What is MERA?
MERA is the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association with a mission to grow the mobile electronics industry. It is the organization of professionals who market products and services that enhance the driving experience. The stated purpose of MERA is to elevate the success of specialty retailers in the mobile electronics industry. Membership includes retailers, manufacturers, distributors, manufacturer’s representatives and others related to the mobile electronics industry who realize professionalism and continuing education are cornerstones for successful business. MERA serves as the safe and neutral field where all parts of the industry can gather to learn from and share with one another.
So What Does This Mean?
MERA is focused on accomplishing organizational goals that address the issues of utmost importance to the mobile electronics industry. So what are some of the issues at hand?
- Helping our retail members to identify, educate and sustain a qualified workforce capable of providing great customer service in our stores.
- Guiding the mobile electronics industry to further evolve from an industry of hobbyists to one of industry professionals by:
1. Creating a clear vision for others to follow in the industry,
2. Helping mobile electronics professionals to step out of the old business model and become more visionary, and
3. Transitioning the business from an equipment-based delivery model to a service model.
- Delivering information to the masses about the value we offer as an industry, and in the process increasing industry popularity and regaining consumer interest in our product and service categories.
- Helping the specialty retailer to provide a superior experience for the consumer, ultimately leading to regained market share from the big box retailers.
- Helping the industry to overcome automobile integration challenges.
- Adapting emerging technologies to our industry.
- Helping manufacturers, retailers and reps to grow their business together.
- Effectively communicating with an industry comprised of a widespread and varied base of people.
- Aiding our industry in living with the internet: integrating their businesses with the Internet; using it to their maximum advantage; and competing with Internet sales.
- Ultimately leading our members to maximize the return on their investment (ROI).
How is MERA Addressing These Issues?
MERA sets out to bring the best minds of the industry together. These visionaries are helping MERA to re-focus its collective energies to move MERA and the industry in the right direction, serving as a beacon for the mobile electronics profession. Through a comprehensive strategic planning effort, MERA’s leadership, comprised of advisory board members representing a cross-section of the mobile electronics industry, has established goals that, when accomplished, will ensure MERA is on track in addressing these issues.
- MERA will be the first and best place for mobile electronics industry professionals to turn for industry insight and guidance.
- MERA will create a free flow of reciprocal communications among all segments of the industry, delivering clear messages and enhancing understanding.
- MERA’s cutting-edge education will provide all facets of the mobile electronics business the education they need, delivered through a variety of methods.
In many regards, MERA is already working toward these goals through its current programs and initiatives. For instance, to the end that “MERA will be the first place mobile electronics professionals turn for industry insight and guidance,” the association currently is involved in intra-industry relations, member consulting and industry events, giving the association much more prominence.
MERA is also in the midst of a series of industry surveys designed to help MERA better understand the industry’s wants and needs. MERA’s market research includes collecting, categorizing, analyzing and disseminating data relative to the mobile electronics industry.
MERA has also begun compiling industry forecasts to assist. Also, in shaping the association as the ultimate resource for insight and guidance, MERA is now marketing our MAID and TSS software solutions that provide information critical to the process of installation and sales of mobile electronics. These resources serve as the ultimate communications link between manufacturers and the growing number of mobile electronics retailers.
MERA’s desire to strengthen communication and info-sharing opportunities is aimed to ensure the mobile electronics industry will grow. Lending to the free flow of communications, MERA has partnered with Mobile Electronics magazine for the printing and distribution of the MERA newsletter. Other communications tools include advertising in trade publications, and providing tools and information via MERA’s website, www.merausa.org. The ultimate assurance of “reciprocal” communications comes from networking opportunities such as MERA KnowledgeFest, the MERA Regional Workshops and involvement in other industry events such as distributor shows, in addition to having the chance to work side-by-side with industry peers by serving on one or more MERA committees.
Finally, with regard to MERA’s educational goal – to provide all facets of the mobile electronics business the education they need, delivered through a variety of methods – MERA is making steps toward that end as well. MERA KnowledgeFest is the annual educational event that draws mobile electronics professionals – members and non-members alike – from across the nation and beyond. The 2012 event is scheduled for August 19 thru 21 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. By providing relevant and interactive educational opportunities, MERA reveals its undying belief that continued education and development are keys to our member’s business success.
Also, MERA’s website is not only an informational source but an educational resource as well for those who take advantage of it. One specific example of an educational program is MERA’s Practice Safe Sound campaign (note: Practice Safe Sound™ is a trademark of Rockford Corporation, being used with its permission). The program is designed to aid the industry in the onslaught of noise legislation across the country. Retailers play an integral role in helping consumers understand local noise ordinances and the ramifications of playing their music too loudly in residential areas. MERA also educates through member consulting and involvement in industry events. But the association leadership is set on increasing the educational opportunities for the industry by doing what may be necessary to reach out through more regional and non-traditional avenues.
The MERA Package
So what else comprises the MERA package? As MERA seeks to elevate the success of specialty retailers in the mobile electronics industry, one must consider what the association can do for the retailers’ bottom line. Besides helping industry professionals to be more forward-thinking, MERA also brings to the table a comprehensive members-only package of money-saving benefits. Mobile electronics retailers across the nation are saving big bucks on group insurance through MERA. A retailer member recently cut their insurance costs in half, saving tens of thousands of dollars. And that’s just one of many MERA success stories. Liability and business insurance are popular products, but some employers assume they can’t afford to offer group insurance to their employees.
MERA membership gives the mobile electronics retail specialist power and possibilities beyond his imagination. Even with as few as two participating employees, retailers have access to these exclusive insurance benefits.
Besides insurance products, MERA members also save with other perks such as low-cost bank card fees and human resource tools that help them in the hiring process. I encourage you to visit MERA’s website for a full list of its member benefits. And please … ask questions. You won’t know just how much you can save by joining MERA until you ask.
The Bottom Line
By pooling its intellectual resources – including a professional staff and numerous volunteers with a passion for the mobile electronics industry – and tapping into other industry leaders, MERA is identifying and implementing the necessary tactics to accomplish its strategic goals. The association is drilling down to the core in order to increase its chances of success. Affiliating one’s business with an association this focused on growing the mobile electronics industry should be a no-brainer. Believe me when we say, “This is a train you won’t want to miss.”
Contact MERA’s staff by calling 1-800-949-MERA (6372) or emailing email@example.com.