Soft stuff has definite priority

thinkpadreserve.jpg

The marketing material accompanying Lenovo’s new super-exclusive Thinkpad Reserve Edition is a great example of how increasingly, differentiation is about the soft stuff, the services; and less so about the quality or power of the hardware.

Take a look at the PDF Spec Sheet. Despite it being called a spec sheet, less than a quarter of the document was actually devoted to technical information. The majority of the documentation, and the online presentation focus on what is obviously the important differentiators. These being: service and design.

Lenovo’s “luxury of service” includes: a guaranteed personal response when you ring, “no answering machines, no phone menus.” And should you have a problem with your Thinkpad, they will fly out to where you are and fix it for you. Wow!

Ten years ago we would have been looking at the MHz of the processor, the Mb of RAM etc. None of that is the focus here.

Imagine what your average computer shop could be if it refocused on service and helping customers rather than just selling hardware like everyone else.

2 comments

  1. Stilgherrian said:

    “Imagine what your average computer shop could be if it refocused on service and helping customers rather than just selling hardware like everyone else.”

    I reckon it’d look a look like the Apple Genius Bar. Sure, it’s Apple, so apart from triggering your sneeze reflex, Zern, it also looks like a cross between Ikea and an up-market sushi restaurant. But the focus is on connecting you with another person.

    Try this Google Images search for more photos.

    Of course the core of your point is about the “average computer shop” versus “service”. Computer shops are only about selling hardware, and yet most people actually need help with their information systems — of which “computers” are only a small (and shrinking!) part. Compare the look of your local hardware shop — packed full of paint, nails, screws, tiles — with an architect’s office and you’ll see what I mean.

  2. Zern said:

    Even in an “average” computer shop, the soft stuff makes a difference.

    I have a huge selection of computer shops near where I live. I used to go to one (picked at random) but increasingly found the guy somewhat dour and intimidating. Every time I went in, the conversation was stilted and monosyllabic. There were no helpful discussions or suggestions. There was little interest in what I was after.

    Another computer shop down the road offered a totally different experience. There were lively discussions about what I wanted, engaged suggestions, invitations to see what their technicians were doing out the back.

    I know which one gets my business.

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