By Charlie from consoledeals.co.uk
Our retail experience has changed dramatically over the years, especially in the tech industry. This is mainly thanks to the boom in social platforms and online interactions. Retailers and manufacturers are now exposed to every man and his dog, who have something to say, whether it’s about their service, their product or offerings and this can be tough to bounce back from if you’ve taken a hammering in the press over a particular issue that grabs people’s attention.
In the technology industry there can be a huge backlash, with shop staff completely ignored in favour of “product-slamming” on a Facebook company page or on blog forums.
However, on the flipside of this, the same platforms can be used to help promote and advertise a product launch and these surely outweigh the negatives of a few nasty comments? Facebook Ads, Google Ad-words, traditional visual marketing and also press releases and word-of-mouth can be effective in spreading the word of a new product which perhaps has been anticipated for a while but information has been slowly drip-fed through publications and news articles.
This is where hype sets in and can no doubt do wonders for the share price too.
Battle of the Consoles
E3 is the biggest games industry show in the World and this year it saw the announcements of two pieces of hardware from two giants in the technology industry.
Microsoft announced the Xbox One and Sony announced the long-awaited PS4, two next-generation consoles which should be released just before Christmas 2013. These are prime examples of how effective hype marketing really is because although these two consoles have been announced with prices and some specifications, essentially there has been no official, specific release date and it has only been implied that they will launch before Christmas this year.
It’s unlikely that they won’t both launch before Christmas this year in the US and in Europe but the hype that was built up before E3 was so powerful that onlookers and attendees didn’t seem too bothered that no specific date was given.
In the run up to the event information was leaked about possible specifications, game releases and features for both consoles and, in fact, Microsoft had already shown their console a few weeks prior to E3 to whet the appetite (Sony were vilified in some quarters because they didn’t show a finalised product design before E3).
This information, no matter how accurate, was the key to ramping up interest in the hardware to such an extent that by the time people arrived in LA, they were practically salivating.
With any marketing, the aim is to promote interest in the product, by using visual stimulation and a promise of something new and exciting. Sometimes, in the case of these two games consoles, it can be to promise something better than previous iterations and to create a must-have feeling towards the product.
Games consoles are ideal for this because they use two elements to attract: the hardware and the games. Future releases of long-awaited game franchises keep the hardware looking fresh and appealing long after it’s been launched. This longevity helps the games industry survive from year to year but also maintains that important sense of desire, with customers waiting for that anticipated title.
Pre-ordering helps to boost interest in something that isn’t available to the consumer yet but also gives them an action to take, to stake their claim on something they desire. The principles sometimes used in Marketing, AIDA, promote:
Sony and Microsoft utilise the pre-order hype to gain as much traction after the announcement as possible and they have, over the years become masters of building hype for their own products. So with this desire-model working successfully for both Sony and Microsoft, they are finding that as consumers, we are willing to part with our money long before the console is due to be released and indeed, without even a release date.
Pre-ordering isn’t a new concept and it makes sense to introduce pre-ordering for such highly anticipated products but a by-product of this is that it creates a further hype towards these items which originated even before their official announcements, increased during E3 and has now reached utter meltdown, as consumers fear they won’t be able to get one on release day.
After all, you can’t put a price on the prestige that comes from owning a shiny new PS4!
Charlie works with Console Deals, is a keen gamer and can’t wait to see what PS4 deals become available the closer it gets to the launch date.