With the worldwide economy continuing to contract as consumers and businesses rein in any discretionary income they have – something as retailers of new fitted kitchens we’re heavily reliant on – I’m struck by two news stories that have come out over the past week about Apple and Sony and how they’re each reacting to the global downturn and the impact it’s having on their businesses.
Last week, albeit briefly, Apple Corporation – makers of wonderfully simple, intuitive to use smartphones, Macintosh and tablet personal computers – overtook Exxon to become the world’s highest value company. Imagine, a maker of gadgets that none of us really need but many of us want, overtaking a provider of supplies that we all most definitely need – oil and gas!
Sony, on the other hand, has announced that it’s cutting the price of its PS3 by 17% as a result of falling demand and in reaction to its competitor Nintendo cutting the price of its latest hand-held game player.
Why is it that one technology company can be so much more successful than another given the current economy?
Is it through superb marketing that they are able to convince customers that they need to be constantly upgrading their phone or computer? Maybe, in part, that’s one of their reasons for their success but flashy marketing can no longer be seen as a cover for selling disappointing products and services as some companies have tried to do in the past.
As Abraham Lincoln once said (before he died, obviously!): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. It’s a quotation we use regularly!
No, to my mind, the main reason Apple have become so successful is that they know how to design products that make people’s lives easier, more connected and informed and more fun (you can even play Monopoly on the iPhone now!). Their customer service is also, in my experience, outstanding. My iPhone, four days after the warranty expired last Christmas, lost its volume button. Expecting to be charged for a replacement I took it to my local Apple store but, without hesitation, they gave me a brand new phone for free – outstanding!
When people ask us why we’re different from the wealth of competition out there in the fitted kitchen market I’m reminded of this Apple analogy. Like Apple, our expertise is in our ability to design beautiful, highly practical new kitchens for our clients that just work in the way they want and expect them to. And we truly pride ourselves on our fitting and follow up service which is really appreciated by customers who, whatever they’re spending, want the best new kitchen they can get.
So, we make no apologies for us not being the cheapest provider in the market – neither is Apple. We also make no apologies for not having yo-yo pricing or fake ‘sales’ as most of our competitors do – neither do Apple! And we certainly make no apologies for offering customers the best designed, highly practical great value product they can get for their money.
Neither do Apple!
Are we the equivalent of Apple Corp in new fitted kitchens? No, but we’re giving it a go!
For hundreds of pictures of kitchens we’ve installed for delighted clients please go to www.facebook.com/NicholasHytheKitchenDesignStudio