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WHAT IS PERCEIVED OBSOLESCENCE?

V. Ryan 2013

 

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Perceived Obsolescence is when a customer is convinced, that he / she needs an updated product, even though his /her existing product is working well.

This is often based on style rather than functionality. For example, a simple mobile phone, with keys and buttons may be perfect for most customers. However, with the advent of touch screen phones, phone manufacturers have had to persuade phone users, that their old phones are out of date.

Advertising is used constantly by manufacturers, to persuade potential customers that their existing product is out of date, old fashioned and lacks style. Key to the success of perceived obsolescence, is the customers perception of himself/herself. The role advertising plays, is to persuade a potential customer, to purchase a new product. Potential customers sometimes perceive that their existing gadget makes them look ‘uncool’, old fashioned and out of touch with modern trends. Successful advertising leads to the customer replacing his / her existing product and buying the new up dated version.
 
 
 
Another good example of perceived obsolescence is a football shirt, for a supporter. Professional football clubs change their design of kit in subtle ways, in time for the new season. The colour scheme remains the same. This puts pressure on many supporters, as they do not wish to be seen in last seasons shirt.
The perception is that a supporter in the old shirt, is a less committed supporter, than one in the new shirt. Also, wearing a shirt that is out of date, could be embarrassing in a crowd of supporters wearing the new version. Subtle pressure is applied, so that the supporter buys the new shirt, which may be only slightly different from last seasons.
By V.Ryan
 
 
 
The automobile industry uses advertising to promote new updated models. Updated models are often restyled, in order that they have increased visual appeal. Manufacturers have the advantage of asking existing customers, what they would like to see changed or updated in a new model. This reinforces perceived obsolescence. Once a new model is launched, the older model looks dated.
 
 
 
 
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