The Silicon Review
With over $1 billion in retail sales, Tristar Products, Inc. is industry recognized as the premier direct-to-consumer (DR) market leader worldwide. Founder and CEO Keith Mirchandani credits Tristar’s over-the-top success to its established brands, proven international and domestic distribution channels, media power in more than 100 countries, and the best team in the industry. Keith has played a starring role in the growth of the direct-to-consumer business worldwide and is responsible for various multi-million dollar brands. We sat down with him to discuss the company’s rise to success, some of its smash hits, and his vision for Tristar’s future.
You started Tristar over 25 years ago out of your garage. How did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
My idea was to offer affordable options to solution-based products that were cost prohibitive for a large majority of consumers in addition to finding and marketing new ones. Tristar’s products solve everyday problems, helping to make life easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable for millions and millions of people. We use cutting-edge innovation and the highest standards in quality, and this formula has always proved successful. Some of our first best-selling hits were the Hook & Hang Closet Organizer, the Steam Buggy Cleaning System, and the Banjo Minnow Fishing System.
As the company grew, we began to use celebrity endorsements and brand–celebrity partnerships in order to increase brand equity and expand brand awareness. One of our first brand–celebrity partnerships was with the late Jack LaLanne, the fitness, exercise, and nutrition expert often referred to as the “godfather of fitness.” Together, we launched the Jack LaLanne Juicers, one of Tristar’s most successful and longest-running campaigns to date. Our most recent brand–celebrity partnership is with award-winning chef Emeril Lagasse; our Emeril Everyday brand is a carefully chosen collection of countertop appliances designed to elevate practically any meal and cooking experience.
How successful were your first project rollouts? What are your latest introductions?
The Genie Bra is one of my first hit products that became a best-seller both domestically and globally. When I introduced the Genie Bra to the public, it was a near-instant success. The Genie Bra is an innovatively designed seamless comfort bra that slims, smooths, and provides natural lift without using hooks or underwire. It’s made for women of almost every shape and size, so we were able to appeal to a variety of demographics. Women couldn’t believe how comfortable it was; the tagline “comfort all women wish for” really captured the essence of the brand. We still use that tagline for the Genie Bra brand today.
The Genie Bra sold over 100 million units worldwide and became the #1 best-selling seamless bra in America, single-handedly changing the way women think about bras and altering popular culture’s perception of what a bra should be.
One of our most recent hits is the introduction of the PowerXL brand. PowerXL is a line of functional appliances designed to simplify everyday life in the kitchen and throughout the home. Products include air fryers, indoor grills, high-performance blenders, cordless irons, and more. Our first product introductions were air fryers, and we quickly became the market leader in that category. In fact, PowerXL was recently named #1 best-selling brand of air fryers in America.*
What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
At Tristar, our motto is “always listen to the consumer.” As trends change, so do demand and buying habits. Tristar always remains flexible in order to respond to current consumer desires at all touchpoints, and we continue to use customer feedback to help shape our campaign decisions and product offerings. When the Copper Chef 9.5-inch Square Pan Set quickly became a best-seller, satisfied consumers asked for more: different types of cookware with the same amazing features, like Cerami-Tech Non-Stick Coating. Tristar responded by marketing a round pan collection as well as bakeware and soon expanded into a comprehensive cookware collection. Not long after, Copper Chef was named #1 best-selling brand of cookware in America.*
How do you continue to earn and maintain the trust and respect of consumers all around the world?
For over 25 years, millions of consumers have depended on Tristar’s brands for affordable, solution-based products that help make life easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful – in a variety of different ways.
We have devoted an entire division of trained professionals whose job it is to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority and we have built #1 brands worldwide by listening to customer feedback.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
The Tristar team is always setting new goals for itself and will continue to bring #1 brands into millions of homes globally. We are always working on the next big idea! Tristar Products has helped many great ideas quickly become market leaders. Our experienced marketing professionals know how to take an invention from concept to national and international sales domination.
In the digital realm, we are expanding our social media presence by testing different strategies for paid campaigns. This year, we were already able to scale the budget for the Emeril Everyday Facebook campaign with an associated increase in the volume of purchases threefold. Our goal is to connect as closely as possible with the consumer. While we continue to improve traditional brick and mortar and online shopping experiences, for 2020 and beyond, I’m confident that social media optimization is a rapidly growing and necessary part of any successful sales strategy.
Keith Mirchandani, Founder and CEO of Tristar Products, Inc.
Keith is a husband, father, and philanthropist. He has been married to his wife, Anjali, who heads Tristar’s Direct to Consumer Division, for over 20 years. Anjali and her team are responsible for every aspect of TV media buying and planning at Tristar. Keith and Anjali share two beautiful children.
*Source: NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service