When It’s Not a Laptop…

Netbooks, the latest generation of small computers, are still so new that many consumers aren’t even sure what they’re buying. A recent NPD study found rampant consumer confusion between the netbook and notebook segment. And it turns out that some consumers aren’t so happy with the product they purchased.1120059_notepad_1

Could this be all about marketing the wrong features? According to NPD, manufacturers have been targeting 18–24 year old consumers with their marketing campaigns. And this age group has been buying, apparently expecting the power and performance of a laptop in a smaller case and for a lot less money. But over half of these purchasers were disappointed to discover that netbooks lack serious power.

The NPD study indicates that a better marketing campaign might alleviate the problem. The company suggests that marketers promote the mobility and portability of netbooks – the features that make these products unique. This computing segment should be considered a product line extension, a companion for a PC, not a replacement. Setting expectations with the right marketing angle could go a long way toward protecting brand reputation.

[Source: NPD release, 6.22.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.