branding/advertising communications

Between Decision-maker and Consumer, is the Brand Influencer

The Hunt Begins for a TV brand.

We needed a new TV set. The Samsung LCD went dead on us for the third time in 5 years – but that’s another story, another blog perhaps!

Enter Vijay Sales.

The search for a new TV set first went online and some brands were identified, with Micromax in the consideration set. Then a visit to the Vijay Sales stores, where the family stopped at the TV section, and followed by the salesman. The brands suggested were Videocon, Vise (Vijay Sales self-label manufactured by Videocon), LG, Samsung, and Sony.  Having burnt our fingers with Samsung, the brand did not resonate with us. Sony was way above budget. This prompted the sales guy to push Videocon and Vise. Both came with a 3 year comprehensive warranty.  Price was  affordable. Vise came into brand consideration, but if manufactured by Videocon, they why Vise? Of course our previous experience with Vijay Sales had been good.  However we were not too convinced of the (cheap?) Videocon brand,  so delayed our decision.

Croma enters the Fray.

We then visited Croma in the vicinity. We got drawn to the Micromax set, when the daughter exclaimed, “Micromax in TVs? Thought they were only in cells”. That put an end, before the beginning, for Micromax. Other brands were the same as we saw in Vijay Stores. The sales guy tried pushing Samsung, so I inquired how long he was with Croma. About 3 years was the response. I then related to him my 5-year-old episode with purchase of the Samsung brand at his store, for which he was apologetic. Our past experience too with the service at Croma Stores, was not much to write home about. Strangely, he was insistent that the warranty of Videcon was 1 year comprehensive and extended by another 2 years for service, with payment for spare parts. Vijay Sales offered a different story.

Back we went to Vijay Sales, and confirmed the comprehensive 3 year warranty of Videocon. Having established that, swiped the Credit Card and came home, happy with the purchase, but not necessarily with the brand.

The Brand Influencers!

A little marketing knowledge told me the purchase decision for a brand depended on 2 sets of audiences: The decision maker  and the consumer/purchaser. Brand influencers were a go-between and not given too much consideration.

The past decade or so, has toppled this buying behaviour heels over head. I have always noticed that whenever we make a planned and considered purchase of a durable, almost always we returned home with a different brand. Not necessarily because of lack of homework, but most often due to the role of the third-party or influencer – most commonly the Sales person. Although we are aware that a particular brand is pushed due to better commissions, at the moment of purchase, we succumb to the Influencer.

Now that Social Media helps us connect instantaneously and gain brand knowledge, its role as a word of mouth vehicle and  powerful Influencer cannot be denied. However, the Sales person will always have the last word for our wallet.

 

 

 

 

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