I once spent a month analysing five-years worth of marketing surveys for a major manufacturer across the whole of Europe. At the time, I found the results bitterly disappointing. In retrospect, I should have seen them as a revelation.
What automotive braking customers wanted was the highest performance, most reliable products delivered right now for the lowest possible price.
Sounds obvious, right?
Many things in marketing which are true sound obvious, but there are also lots of things which sound obvious — particularly when you are making a product — which are not true. For example, a couple of years ago lots of tech-journalists said there was obviously no market for a tablet computer, since tablet computers had been around for ten years and nobody was buying them. Evidently wrong. For years an urban myth floated round claiming that a light bulb which cost almost no energy and lasted almost indefinitely had been invented, but the oil companies and the government were conspiring to keep it from being released in order to keep the price of oil high. The myth was obvious nonsense, but the underlying ‘obvious’ truth was that if such a device existed, everyone would buy it and energy sales would drop. When first fluorescent and then LED light bulbs came onto the market, promising dramatically lower energy costs and longer life, adoption was so painfully slow that governments (though probably without the collusion of the oil industry) are banning incandescent bulbs to force people to switch over. A part of this was over-selling by the manufacturers, who claimed that their 15W bulbs were as bright as 100W bulbs, which they clearly aren’t. Much of it, though, was market inertia.
If you want to sell a product, rather than a service, you would do well to look at the conclusions of the survey I mentioned. The data was proprietary, but the conclusions are general. The brand values that make you ‘par’ for the course are:
- Philips New LED 10-Watt Light Bulb Can Last For Years, Replaces 60 Watt Bulbs (shoppingblog.com)
- How LED Lights Work (tech-faq.com)
- Should You Get LED Lights to Replace Your Incandescent Bulbs? (christianpf.com)
- LED rush making Siemens clash with LG, Samsung (sfgate.com)
- Are you ready for the $60 light bulb? (mercurynews.com)