Philips high end TVs: capitalising on growth opportunities

Marketing & Innovation

How great would it be to know exactly how, where and in what way you can reach, affect and influence your customers to purchase your product?

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Customer Journey | Blauw Research

Discover where the opportunities lie in the orientation and purchase phase.

Philips’ challenge: Discover where Philips is missing opportunities in the orientation and purchase process of high end televisions. To select and purchase a TV, especially in the more expensive segment, is not the work of a moment.

By monitoring consumers in a path to purchase research community, we are able to monitor every step on the path from orientation to purchase. This is how we are helping Philips to improve their omnichannel strategy.

Previously, Philips had a number of assumptions about why improvement was necessary, to increase sales, such as:

  • How consistent is the image that people have of the Philips brand?
  • How important is it for the market for high end TVs to be innovative?
  • What effect do products from other categories have on the Philips brand image for more expensive TVs?
  • How do people perceive the quality of Philips TV’s?
  • What importance do consumers attach to the specific features of more expensive Philips TV’s, such as Ambilight?

Time to check if these hypotheses are correct. And also to check how it works in other countries.

Customer Journey: collating the richest possible data

Because Philips is a global company, we are carrying out this research in several countries. The communities were set up simultaneously in Russia and Germany.

How do you approach something like this?

A multi-country study in which you want to ask questions on a daily basis to around 200 consumers in different time zones requires clear management and a strict routine.

Blauw sent out from Rotterdam native moderators to the various countries. Moderators and researchers who know the language and culture and understand nuances. This is very important, because these moderators understand all of the finesses in the community. A research programme was developed in consultation with these moderators. Daily reports were then issued and consultations took place with researchers in Rotterdam, according to a strict routine, so that each day we were kept up to date with the conversations in the various communities. The researchers in Rotterdam fed back to Philips.

The community consisted of people who were about to purchase a new, relatively expensive television. They knew that the research was about televisions, but not that it related specifically to Philips. They were able to make their own list of brands they were considering.

The structured customer journey was divided into four steps over four weeks. Each week, we ask the community members to undertake a new step in their path to purchase:

  1. Visit the websites of various brands
  2. View online reviews by consumers
  3. Discuss your top 5 televisions and enter into discussions in your environment about these brands. What do your friends/family think of these brands, TVs and their features?
  4. Go to the store, check how the televisions are displayed and let us know what information the sales person provides. 

(There is also such a thing as an unstructured customer journey and an example of this is our case for Google.)

Surprising insights into how consumers select and purchase

The best thing about community research: You get a mine of information. The list of hypotheses proposed by Philips in advance could be ticked off one by one.

A community also provides the opportunity to allow consumers to carry out extra assignments. One of the assumptions: the Philips product environment is different to that of hi-tech competitors. Because Philips does not focus solely on the sale of televisions, but also on domestic appliances, the brand is less ‘cool’ than the hi-tech competition.

That's what we set the community members to work on, by giving them the assignment to take photos of the places where they encountered the products of various brands. What is evident is that the Philips brand displays are different for each product family. The logo is the same, but the look & feel varies enormously.

And not only is there a great deal of differentiation for each product family, there were also huge differences between countries. In Russia, promotional material is left hanging in stores for much longer, as a result of which old displays are sometimes used. In Germany the typical German 'thoroughness' came strongly to the fore. There, all displays are refreshed strictly in accordance
with marketing plans and continually honed.  

Seeing = buying

One of the most important features of hi-end televisions is Philips Ambilight. This is technology which is unique to Philips in which light shines out of the television onto the wall, creating a particular ambience while watching TV (as if you are there yourself) and the format of the televisions is in effect enhanced.

This lighting technology was devised by Philips and they are the only company allowed to sell this type of television. Naturally, a feature like this does not come cheap, so how do you ensure that the customer sees the value of this? Even on a photo it doesn't come across as well as if you see it live. The Ambilight sells best when you stand in the store and see what a spectacular effect it creates when you see it with your own eyes.

Which is why Philips has an entire action plan to allow you to experience this at its best in store. They achieve this by leaving sufficient space around the TV and showing a film to allow the customer to experience why this is such a cool feature.

But whereas they strictly adhere to this plan in Germany, the TVs in Russia are displayed about a centimetre away from each other... Goodbye impressive lighting effect 


The approach of this research in various countries has been very valuable indeed for our brand. We now know exactly where the opportunities lie in each country and where there is room for improvement. This enables us to ensure that (potential) customers select our product.”

Quantitative research

A quantitative study in Russia, Germany, Sweden, England and France follows the processing of the results from the community. The first part looks at where the problems are and where improvement is necessary. This quantitative follow-up study, based on a questionnaire,  investigates in further detail whether the assumptions Philips had were correct. We discovered that actions were required across the entire process: marketing, sales, distribution, image. And following a presentation of the results, Philips knows in which countries and by which departments action can be taken to give sales of their high-end televisions a boost. Following your (potential) customers on their path to purchase?

We are happy to help! With this type of research, you discover what is required to improve your brand, service or product. By utilising a community, you literally follow your consumer on his path from orientation to purchase. Marketing & Product Management Expertise Manager Christian de Jong is happy to give advice on where the opportunities lie to allow your brand or service to grow.