The improvement of electronics and computer technology has produced many innovative products in markets. In terms of computer technology, for example, the trends are about the miniaturization of product with faster CPU speed, higher capacity of disk drive, and improved capability to display high resolution application/images.
In consumer electronics industry, the situation is somewhat similar in which the miniaturization or simplification of model becomes key trends in the coming year together with other features like lifetime and after sales services. Interestingly, the price of high technology gadgets/equipments shows declining stages as manufacturers approach economies of scale due to raising demands for particular products.
The situation suggests that in consumer electronics industry, the use of recent technology still becomes attractive tool to persuade customers to buy a product since technical jargon often anesthetizes consumers. For example, in air conditioning market, the Sharp‘s innovative AC products that equipped with Plasmacluster technology become the selling point in the market.
Meanwhile, in television market, one product that continues gaining popularity is flat-panel monitor such as LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and Plasma-type monitors, which slowly replaces the old television model that utilizes CRT (Cathode Ray Tube). In particular, the LCD-type television shows raising demands since their prices stand between traditional CRT-based television and far below Plasma TV. Moreover, the use of LCD is not a brand new technology since laptop computers has utilized it since the first development of the computer.
Concerning the LCD television industry, this paper discusses technical and marketing-related issues of flat-panel monitor. To be precise, this paper designs and develops a double sided A4 leaflet for a major retail client. The purpose of leaflet design is to guide customers through the decision making of LCD TV purchasing by enabling customers’ needs with the most suitable products without intention to promoting a particular product/service or brand.
Prior to the design of Flat TV leaflets, we will discuss the underlying considerations behind the design and the sources used in gathering the content. In addition, we will also explain about the concept of buyers` behavior that details the nature of the factors influencing the decision and provide evidence of their importance to the buyer.
2. Consumer Decision Making
By meaning, consumers’ decision-making refers to a process that customers perform prior to deciding which kind of products they are going to buy (Center of Life and Food Science, 2006).
In general, customers’ decision making composes of three five steps; they are identification of customers needs, information gathering/exploration, evaluation of choices, buying decision, and buying evaluation.
Since consumers are diverse, therefore, information processing in decision making deals with several factors such as individuals’ characteristics and demographic factors, to name a few. These factors have great influence during the decision making process and therefore, communication tools like leaflet should touch the personal characteristics level in order to sell effectively.
For example, the most important thing prior to buying particular LCD TV is to gather information about lifetime of LCD. This consideration is important factor especially for middle-class customers that upgrade from previously using CRT-base television. Meanwhile, for high-class customers, the most important factors could be about quality as depicted by brightness, the number of color supported, and aspect ratio. In much detail, each of the factors will be described in following section.
The condition suggests that the design of leaflet may not appear to be single information like price or brands only but may come in several categories in order to address the diversity of customers’ characteristics.
3. Market of LCD TV
The superior brightness, faster response time, greater color spectrum, and wider size of color plasma television, when compared with LCD televisions, made them one of the most popular forms of display for HDTV Flat panel displays. Unfortunately, plasma TV has no small size below 32” of diagonal length due to the incapability to decrease the size of plasma pixels to below 0.5 or 0.6 mm.
This opportunity creates opportunity to enrich product lines. For example, Japanese Matsushita provides two product lines in their flat-panel market. Television that has size above 40” is served by its plasma-based products while television that has screen below 32” is served by LCDs.
Figure 1 Top 10 of Plasma and LCD TV
4. Secondary Data
The declining use of CRT television and computer monitor has increased the demands for flat-panel monitor due to the attractiveness and high technology that flat panel monitors posses (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Samsung SyncMaster 403 T
Technically, a thin and flat liquid crystal display (LCD) is a product that resulted from several processes that happened at color or monochrome pixels. Those pixels are located in the front of a light source or reflector (Figure 3).
The increasing use of LCD is not only supported by consumers but also by engineers who design it since LCD is particularly suitable for equipments that has very small amounts of electric power or those using battery-powered equipments like PDA (personal digital assistant) or laptop computers.
(a) Principles of LCD
(b) A sub pixel of a color LCD
Figure 3 Principle of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
Principally, the process of generating images at a liquid crystal display (LCD) undergoes six processes as following (Figure 3):
(1) The first layer is a vertical filter film that polarizes any light entering the film
(2) Afterwards, a glass substrate with ITO electrodes. The objective of the electrodes is to generate the dark shapes that appear in a screen when the LCD is turned on or off.
(3) In the third process, there is a twisted nematic liquid crystals
(4) In the fourth layer, the glass substrate that contains common electrode film (ITO) and horizontal ridges aim at lining up with the horizontal filter
(5) Then, the horizontal filter film will block or allow light according to the displayed images
(6) In the last process, the reflective surface is the layer that viewers watch the images
5. Consideration of Making LCD TV Leaflets
In order to influence customers, the leaflet should answer the possible questions that customers may have. The situation answers the trends in the success of selling consumers goods and home electronics where marketing campaign has great influence towards customers’ decision making.
5.1. Harmony with Space
Emotionally, customers, specially the Have, are likely to buy expensive products to represent their social status. However, as a good marketer, I must give wise advice so the customers do not sacrifice comfort when choosing LCD TV products. The comfort issue in choosing LCD TV is about the appropriate distance for viewers depending on the size of television.
Table 1 Screen Size and Appropriate View Distance
LCD TV Screen Size
The Right View Distance (from LCD TV)
20 to 27-inch displays
2.5 to 5 feet
32 to 37-inch TVs,
6 to 8 feet
42 to 46-inch TVs,
10 to 14
More than 50-inch displays
12 to 16 feet
Source: Burden, 2007
5.2. Technical Considerations
Figure 1 Panasonic TX32LXD500
Unlike CRT technology in traditional television, LCD TV has special feature to provide the best display effect. The feature is resolution. To decide the best resolution is not merely the highest number but to assess the picture quality. For example, we can assess the color contrast when viewing dark scenes or we can examine whether during fast motion action the scenes are corrupted (Kelkoo Electronics, 2007).
5.2.2. Viewable Size
Like CRT technology, LCD TV also appears in several sizes, called viewable size that represents the diagonal lengths of LCD screen. The different is KCD TV is likely to have wider size like 26” and 27” while CRT TV usually appear in exact format like 14”, 21”, 25”, 29”, and 33” (Kelkoo Electronics, 2007). For example, Figure 1 has screen size 32”.
5.2.3. Type of Matrix.
In general, there are two type of matrix that LCD panel has; they are passive and active matrix. Passive matrix like CSTN and DSTN common used in 1980s for laptop monitor panel. Meanwhile, LCD TV uses advanced technology, active matrix that also called TFT (Thin Film Transistor). The benefits of using TFT technology is the screen can present clearer picture compared to passive-matrix models (Kelkoo Electronics, 2007).
5.2.4. Color supports
Color supports determine the number of color that LCD TV supports. For PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) purposes, TFT-based LCD panel usually support 256K (256,000) color). Meanwhile, the latest LCD TV support multi millions colors tat make the picture resemble the reality.
5.2.5. Aspect Ratio
In LCD TV industry, Aspect ratio plays important role for customers when deciding an LCD TV. The ratio describes the capability to stretch and to enlarge image. The notion underlies the need to obtain real picture although sometimes it may appear distorted. Most LCD TV usually has 16:9 although there is still LCD TV that uses 4:3 ratios (Kelkoo Electronics, 2007).
6. Designing Leaflets
By definition, leaflets are open letters like postcards that deliver information regarding an events, offering, promotion, and handed out to targeted audience by mail, left in particular places/venues, and distributed directly in street.
Since leaflets has restricted space and the need to attract target audience effectively, when designing a leaflet, there should be some picture and graphs so that audience will comprehend the information quickly. In particular, there are four considerations when designing leaflets as following:
Decide what information to say. Since leaflets have limited space, therefore, the key information should be determined, persuasive, and convincing audiences.
Text Editing. Text selection is important since it describe what picture describes, conveys, and inform readers. Text writing in leaflets should be persuasive/convincing, nice and easy to read, and catchy and memorable. To be in line with the three criteria, leaflets usually employs short paragraphs with some headings for reading easiness, use bullets points, and use suitable color and fonts.
Picture Design. Picture place in leaflets should be describing the text. When using copyrighted pictures, make sure that we have permission to use it.
Layout design. Awry design will lead readers nowhere so we must carefully select the layout, place text and picture suitably, and use mixture of text color and background for attractiveness.
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