Chris Gough, marketing manager at MSI Notebook UK, gives his thoughts on how much branding sways purchasing choices and the role that the vendor can play in consumer education.
When talking to sales teams at major retailers we often hear a similar tale: ‘the customer knows what they want’. In this example the salesman continues: ‘…they wanted a certain brand of stylish notebook, sometimes for work, often for gaming, I want to sell them an MSI Gaming notebook but they have already decided what to buy and if I try to guide them to get something more suited to their needs I could lose the sale.’
This is a frustrating situation – the salesperson wants the sale, but they also have a responsibility to give the customer a solution they will be happy with and if they’re not satisfied then your chance of return business reduces massively both as a brand and as a reseller.
Brand power is clearly as strong as ever. People are choosing mobile computers based on brand and it’s a good thing. The relationships that people have with a brand will always be important. A company that can show its values – and back them up in its actions – can win business and grow.
The problem for many is the gap between a customer’s desires and needs. That gap is the responsibility of the brand and the retailer to fill. Customer satisfaction and return business is one of the more obvious cornerstones of building a business in any arena, but the experiences that people have with a notebook or any mobile device are so personal that they can be very emotional and focus more on the product itself than any previous brand representation.
“We need to give them what they want, not what they think they want nor what they have been told they want.”
Chris Gough, MSI Notebook UK
So how do we ensure our customers are satisfied? Simply put, we need to give them what they want, not what they think they want nor what they have been told they want. This takes time for the seller, and multiple products with variations in design and performance.
Some may say that less is more, and that a limited selection of products catered to a wide audience with focused marketing will bring better results. In the short-term this is accurate, but the long term future doesn’t look so good when customers need to compromise from the offset.
Range is still king. At MSI notebook we have seen huge growth since directing our focus towards gaming – 70 per cent growth in 2015, 60 per cent in 2016 and we expect the same or better from 2017. Having multiple options has allowed us to target customers that genuinely need the product that we are offering to them.
So the eternal question should be, is less really more? Are you really avoiding the ‘paradox of choice’ or only focusing on the immediacy, rather than building a community of customers with tailored products, each giving their user a unique experience with no compromise.
Chris Gough is a marketing manager for MSI Notebook UK