There was a time when “gadgets” referred to devices that made chores easier and faster. But times have changed, and so have preferences! Gadgets are not simply objects that help you save time and energy; it has expanded to include gizmos that enable faster, easier communication and hi-tech entertainment.
Alongside this shift in perception, many completely new brands names have emerged that were unheard of until a few years ago. Many of these brands originate in the Far East, but really, who cares? What most customers care about are the features that distinguish the product from its rivals, the price, the compatibility and the ease of integration with current hardware and the standard of customer service.
In a blog on the High 50 website, “Android or Apple? Smartphones for technophobes and the latest gadgets and wireless chargers”:
“Which smartphone will charge at double the rate of an Apple iPhone? When is wireless charging coming?…Do you stick to the same manufacturer and have the invaluable familiarity? Or, do you make the leap and …take advantage of a wider range of deals?”
The Concept of Brand Loyalty
These and other similar questions occupy us whenever we want to buy a new device. Manufacturers are aware that customers have an unprecedented range of choice these days. The concept of brand loyalty is almost extinct and we’re always looking for options that fulfill individual needs and priorities.
It is this growing choosiness that has made the gadget market highly competitive. It has seen the rise and fall of many products and any new brands need excellent marketing strategies, integrated with equally efficient technology and customer service to win – and hold – the attention of the customer.
Whether it is a genuine need for the latest technology or simply a desire not to be seen carrying anything that’s more than six months old, the one gadget that gets replaced most frequently is the smartphone. The two operating systems in the market are, of, Android and Apple. There are many dedicated Apple fans, because of the ease of use and the connectivity – any Apple device will sync with any other – but Android offers different benefits in terms of storage, navigation, size, features and processors. Most popular brands of phone have dedicated websites that offer easy step-by-step guides to switching platforms.
So, from smartphones to laptops, from televisions to tablets, from water purifiers to food processors – purchasers have a vast range of choice and products live or die according to fluctuating consumer tastes. Nobody cares if a failed product came from a popular or well-established brand; it didn’t have the latest technology and couldn’t adapt to the customers’ requirements.
Race to Predict and Influence
And every day, those requirements are changing, so the manufacturers are in a constant race to predict – and influence – those requirements. Everything is designed to make the customer feel great about owning a device, feel proud to use a particular product, and feel rewarded and validated in his or her choice.
In today’s cut-throat market, it doesn’t matter who introduces a technology; if you can better it and build upon it, you can have your share of the cake. And thanks to all this availability of choices and the race to outstrip the Joneses, manufacturers have succeeded in creating a new brand of customers – the gadget-freak.
And this new breed of customers is keeping the gadget manufacturers happy, because for the privilege of owning the latest, the fastest, the smallest, the coolest, many of us are ready to pay huge prices, sometimes revelling in, and boasting about, the fact that we have spent more money than our neighbors/rivals.
So when we buy our new gadgets, we have said goodbye to brand loyalty and have decided to follow our own path. Or have we…?