• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Who needs a 3D television?

In most cases I laude new technology. For instance, when TVs first implemented 120hz and 240hz refresh rates, my eyes were not quite sure what to think. But they soon adjusted and now the feature is one I would miss if I had to go without. This is my typical progression of all things technology related. If I am not immediately sold, I soon warm to the idea.

In spite of that, there is one feature I have a personal resistance – 3D. Whether it is the fact that I am forced to wear special glasses, the price of the glasses, that the glasses bothers my eyes, or 3D sacrifices the otherwise crisp picture quality, there are too many cons overshadowing the pros. The greatest downside, which trumps all others, is that all of the 3D TV manufactures have done very little to create meaningful brand messaging that reinforces why as consumers we should care. They just market the technology and its specifications.

At Stealing Share, our brand work begins by uncovering the highest emotional intensity that exists in a market place. We believe that, at their core, consumer purchase decisions are not simply based on “needs and wants” but on deeper “belief systems.”

Most often, consumer messaging stops at the “need and want” level and never looks deeper at those consumer beliefs. What has always caused the greatest disconnect regarding the implementation of 3D in Television is I have never understood even the base level connection to the “need or want”. Clearer imaging, better sound, or larger screen – I get those. I simply don’t get the rational reasons for having a 3D television.

This problem is further escalated because, without manufacturers clearly establishing a connection to at the very least a “need/want”, the ability to build preference through the deeper level of consumer beliefs is not possible. Who is the user of a 3D TV? What does using 3D say about its user? What do 3D users believe about themselves when they use the technology? These are all questions that are left unanswered for a consumer. For the television market, it is in leaving these questions unanswered that resulted in 2010 sales of 3D TVs at a low of about 2% of overall TV sales.

As consumers, we make purchases emotionally and then backfill our decision with the rational. 3D television manufacturers need to tap into some of those emotional triggers quickly to make this technology a game changer or risk continued poor sales promoting a product to an unsustainable market.