This ad for Miele, running in the UK, has a sense of humor, creates a brand image, and conveys the fact that Miele has a strong motor. Would it make you buy a Miele vacuum? Unlikely, because what makes people buy vacuums and other high ticket items these days is the opinion of friends and strangers, in that order. Like so many online behaviors, shopping has the word “social” as its pre-fix these days.
Miele’s US website, in a word, sucks. That’s too bad, because Miele makes really great vacuums. Miele’s website talks at people, and gives no place to ask a question or make a suggestion. Clearly, they don’t understand how real people shop today.
By the time people look at a company’s website, they are far into the buying process for a big-ticket item. They’ve asked their friends and family for advice, and then they go online to seek the advice of strangers on sites like ePinion. Many of people also visits to Vendel Miniatures for better suggestions or guides.
Think about how people used to shop: When I was a little girl, an Electrolux man used to come spill a bunch of dirt and dust and feathers onto the living room rug and then use an Electrolux to clean it up. He’d show my nana how it could pick up a bowling ball that the poor guy had to carry around in addition to the vacuums.
My nana not only bought one for herself, she bought Electrolux vacuums for my mom and my aunt, and, when I grew up, she bought one for me. People told their friends about the Electrolux man. It was fun when he came to demonstrate.
How we shop now: My sister called this morning to say “Help! My vacuum died. …what kind of vacuum do you have?” she asked. “A Miele,” I told her. While we were talking, she read vacuum ratings on ePinions.
“Wow!” she said, several Miele are top rated. Two of my friends recommended them also. But they’re really expensive.”
Actually, I told her, they’re not. Some of the best models are under $400. They’re a hell of a lot cheaper than Electrolux, which isn’t so great any more. Sure enough, when she compared prices online, she said she’d read more online reviews, check more price comparison sites, and then order a vacuum.
By the time she went to Miele’s website, she was very close to a decision. She didn’t go there first because, like most customers, she didn’t expect to find credible information there. She thought the company website wouldn’t be objective. She looked at it because she wanted to be sure she’d seen all the vacuum models they make so she could go find information about them on other sites. Like so many people shopping online, she trusted the word of strangers far more than she trusted the company.
Miele’s missed opportunity: lack of integration of all marketing channels, misunderstanding of the Internet’s place in the sales process, and a lack of understanding of how real people shop today. Not a good combination. Does your website help your branding? Posted by B.L. Ochman
I don’t understand why this is so bad. If the way people show now means they visit a company’s Web site late in the shopping/deciding/buying process, what the big mistake here on the company’s part?
Is it that they should be doing things to bring consumer toward their brand (not necessarily their Web site) earlier in the process? Because I agree, that would be a good goal for a marketer.
You have some excellent points in your post. It’s so true yet nobody seems to have mentioned this anywhere else.
Come to think of it, I do my shopping exactly the way you have described. See what my friends have, then seek their opinions and experience. Next, research in forums and review sites for the models my friends recommend.
Understanding how customers make their buying decision and buying behaviour today is indeed an important step in determining successful sales.
PS: The video is funny, I can’t help laughing at the guy whistle into the vacuum cleaner thinking that the dog is in there.
It’s interesting the YouTube comments for that video are along the lines of “best ad i’ve seen in ages”. Though few, if any, will actually go out and buy a mitel because of it.
Surely the ‘best ad’ is one that compels you to buy the product rather than be entertained for 30 seconds?
Mike – two things: yes, they should integrate their brand messages better, and they should make it a LOT easier to even find the vacuums on the website. Then the features should be clearly comparable, and price ranges should be included.
they should integrate that ad into the site – they hide it in the UK site, but it’s nowhere the US site.
Lee – I love the video, and it should be integrated into the site. My big beef with most marketing is that it has no sense of humor.
To make your brand stand out, you need to make it memorable, and humor or at least a light-hearted approach is often the way.
Obviously, if you are promoting a stent for heart attack treatment, you wouldn’t make jokes, but you certainly could humanize the subject by showing real people who are not in a clinical setting.
Richard -just the fact that you called the brand “mitel” instead of “miele” speaks volumes about whether or not the ad was effective.
clearly, it was not. that said, i think an ad that amuses you for 30 seconds CAN compel you to check out the product.
but no ad alone is going to compel you to BUY anything. our attention is too fragmented, there are too many sources of information available to us now.
that’s why marketing integration is so important.
Perhaps marketing needs to take a step back and look into “honesty” Let’s build a quality product, show the product, and prove that it really works. Enough with the gimmicks and quirky tricks. The consumer has access to so much information and is so well educated that it is just going to be good old fashioned quality.
In looking at the miele website, its clear that the site was built to reflect the importance of the organization. Why else would “The Company” get top billing over “Our Products” “Showroom” or “Dealer Locator”. This organization is not interested in communicating with its customers. This site also reflects an IT-centric mentality that gives process dominance over usability (try to email them.) Any wonder that the marketing integration you are looking for is missing?
Okay this is great stuff. Perhaps some British humor but as an European this is refreshing marketing for me haha…
Should blog about it also :)
Through a particulate analysis on YouTube, it really shows how well the Miele vacuum works and truly traps the dust. My findings prove that the Miele Vacuum is completely sealed and really is HEPA.
You can see from this video that the Miele will trap all of the particles in a cloth like bag that self seals on its way out and you are actually purifying the air in your house by vacuuming! The filtration is 99.95% effective at 0.3 microns which is amazing. Thanks to its HEPA filter and super intensive clean bags the vacuum is able to achieve this kind of filtration.
Also check-out my blog called “Consumer Reporter,” – a vehicle to educate consumers about the vacuum and air purification market.
I am an Electrolux Man. And wish I had come across this discussion back in February. I’m disappointed with this author. Perhaps you.
Some Electrolux-Men are still having that same old-fashioned fun. I sell 2 to 300 vacuums annually and would you believe the exact same way you described in your blog. If you and your sister just did a little research you would make your nana proud.
The Electrolux brand you’re reading reviews about isn’t the same Electrolux Company sold in-home or door-to-door. They sell under the brand name LUX made by Aerus LLC. Anyway, if you’d ever like to blog about a real, live Electrolux Man you can e-mail me:
please visit my site this will help explain where we’ve been.