History – Plus Four Marketing was established in 1983. Our first lines were JBL Professional and Soundcraft, (mixing consoles). JBL Professional had recently acquired Soundcraft. By mid-1984 both lines were ours to go to market. There was a lot of work to be done to make the company successful. JBL Professional was the anchor of our business at the time and in many ways still is.
Within a year or so other manufacturers began to take notice. We had developed a strong customer base and both lines were growing at a new pace. IED, Innovative Electronic Design, a company based in Louisville, KY approached us about representing their product offerings. IED was known for two things at the time, Airport sound systems and Convention Center sound systems. Plus Four Marketing was awarded IED in the spring of 1986. In many ways, through IED, this is where the company learned the world of contracting and integration, before integration was a commonly used phrase in our industry. The timeline for the development of a convention center or airport can be years. Understanding and managing all the elements required to deliver a project of this scope is not easy. Within a few months we had landed several large projects. Moscone Convention Center, Santa Clara Convention Center, San Francisco Airport are all good examples. We were able to leverage our other brands into those projects as well.
Other brands we have represented over the years. Of course, lines come and go for all manufacturers representatives. Change occur via acquisition, management change, go to market strategies, etc. These are lines we no longer represent but are proud of the time that we did.
1. Sony Recording & Broadcast – Large format mixing consoles, Analog 24 track tape machines, Digital 32 (DASH) track tape machines, 2-4-8 track Analog and Digital machines.
a. Representative of the Year 1995, 2000
2. Sony Professional – Headphones, Microphones, Wireless Microphones, DSP, small format Digital Consoles.
a. Multiple “Star Achiever” and “Remarkable Rep” Awards
3. Aphex – Signal Processing – Established Aphex as a standard in the Tour Sound Marketplace in N. California. We were very successful in displacing the competition that was in favor at the time.
a. Multiple Representative of the Year awards.
4. Crest Audio – Amplifiers – Much the same as Aphex we were able to get Crest amplifiers into places they never had a strong hold. Tour Sound companies, large format installations (arenas, performing arts centers, night clubs) and also built Crest Audio’s MI retail line of products.
5. QSC – We began working for QSC at the time of the release of the first PowerLight Series. At the time Crest Audio, AB Systems and various versions of a Hafler kit amplifier were predominate in the touring market. All were heavy and commanded too much rack space. Once again, we were able to displace the competition in both the Touring sector and installation market. AT&T Park, (San Francisco Giants) is an excellent example.
Although this was all a long time ago, many of the core principles of Plus Four were formed in those days. Patience, attention to detail, honesty (good news or bad news) and trust are all apart of our culture.
In 2002 Harman Professional moved forward with consolidating their independent representative sales force. The move was unprecedented. At the time Harman had upwards of 50 independents firms representing their brands in the US. When it was all said and done the count was lowered to 17 companies. The current roster is 14 with some firms covering multiple territories. The Harman consolidation presented a grand opportunity to Plus Four Marketing. We felt very honored at the time we were chosen. JBL was our core line at the time and in many ways still is. However, the power of the Harman Brands was undeniable.
Not so long ago….
In 2010, Plus Four was awarded the Pacific Northwest Territory for Harman Professional. This was a very important step in solidifying the future of the company. The additional territory and revenue provided the company a vehicle to grow more rapidly and consolidate efforts across both N. California and the Pacific Northwest. The previous representative in the Pacific Northwest was Northshore Marketing, owned by Lew Barrett. Lew and Jim Mathews were very close at the time. Without question Lew was a mentor to Jim. Although the transition from Northshore to Plus Four was a little uncomfortable at times, it all worked out. The company enjoys many great relationships in the Pacific Northwest and is fully established.
The company is thriving. The staff is strong, committed to the company and dedicated to its customers. Each staff member brings his or her specific strength to the business. Plus Four is known for its technical prowess and has the ability to assist customers without leaning on the specific brand to solve to issue. The office staff is highly regarded in both the Northern California and Pacific Northwest territories. In many ways the inside staff is the face of the company.