A Consumer’s Perspective On What Actually Convinces Him To Buy Energy Efficient Appliances For His Home.

By Eugene Omondi

As someone who has tried to talk about energy efficiency in front of an audience [one that was forced to sit and listen], I must admit that it is difficult not to start sounding like you are giving a lecture.

 Let’s be honest, it is an uphill task to turn “energy efficiency” as a topic into one of those attention hogging prank videos on YouTube that rakes up to 8 million views. Yet that is what sells these days right? I know coz I watch them [a lot].

 The truth is that energy efficiency is too dry and scientific a topic to keep the attention of an average person who has multiple options on how to spend their time.

But as a consumer, I want to let you in on a little secret that actually converts me into a buyer.

Oh wait, you must be wondering how I suddenly became a marketing guru yet I am just a clueless user who watches prank videos on YouTube, right?

 I would love to get into that with you but just go to Decoding Decisions: The purchase behavior – Think with Google. It will help.

Anyway, here is what turns me into a potential buyer:

Make Energy Efficiency A Rule Of The Thumb

A fact is that energy efficiency isn’t a rule of the thumb for many users. So tell them over and over until it becomes available for them as a Yardstick.

 Energy efficient products promoters need to show up and repeat the advantages of energy efficiency to potential buyers across all platforms until it becomes a basis for decision making.

 It needs to become a trigger during a consumer’s exploration stage.

Scouring through an electronic allay in one of the supermarkets, I happened upon a set of refrigerators. I was spoilt for choice. A lady sales rep for a certain exquisite brand approached me and started reeling me in;

Excuse me boss, check this out; this is a silver, double door, 365 liters….”

I stopped listening because she didn’t start with the energy consumption part. But that’s because I knew what I wanted. Not many people do. Either way I checked out the equipment and voila! As rare as they are in Kenya, it was rated 5 star in terms of energy consumption. The most efficient of all.

The lady should have lead with;

“This is the most energy efficient refrigerator in Kenya and it comes with a double door, 365 liters….”

She clearly didn’t understand the strength of what she was selling.

This was important to me because of the fact that a refrigerator uses up to 14% of a household’s total energy consumption. Again, most people do not know this.

Do not assume that they know! Tell them. Lead them using such facts.

Tie It To My Money

One fact about energy inefficient equipment in the Kenyan market is that they are cheap and readily available.

Given this fact, catching a consumer’s interest becomes a herculean task for energy efficient equipment sellers because the consumer is being influenced by the power of “now”. Inefficient equipment seem more available and within reach.

Energy efficient equipment on the other hand tend to have a higher initial cost.

In this case, a marketer might again need to highlight that the operational cost of an inefficient equipment at the end of a 2 year period will be enough to buy a second cheap equipment! Especially for one in a shop.

Have these facts and talk about them.

Even if I were to walk away, believe that you have my interest now. Money matters to all of us so I will definitely listen to what you have to say.

Simplify My Evaluation

This is where most of highly technical promoters go wrong yet it is the most important stage at which I might decide to buy the energy efficient equipment.

You already have my interest and I now know that you have authority in such matters so don’t be too technical.

Whenever I look up “energy efficiency” articles that are supposed to sell me on such equipment, I am usually bombarded by a barrage of technical details. At the end of the day I rarely know what I want.

At this point all that is needed is for you to simplify. There is a lot of science behind energy efficiency but leave that out. Instead, tell me the advantages at the point of consumption and in the simplest form.

You may only need social proof as a weapon at this point. Just say everyone else is making a smart choice in buying it. I shouldn’t then miss out on such opportunities.

By now chances are that I might have already made a decision to buy from you. I just need simple reasons to justify my imminent expenditure. Reasons that I relate to for that matter. Give them to me.

I hope reading this was worth your time.

Author’s contact: +254 715 659 632 or +254 701 554 017

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