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Good value, compatible and stylish: what consumers are demanding from personal technology

Posted by Louise Andrews on 27th February 2014

Home entertainment systemLast year, EML Wildfire published the results of a study into consumer technology buying behaviours. The “Why Buy? What influences consumer tech purchases?” report suggested a complex ecosystem of buying power and influence for gadgets and consumer tech products.

The research focused on the reasons why we buy tech (largely because it makes our lives easier), who we turn to for advice (user reviews and friends & family topped the list) and, at the point of buying, those deciding factors that make us pick one product over another.

Overall, it seemed our buying decisions for consumer tech products were largely driven by price. However what our research didn’t reveal is whether these top considerations altered depending on the type of technology that we choose to part with our cash for.

So this year, we’ve looked at the key persuading factors across different types of consumer technology products, such as cameras, TVs and headphones.

Is there one “all-encompassing” feature we demand in our tech?

The answer is simply, no.

At first sight, our findings echoed our research from 2013 (with price the number one driver). But then we uncovered some interesting nuances. Particular features have the ability to sway our decisions and the second most influential factor that affects what we buy is completely dependent on the type of product we were considering.

  • Headphones – Styling and design
  • Large-screen TVs – Low energy usage
  • Digital cameras – Features and product specs
  • Home cinema systems – Compatibility with other tech in the home

How age and gender changes why we buy

A product’s appeal also alters according to our gender, with female tech buyers much more influenced by environmentally friendly or low energy products. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to be driven by brand appeal.

We also discovered that age can have a huge effect on why we buy:

  • Home cinema systems – The older the buyer, the more likely they are to be influenced by styling and design
  • iPod docks – Those aged 25-34 are keen to ensure the product is compatible with their other technology in the home 
  • Hi-Fi systems – Brand is most important to those aged 45-54 and they are the most discerning of all age groups about the product’s features and specifications
  • Digital cameras – Styling and design appeal most to those under 25, but it’s the older generations that are most likely to be price-sensitive

Why is this important for product PR?

Product PR is not a one size fits all approach. Our research shows that the features that are most appealing vary considerably according to the type of product we are considering and who we are.

By understanding exactly what makes consumers tick when it comes to choosing technology products you will gain in-depth insights into the marketing and PR messages that will best reach your target consumer audiences.

Louise Andrews

Deftly switching between business and consumer accounts, the focus for Louise remains the same; how can Wildfire tell clients’ stories in a way that is faithful, relevant and engaging? Her wide technology PR experience makes Louise an agile and versatile Associate Director and fantastic resource for the team, combining the strategic management of PR programmes with a hands-on approach to get under the skin of clients and motivate her teams.