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What Do End Users Look For Most in an RFID Vendor?

Of all the things RFID companies can do to influence prospects and build a positive reputation, nothing is more powerful than promoting successful implementations. New research found that RFID users are most influenced by a vendor's implementations at firms similar to their own.
Mar 02, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 2, 2009—When end users develop their opinion about a particular RFID company, what is the single most important thing they consider? Answer: The number of implementations the RFID company has performed at companies that are similar to their own.

This is one of many valuable findings in RFID Update's just-published 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report, which measured how much influence various factors have on perceptions of RFID vendors. The study is based on a survey of more than 500 end users and prospects, channel professionals and manufacturers around the world conducted by RFID Update and Burnell Reports. It is the companion to the 2009 RFID Brand Report, which measures the most recognized RFID brands.

The report finds that nothing about an RFID vendor has more of a positive influence to potential customers and partners than a track record of implementations at similar companies. Implementations at "companies like mine" are influential for 86.9 percent of all survey respondents, including 57.5 percent who say such implementations are a "strong influence." It is the most influential factor among all 18 that the survey measured. See below.

How Implementations at "Companies Like Mine"
Influence Positive Perceptions of RFID Vendors
Strong influence Some influence Very little influence No influence
Total respondents 57.5% 29.4% 10.2% 2.9%
End users 65.2% 24.7% 4.5% 5.6%
Channel professionals 56.9% 28.7% 12.0% 2.4%

What is the key takeaway here? When promoting their products or services to a prospective client, RFID companies should emphasize the successful deployments they have performed at companies that are similar to the prospective client.

Overall implementations (not just those at "companies like mine") are also highly influential, cited by 48.3 percent of respondents as being a strong influence:

How Total Number of Vendor Implementations
Influences Positive Perception
Strong influence Some influence Very little influence No influence
Total respondents 48.3% 44.0% 6.4% 1.3%
End users 47.7% 40.9% 8.0% 3.4%
Channel professionals 52.1% 39.6% 7.7% 0.6%

The 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report measured the direct influence of 18 specific RFID vendor attributes and activities. Overall implementations tied as the third-most influential factor, behind the vendor's technology and integration partners (second), and "like-mine" implementations (first). Other factors measured include experience in the RFID industry, intellectual property position, membership in industry associations like EPCglobal and AIM Global, eco-friendliness, press and analyst coverage, speaking engagements, and more.

The report provides results for all 18 influence factors, including breakdowns on how influence varies among end users with different experience levels, purchasing intentions and company sizes. It also presents detailed data on which marketing, advertising and public relations methods are most effective for reaching and influencing end user and channel audiences.

For more information about the 2009 RFID Marketing Strategies Report and 2009 RFID Brand Report see:
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