A great marketing promotion can lead to people buying even though its a wrong buy. Why?
Weeks back someone wrote to me at work looking for a product X that has functions (i), (ii), (iii), etc. Product X has many competing brands such as brand (a), brand (b), etc.
This week I learned that this person has decided to buy brand (a). As follow-up I asked why this choice was made. Some of the reasons involved cheaper and easier to use.
I can accept why people would buy cheaper. But out of curiosity I asked further why brand (a) considering that it did not have function (ii).
Its to this company’s credit that this person took note of my question because on checking he found that I was correct and he had placed an order to buy a product that didn’t really meet his requirement fully. It was just his impression that the product could fulfil his requirement. It was only after my question that he checked closely and found out that his impression was wrong. He quickly put the order on hold and asked me to recommend what is a better choice.
The moral of the lesson here is that cheaper is not always better or correct for a particular usage. If this person has gone on to buy brand (a) instead of being able to do work faster he would end up doing the work in a more tedious manner. Chances are high that when his people finds brand (a) troublesome to use they would just consign it to the bottom of the cupboard and end up buying another better brand. The cost would be easily in the region of S$20,000 plus a year wasted in doing the tasks that brand (a) was supposed to be able to do properly. To top it all another proper product would cost at least S$30,000.
This reminds me of the first Wing Chun class I attended. They had great marketing and good promotion. Before you even started class you could end up paying for a book and uniforms. If after a few years I could get what I was looking for then its a small price. But if not then it would be a costly way to learn what a mistake was like. Fortunately, the politics was enough to make me leave before I ended up deeper.
I later found out that the so-called claims about it being brand Ip Man Wing Chun was totally misleading. It wasn’t to say the master’s skills even there. It was to say that what he had I didn’t really see the senior students having it then. And today I realized that it wasn’t even representative of what Ip Man, the practitioner did.
When you are in love you tend not to see the loved one’s faults. Its only in the breakup phase that you started finding faults and you asked yourself why you didn’t notice before when everyone around you could see it a long time ago. Its a similar thing when one is in love with a lineage and style. Great marketing can really cloud what we see.