Incipio’s Griffin acquisition boosts ‘house of brands’ strategy

Incipio’s Griffin acquisition boosts ‘house of brands’ strategy

Incipio finished its recent acquisition spree by purchasing Griffin Technology in August of this year, making it one of the largest international accessory manufacturers.


This expansion included the purchase of Macbook rucksack manufacturer Incase and iPhone device case manufacturer ClamCase. The multi-brand company also came very close to acquiring Skullcandy in June before dropping out of a competitive bidding war with a private equity firm.


Mobile interviewed Neil Edwards, Griffin EMEA MD to discuss the impact of the acquisition three months on. Edwards felt one of the largest differences is what the expanded range offers buyers, stating, ‘Buyers may wish to rationalise the number of vendors they speak to and we give them that opportunity. We’re seeing a positive response over both the brands and their ability to speak to one team and have total confidence in receiving great service and 80% of their accessory requirements.’


Explaining how this differs from the range of accessories a distributor can offer, he continued, ‘distributors may also be able to offer a range of brands but only we own the brands, really caring for them and being passionate about our products makes us stand out.’


Since the acquisition, Incipio has continued to run all of Griffin’s offices. When asked by Mobile about potential duplication across the product portfolio, The EMEA MD denied duplication was common across their ranges, ‘Andy [Andy Fathollahi, CEO] has been very smart in how he’s acquired companies, he’s bought companies which add something to the portfolio, what he calls a ‘house of brands’, rather than brands that overlap. Buying Griffin and their Survivor brand gives us really good ruggedized cases and we didn’t really have that before, the same with Griffin’s powered connectivity, it really gives us something different. They have a lot of heritage in that area.’


He also stated their strategy acts to prevent market cannibalism, ‘what we are doing is going to our customers with a knowledge of their customer demographics so we can offer the three or four brands which are best for them. We don’t want to sell products in, we want to sell products out.’


The company is hoping to use CES in early 2017 to display a full range of the products under their portfolio, as part of the new combined strategy for their different brands. Explaining this as part of their plan for 2017, Neil Edwards told Mobile, ‘Goal number one has to be growth, we think there’s a good opportunity to bring some of the brands that haven’t really been in Europe before, and to offer them to our customers and get them placed. This includes really going deeper with our partners with more brands. From this I expect good growth in Europe and strong growth in the Middle East.’


On the impact of the Note7 recall, Edwards said, 'We didn’t range too much Note7 in the UK but in the US they did. You could either leave the pegs there with the cases that aren’t selling or you can be proactive like Incipio is and speak to those customers and say ‘we’ll take them back, but let’s keep the pegs,’ then deliver alternative products fitting with their audience.'


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