us more about Bülow:Steensen and what make its special?
We are primarily a Harman Luxury Audio distributor, with 95% of our portfolio accounted to Harman Luxury Audio products – we believe this makes us very special because we have focus on these products. Two years ago we moved to a new location and built a JBL Theatre from the ground up in order to showcase the products to our dealer base. This dedicated theatre room has recently been upgraded with all the latest JBL products including the SCL2’s and the SSW’s. Our premises also have two listening rooms with three stereo set ups.
Thoughts on the importance of training?
Training is extremely important to us. It keeps us at the forefront of our dealers’ minds and any training we have we pass on to our dealer base. We have a dealer base of 40-50 dealers across Denmark and Sweden. We offer regular training to our dealers in our showrooms and often hold open house events to encourage dealers to bring their customers. We also visit our dealers at least 6-7 times a year to ensure we are continually building and maintaining our relationships – this is what keeps our dealers focused on the Harman brands and enables us to sell. We believe Harman training is very effective and we are glad to see that this is becoming more of a focus with the introduction of the Harman University.
What do you like most about the products and which ranges do you see as the key products?
We have seen the focus shift to JBL Synthesis – we are very strong and successful with stereo lines but we now see more of an opportunity in the home cinema market, especially with the JBL Synthesis brand. This is why we have upgraded our showrooms to explore new business in this market.
Harman is a unique company in that the testing and engineering that go in to product testing is unrivalled. I have been to the LA facility five or six times to see all of the testing and quality checks that go into the products and it’s such a great experience – Harman do so much more testing than any other hifi-brand and we trust their brands because of this. No matter the cost of the product the same testing and effort goes into the design and quality. The sound quality is market leading – as well as this, Harman Luxury products are great value for the money.
How do you think the audio industry is currently doing?
I think the industry, previous to the pandemic, was doing very well and we can see that the hifi industry is really moving forward – Harman is in tune with this and is meeting the needs of the market, especially with all the latest products.
Any final comments?
To summarise, we are pleased to be working with the Harman brands, this is our focus. We believe in our good relationships with our dealers and also Harman. Per Magh, our Account Manager, visits us most weeks to keep us informed and we have a very good relationship.
On a final note, we have found that our sales in the last few months has increased. We are in a unique position in that we have a woman in our sales team which is unusual for the audio industry – it shows how we are forward-thinking. Our dealers love that we combine technical knowledge with a personable approach and it’s helping us to build even better relationships.
For more on Bülow:Steensen, visit bulowsteensen.dk.