How to use market intelligence?

Almost all companies understand the importance of market research but in my experience I have found that they are also very reluctant to spend the money on quality research. It is sad because a company can spend millions of dollars on product development but if they don’t get the market information right (Related: How to interpret market research data?), they may be headed for a failure (Related: Business forecasting limitations). Here are a few good points made by Connie O’Hare of Beacon Advisor. I am a little disappointed that she uses a lot of jargon (so familiar to me as a management consultant) but if you take the time to digest the fundamental points, she has some good insights.

Is Acer the new Hyundai?

Recently my HP laptop died and I had to replace it without delay. The first thing I did was to get on the web and search for a replacement. To my shock and pleasant surprise, the notebook computer that was looking for was available for as little as $350. It was an Acer being sold at Wal-Mart.

Since computers are essentially boxes these days and need to be replaced fairly often, it took me no time to decide to go to Walmart and pick up what I now find to be a great machine. I have had bad experiences with Dell, HP, and Compaq (along with retailers like CompUsa and Best Buy) that this offer was too good to refuse.

Looks as if I am not the only happy customer of Acer. According to isuppli, “Acer delivered a stellar performance in the third-quarter notebook market, allowing it to displace Dell as the world’s No.-2 maker of such PCs. In fact, Acer achieved the strongest performance in the global PC market of all OEMs in the third quarter, with its shipments rising by an impressive 68.8 percent. Acer’s global PC market share rose to 7.9 percent, up from 5.4 percent during the same period in 2006.”

Acer’s ascension in market share is due to its strong performance in the notebook business, and its robust sales in the Asia/Pacific and European regions. Acer is almost certain to overtake Lenovo in the fourth quarter as a result of the Gateway acquisition and its continued momentum in the notebook PC market, Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli predicted.

I wouldn’t be surprised. Hyundai did the same and now rocks.