People to Watch in 2016:
Scott Boilen

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 10th Annual “Players,” 20 people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Player’s Credentials: Scott Boilen started Allstar 20 years ago as a direct mail marketer, and then led the repositioning of the company in 1999 into an As Seen On TV marketer. Backed by such initial TV-to-retail hits as the Cold Heat soldering tool and Smart Spin food container system, Allstar skyrocketed to national DRTV prominence after the launch of the Snuggie blanket, which has sold more than 33 million units. Boilen described Snuggie as one of the first As Seen On TV winners to get a big lift from social media, now an integral marketing platform for Allstar. Allstar has followed up Snuggie with a succession of As Seen On TV hits, including several that have anchored the company’s effort in recent years to build top-selling items into long-term, multi-SKU retail brands, such as Perfect cookware, Hot beauty accessories and Secret hair extensions. 

What To Watch: Boilen is steering Allstar into the back half of 2015 with no fewer than nine new TV-supported retail items, the widest slate of holiday rollouts in company history. Beyond the growing volume of TV-tested items in Allstar’s pipeline, the company continues to advance a multi-legged marketing approach that complements its DRTV core with digital and social media strategies. This has accompanied an effort to identify TV winners that can move from As Seen On TV retail departments into permanent in-line retail distribution. 

“This business is evolving into an entire big-box approach,” Boilen said. “The retailer is looking holistically at the best ways to maximize sales throughout the store.”

Perspective: “In some ways it’s a challenging time in the As Seen On TV business. This used to be a simple model— run TV to hit all the customers we needed to hit. Now the challenge is coming up with the right mix of TV, digital and social to make sure we’re penetrating our market base and finding the eyeballs needed to create the demand our customers expect. It’s also an exciting time. There aren’t too many companies that are innovating. Innovation is hard and expensive. In the As Seen On TV business, you either innovate or die,” said Boilen.

2016 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):