Trying to shed light on technical buying decisions

True story: I’ve been trying to buy a light bulb. Seriously.

It seems to me that when an older generation (let’s say, my father) bought light bulbs there was only one decision to make, screw-fit or bayonet. Then a trip to the local hardware store for a bit of a friendly chat about which brand to buy, usually based upon the ironmonger’s personal preferences, the perceptions of other customers and what was on the shelf.

But the world has turned. The world of light bulbs in particular appears to have turned into a nightmare of choice. Even though I think I know exactly which technology I want – halogen; type – candle, bent tip; fit – B22 cap; rating – 28W, I still have a sneaking suspicion I’m missing something – perhaps some vital detail.

And then there’s my compulsion to comparison shop on the internet. It’s part of the game to find a good price, check availability and delivery. See if anyone has rated potential suppliers on their service – can they be trusted(reviewers or vendors)?

It all takes time. And time, of-course, is the one resource we’re all pressed for. Even if I could spend less, I ask myself if it’s worth investing time to save money?

I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the number of choices and channels available to me almost too rich. I’m not convinced it necessarily saves me any time. And if time equals money, I don’t think I’m really getting a good deal. If that’s my experience and I have reasonable levels of technical and online competence, I wonder how those less literate or with greater time pressures get on?

How did something as apparently simple and consumable as a light bulb ever become so fraught with complexity?

Amongst other things, we’ll be using this blog to share both agency and customer thinking as we jointly solve the challenge of helping buying audiences connect with products and services. My aim is that we keep this grounded in reality, not so much to showcase Spa Communications as the greatest thinkers of this digital age (we’re a long way from making such a claim), but simply to say this is what we tried and these are the results we obtained.

In the process of doing this, no doubt we’ll unpack some ideas which you might find helpful to apply in your own marketing effort. And maybe you’ll engage in conversation via the blog to add your own thoughts and experiences to what we hope will be an interactive forum.

In the meantime, I’ll continue my online search, awaiting my own special light bulb moment. If you want to add a link, I’d be grateful.

Photo: ‘New lamps for old Project‘ by Keith Williamson licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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