VIZIO launched in October 2002 with three employees and $600,000. (Inc. 2007) Wang, who had previously founded multiple computer monitor companies, was approached by PC-maker Gateway to help them create a TV strategy. At the time, plasma TVs were far from a fixture in American living rooms. Wang sought to change that with Gateway’s 42-inch plasma TV, priced at $2,999. Comparable TVs at this point in time could cost as much as $6,000. (CNet) The immediate success of Gateway’s first TV, selling over 4,000 units in the first month, reinforced Wang’s belief that consumers have a strong appetite for affordable flat-screen TVs.
VIZIO started selling TVs under its own brand in 2003. (CNet) With an emphasis on quality, customer support and affordability, VIZIO quickly became a major player in the plasma and LCD TV market.
By 2007, VIZIO supplanted their higher-priced and more established competitors as the largest seller of flat-panel TVs in North America. (NBC News)In the meantime, VIZIO expanded its number of available TV models, adding more features and maintaining a high level of quality in each successive release. They also were able to maintain low price points, putting even more pressure on the competition.
Aside from quality and price, VIZIO’s success can also be attributed to a unique distribution strategy. In 2003, Wang met with Costco executives and pitched a 46-inch, $3,800 flat-panel TV. Two months later, Costco had VIZIO TVs stocked in all of their U.S. warehouses. (Journal Now)VIZIO continued to partner with other warehouse club stores, such as Sam’s Club, where they could more easily pass on volume discounts to their customers. (NBC News).
In 2013, VIZIO took the home entertainment experience to the next level with its $330 Home Theater Sound Bar. (The Verge)According to The NPD Group, Inc., VIZIO is the “America’s #1 Sound Bar Brand.” (VIZIO SB Series) It has expanded its audio options to include Dolby Atmos sound bars, as well as the Elevate sound bar, which includes rotating speakers. (The Verge)
VIZIO filed preliminary documents for an initial public offering in 2015. Plans soon changed and the company chose to remain privately-held.
In 2019, VIZIO remained in the top three of North American TV shipments.
VIZIO’s first retail partnership was with Costco, who stocked their LCD and plasma TVs. (Inc.com) Selling its home entertainment products at warehouse stores, or superstores, was a strategy that ultimately paid off, as consumers became more accustomed to purchasing electronics at these types of retailers.
Today, you can find VIZIO TVs and sound bars in stores and online from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, BJs Wholesale, Costco, Dell, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart.
VIZIO continually innovates and releases new products to meet the high expectations of its customers. The following list highlights the major product releases since 2003.
● VIZIO’s 46-inch flat panel TV hits the market at all Costco stores
● VIZIO expands to audio with the Home Theater Sound Bar
● VIZIO partners with Google for the new P-Series TVs, allowing users to control the entire viewing experience from the VIZIO SmartCast app
● VIZIO SmartCast E-Series Home Theater Display collection is released
● VIZIO’s first Quantum DoT LED 4K TV is released
● Dolby Atmos sound bars are introduced
● All VIZIO Smart TVs now include SmartCast
● The VIZIO V Series is released
● VIZIO’s first OLED TVs is released
VIZIO is a leading HDTV and sound bar brand in America. The company and its products have been awarded for excellence, innovation, reliability and service.
● 2020 Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vizio-wins-multiple-2020-stevie-awards-for-customer-service-marking-the-companys-105th-recognition-in-nine-years-301015971.html)
○ Silver award, “Best Use of Technology in Customer Service”
○ Bronze award, “Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year”
○ Bronze award, “Innovation in Customer Service”
○ Bronze award, “Contact Center Professional of the Year”
● 2020 Red Dot Award: Product Design for the VIZIO Elevate sound bar (AP News)
● 2019 Sustainable Materials Management Gold Tier Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (PR Newswire)
● 2018 Silver Tier Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(VIZIO)
● 2017 Bronze Tier Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (VIZIO)
● 2014 CNET Products of the Year, VIZIO M2i-B series (CNet)
● 2007 Wal-Mart Electronics Supplier of the Year (VIZIO)