Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 1.
Direct Response TV is more than simply wacky late-night infomercials, it's a $350 billion global industry, said AJ Khubani, CEO of TeleBrands.
Khubani's first infomercial was for Ambervision sunglasses in the late 1980s. During that period, Khubani created the "As Seen On TV" logo which has become the universal trademark to signify all direct response TV (DRTV) products. In his view a perfect DRTV is affordable, practical and solves a common problem all consumers can all relate to.
According to Khubani, as consumer demand for affordable home and beauty solutions grew, so did interest in DRTV products. His company TeleBrands became the first to break a billion dollar in sales.
"I saw the potential in displaying infomercial products in brick-and-mortar stores, making it easier for consumers to buy the products they see on TV," said Khubani. "My first retail partner was Herman Sporting Goods. Today, major retail chains nationwide including Home Depot (HD) and Walmart (WMT) feature dedicated "As Seen On TV" aisles."
Khubani said 90% of Telebrands' revenue now comes from retail sales and DRTV products are moving up in price and quality. Some of his recent products include Smart Shower Motion ($49.99), Red Copper Square Pan ($59.99) and Hurricane Spin Mop ($39.99).
Meanwhile, Khubani is an innovator as well as a pitch man. Some of his most successful products are his own ideas including Pedegg, Star Shower and the Stick Up Bulb.
"TeleBrands is a trusted innovation company and inventors seek me out to pitch their ideas. I am approached with over a thousand product pitches a year. If I think it will work, I invest in turning the concept into a business reality and provide the product design, packaging and sales and marketing efforts," said Khubani.