By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Best Buy is embarking on a multichannel educational campaign to help clear up what it says are widespread consumer misconceptions about HDTV.
The retailer based its assessment on a privately commissioned survey showing that 41 percent of HDTV owners understand "little to nothing at all" about high definition, while 89 percent of all consumers don't completely understand the technology or what it takes to experience it fully.
In response to the survey findings, Best Buy last month launched its "HD Done Right" campaign to assist consumers through the HDTV and home theater purchasing process. The cornerstone of the campaign is a micro site, AskABlueshirt.com, which assesses consumers' HDTV status; breaks down the elements of the HD experience, including components, source material, sound and installation; offers a budgeting pie chart, so that TVs aren't purchased to the exclusion of accessories and services; and provides a glossary of terms.
The company has also set up an HD Done Right hotline at (888) BEST-BUY — or (888) 237-8289 — where home theater specialists impart "HD Troubleshooting" advice to callers.
In addition, Best Buy has improved its accessory and services assistance at www.bestbuy.com, a spokesperson told TWICE; is trumpeting the campaign with in-store signage; and has enhanced its HD Complete Advantage program, which provides customers with financial incentives, i.e., discounts on TVs, to purchase comprehensive home theater packages.
"As more and more people invest in new high-definition televisions and expand their home theaters, Best Buy wants to ensure our customers fully appreciate what's needed to get the most from their purchases," said Mike Vitelli, home solutions senior VP and general manager. "We want to serve as a trusted resource to our customers by helping them understand the necessary components and how to make the right budgeting decisions so they can have a truly outstanding HD experience in their home."
The survey was conducted Aug. 3-5 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media Omnibus Services via 1,012 telephone interviews. Other key findings included:
Consumer misconceptions regarding HDTV range from not understanding it at all (32 percent) to moderate understanding (56 percent), while four in 10 people (39 percent) don't even identify an HDTV as necessary for the experience.
Beyond the TV, many consumers don't understand that additional elements are required for the HD experience, including HD programming or an HD antenna (44 percent), HD cables (52 percent) and an audio system (62 percent). As a result, consumers are typically only budgeting for the TV itself, with 52 percent planning to spend 75 percent to 100 percent of their budgets on the set.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.