When I say ASUS, Acer or Lenovo can you immediately tell what type of product I’m talking about? Probably not, however if I would have said Dell or HP everyone would have recognized them as computer manufacturers. Typically, everyone has a feeling or association about a brand when it’s mentioned. I know I certainly have my preferences of brand and what the brand name represents to me. But here’s the question of the day – is there a difference between purchasing a locally branded computer vs a national brand computer? Let’s take a look at what you’re actually purchasing from quality, price, and service.
Let’s start with an easy example, okay – I really can’t resist this one. Macs – thank you everyone on both sides of this debate for being so overzealous about this product. Mac has its advantages and disadvantages just like everything else, but it is clearly a brand that doesn’t have a whole lot of people in the middle – either you love it or you hate it. But no matter how you feel about it Macs are well branded machines.
On to PC’s: When it comes to most people and purchasing almost anything – first thing looked at is price! Price is always a hot topic and rightfully so, everyone likes to believe they “got a deal”. Computers can be relatively easily compared with much of the price differences coming from addons, be wary of anyone promising things like “optimization” of your new computer. Here are a couple of quick questions for you to ponder:
• Do you really know what you’re paying for?
• Did you get the right assistance with your technology or were you face to face with a commissioned
• Do you know how it meets your current needs and its potential to perform for you down the road?
Price should be the third of the quantifiers that we’ll be reviewing, but since it’s first in most people’s minds we’ll start there. Major brands have an advantage when it comes to volume purchases of parts and components. Not that shocking. What is shocking is their discounts don’t translate into the kind of specials or screaming deals that most people would expect. As a result most local brands can compete on price with the major brands. Next we must consider the question – do you know what you’re paying for?
Let’s consider quality, because while you’re buying a computer what you’re really after is a quality product. For ease of discussion we’ll discuss the first concern when it comes to production, what happens if I get a lemon? Production isn’t perfect and there will always be a failure rate of equipment. No amount of presale testing by major or local brands will 100% guarantee that faulty parts don’t find their way into our homes and business’. However an important component to quality is what happens when you find your computer just isn’t working the way it’s supposed to? It must be acknowledged that major brands sell products first and foremost. The technician building your new Dell is never going to meet you to know if you’re indeed satisfied with his work. Certainly that doesn’t mean that he’s done a poor job building your new computer, but he is selling to the mass market with no one particular in mind. A local brand, on the other hand, is selling to someone who’s walked into their store or has requested a sales call at their place of business. They are selling to someone like Marianne, who runs a small bookkeeping business out of her house and knows where to find you if her computer doesn’t function as she expects it to. When that Dell doesn’t live up to your expectations what do you have? – An 800#. In the long run which of these do you believe will do a better job of meeting your quality expectations?
Service is where local brands can also make a huge difference. Major brands can be difficult for warranty or repairs which typically require days of down time. Keep in mind it’s much harder to tarnish a major brand’s reputation. Local brands are very conscious of their reputation because of the lasting effect a single negative instance can have and can also offer a warranty or repair within the same day for more uptime and function. Sounds like money savings to me when you can keep using your technology to be productive and making money. Another service function that local brands can offer is a better fit and function of equipment for any technology environment you’re building or progressing to. An additional feature is having the person designing and building your computer standing right in front of you.
For many, going the local route can be nerve racking. The big names have built their brands well and although you know it’s an 800# at the end of that line there’s a security in knowing a company is so large – or is there? Wasn’t that long ago we all watched Gateway leave their customer’s in the lurch. Local companies will often provide warranties equal to or greater than those provided by the major brands. Service is just around the corner and should you feel you have a lemon you certainly know where to find the tech that build your computer. For those willing, taking the plunge into locally branded computers may be just solution you’re looking for.