Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog 9: Don't Believe the Hype

Spring break sped by way too fast. Its amazing how quickly time passes when you have nothing better to do. All of the free time involved with going home gave me time to rest and to think, but most importantly, gave me time to spend money (this is not a good thing.) While i was home I had the capability to drive around Massachusetts and use my hard earned cash on frivolities (I imagine I spent a solid 100 dollars on food alone!) Apart from food, I also decided to attend a Reel Big Fish concert at the last minute and buy a pair of new headphones. I will be the first to say I know very little about the headphone industry and which brands are the best. What I can say is that I will not spend 200 dollars on a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. My new Sennheisers get the job done just fine at a quarter of the cost. My quest for new headphones shows the power of firsthand experience versus advertising.

Now there are some who say "What? Beats are great! Why wouldn't you want them!?!" I've already stated the first reason: price. There are so many great alternatives to Beats at far cheaper costs that even with their advertising prowess I could not be swayed to buy them. Another factor in my decision was the perks of the headphones i ended up buying. The pair I have provided great clarity of sound, are incredibly comfortable on my ears, and cost the same as another set I tested that offered inferior quality (but they did look way cooler I must say!) Now that there is a little background on my purchase, let us look at what my decisions have to do with marketing.

The area that influenced my decision was brand image and awareness. Beats have far more reach as far as advertising go and have built a solid image as a new, stylish, quality headphone. Sennheiser is just a name that I recognized as quality without having ever seen any advertising for it. The name was enough to influence me. Another aspect of brand image that I observed was the image of the Beats customer. The Beats user is a young, hip person looking for what is in and is accepted as top quality (granted Beats are not bad headphones, they are just over-hyped as the best.) Being the rebel that I am, I was very unconvinced by the hype because of my distrust of most things that people seem to like. Brand image was all it took to steer me away from a purchase. 

Ultimately, I see that my purchase stemmed mostly from my disillusioned view on Beats by Dre and less from the quality of the headphones I now own. I did not even try a set of Beats when I was in the store. Brand image and price were enough to convince me Sennheiser were the right direction. I'm going to leave you now with this statement: don't believe the hype.

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