Companies have a great many incentives to invest heavily in product innovation. Electronics is an extremely competitive business, and each product released is subject to intense scrutiny and thorough, detailed and honest reviews, both online and offline. There is a strong incentive to ” get it right” with regard to new products, as they may have the power to make or break a company.
Take for example the Nintendo Wii – before the Wii, Nintendo was on the way down, with dropping sales and an image that was somewhat old hat. No longer. The Nintendo Wii has catapulted the company into the stratosphere, and has done wonders for its image. Nintendo is where it is today because of its investment in innovative new products. Likewise, should a company stir up some hype about a product which turns out to be disappointing, the effect is just as strong but in a negative direction. Remember the NEO GEO pocket? Thought not!
But aside from this death or glory perspective, there is a large grey area. Companies release many generic products in the electronics line which are not clearly better than their competitors products. In this large grey area, decisions regarding its products are the best often fall to dedicated fans of a certain type of product – for example, Blu Ray players for home theatre enthusiasts. Such enthusiasts will post their ideas online, or in the popular Which? magazine.
To cut a long story short, all good electronics manufacturing companies understand the critical importance of the online reception of their products. When people aren’t sure whether a new product is any good or not, they usually just type it into Google and read the reviews on the first page. For an electronics company, the nature of their press online is extremely important.