The Best Buy Experience

I actually went to Best Buy today with my wife to pick up a couple of DVDs. I immediately noted how I felt like I was being sized up as I strolled into the store. In no certain order, in a span of 5 minutes we were asked 6 times if we needed “help”. Apparently, I must be seen as part of the “Buzz” demographic. Yes, this is the real deal – Best Buy again, caught “qualifying” their customers like mindless sheep. Well that and I look younger than I actually am, which has cost other companies sales in the past. In short, I am older than the “Buzz” label by a few years… At least they NAILED the following point in labeling me.

Buzz profile quote: ” … is not loyal to us.” – Boy, you got that right!

Should we be outraged? Perhaps. The descriptions look fairly harmless, be it a bit naive in my opinion to believe that people really want to be harassed at the level seen with this particular company. Simply put, I choose to shop in their store, I choose undergo their insane process of profiling. So long as race is not played into it, I really do not care at first. But then we have the gender card – here it comes…

In the retail giant’s eyes, gender is a factor. Read the female descriptions closely. Apparently Best Buy clearly believes that women are not able to make electronic selections without some fairly hefty help from their “amazingly trained” employees – are they serious? Judge for yourself.

Quote: The Jill Profile.

“She is more comfortable with technology than most other women, but relies on her kids and husband for help.”

As an ex-PC repair tech, I would say that most of the time the women in this same class and age group, far out shined the men in the “how to use the PC” dept. This is not to say that there are not women that fall into this realm, but to approach people in this fashion is frankly, a serious marketing mistake and morally questionable at best. If my wife enters a camera store followed by me, figuring that I am the one to talk to would cost them big – she is the professional photographer, not I. And as you might expect, this has happened and you better believe they were told immediately that they just lost a sale.

Yes, different demographics enjoy different things. But there is a fine line between profiling and targeted marketing. Which do you think this is? I have my mind made up, perhaps you see this differently?

True enough, I suppose it is generally men that opt to go into debt with their Best Buy credit cards as they decide purchase some insane big screen TV, home theater system and so on. But assuming things based on these foolish profiles is going to cost Best Buy, millions and frankly, my business altogether.

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  • Tom Hepner

    This is so true. My wife has been doing a lot of car shoppin lately for a replacement car. She is going to the local dealers to test drive the cars and figure out what she really wants before she gets me into the dealership to sign papers with her. She actually had one salesman tell her that when she was serious about buying a car to bring her husband along! Guess what, that dealer did not get our recent purchase. In fact, we bought from a dealer that treated her as the prime customer, which she was.

    Its pretty silly that in this day and age, the sex card is still played like that.

    Tom

  • Dan Staehr

    I occasionally HAVE to go in Best Buy to find something I can’t find other places. As an independent PC repair tech, I hate talking with many of the sales people, as they are very uninformed and annoying. I have cleaned up after the Geek Squad and seen instances of uninitiated users being sold way more than they need or can handle. I equate shopping at BB with shopping for a new vehicle, a real pain.