Big Idea: Colette LaForce, Advanced Micro Devices

Colette LaForce, SVP and CMO of Advanced Micro Devices, discusses how ingredient brands are a pivotal component of purchasing decisions.

Think about the last time you made a purchase. The trip to the vending machine for some Coke Zero, that North Face parka for the ski season, or the tablet you've had on your Amazon wish list for weeks.

What made you prefer one brand over another at the time of purchase? And did the ingredients nestled inside your beloved beverages, workout apparel, and PCs play a role in your decision?

Fueled by emotion
Before we jump to conclusions, let's explore why you made the purchase in the first place. Research shows it was fueled by emotion.

Sure, you unconsciously went through the three steps of any purchase - awareness, consideration, and preference.

But you likely bought based on a positive emotional experience you had with that brand, either in that moment, in the past, or through a trusted friend. Emotion sells, even for ingredients.

Advanced Micro Devices conducted its largest brand study in late 2012 and garnered deep insights into this phenomenon. We asked more than 10,000 consumer and commercial PC buyers in 15 countries what mattered most when considering which microprocessor ingredient brand to choose inside their machines.

Respondents told us that product features such as security, performance, and battery life were important. Yet they didn't drive purchase intent. In other words, the features generally considered differentiators in our industry are the simple cost of entry in the hearts and minds of buyers.

Meaningful experiences
Rather, the user experience and emotional relevance behind the brand are ultimately what drive purchase preference, even for ingredient brands that live and perform inside something else.

The ability of an ingredient to enable a meaningful experience or the promise of a desired outcome - helping a user feel more empowered or inspired - is of interest to buyers.

After all, what's more compelling? Hearing that you can save a few watts of power with Product Y or ensuring that you can Skype with your nephew seamlessly day or night?

So yes, the ingredient brand does still matter. All those ingredients are part of the supply chain that builds an experience. The next time your taste buds savor the calorie-free deliciousness of Coke Zero while staying toasty dry and cozy in your perfect parka with a sleek tablet in gloved hands navigating your course on the chairlift ride to the summit, you won't forget it.  

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