Why do I not care about consumer electronic brands?
Joost Lindeman, Client Business Director at our office in Amsterdam, was asked to write a column for the April issue of Dutch magazine Fonk. Joost discusses the growing gap that is created between consumers and consumer electronic brands. We are happy to share it here with you.
As Saturn is starting a new campaign aimed to convince consumers to buy all the latest innovations at their stores, I can’t stop thinking about the growing gap that is created between consumers and consumer electronic brands.
As innovations are happening so fast, consumers are really having difficulty playing catch up. It seems that consumers have given up on their desire to have the latest of the latest. Increasing numbers of consumers are becoming more selective and informed about their technology purchases. And as so many companies are fighting for their money, the consumer in many ways has the bargaining power; ‘unless you give me a brand I can’t do without – Apple, B&O, Bose – I am happy to switch’. New innovations can turn yesterday’s winners into today’s losers, eg Blackberry, Nokia and Sony.
I do believe that a lot of consumer electronic brands have not yet chosen the right path for long term, sustainable success. Can anybody explain me why do manufacturers still use names like Philips 37PFL7606H and Acer Aspire 5349-b814g50mi? Consumer electronics need to start building an emotional connection with their users. Yes they want to have the best and the latest, but their purchasing decisions are driven beyond ‘the rational’ of technology, they need to identify with the brand.
Brands seem to have lost sight of what it is consumers actually buy. I don’t think consumers buy product specifications only. Consumers buy on instinct, with specifications often confirming their ‘gut feel’ towards their instinctive choice.
It is surprising to see how consumer electronics allow themselves to be turned into commodities by retailers and online comparison sites. Here it is all about features, prices, availability and products. Instore we only notice the screaming price tags, the standard outer-packs and the lack of differentiation amongst the various offerings. Consumers are having a difficult choice in selecting something they really need. It is no surprise that trust and loyalty towards the manufacturers is decreasing, thereby creating another threat, private labels, which is exactly what Mediamarkt and Saturn are planning to launch.
Where are the brands? Why did they give the control out of hands? Why do they focus mostly on R&D and advertising and don’t care about the shopper experience? Having a great product doesn’t guarantee consumer loyalty in the long term. Connecting with consumers DOES.
Any brand that chooses to put the consumer experience and the brand story at the heart of everything, while significantly simplifying the consumer journey will commercially succeed.
In: Brand communications, Brand Experience, Brand Strategy, News, Viewpoints · Tags: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Fonk, Philips, Saturn