AMD is determined to make buying computers easier for people, especially in a retail, ‘big box store’ setting. Most computers these days come with any number of stickers, either on the tower for desktops or on the palmrest for notebooks. There’s a sticker for the brand name, a sticker for the processor, a sticker for the graphics hardware and any other number of items. The ‘Vision’ retail strategy replaces a number of those little stickers with just one: Vision.
Composed of four different levels, AMD’s new Vision strategy is meant to help salespeople make the whole buying experience less confusing. Computers now fall under one of the following categories: Vision, Vision Premium, Vision Ultimate and Vision Black. If you need a computer to do basic tasks, like word processing, browsing the internet, sending out emails, then you all need is to pick out a machine from the basic Vision category and you’re set. Maybe you do a little more, though, like watch HD content, use the computer as more of an entertainment solution, rather than just browse the internet? Then you can have your needs met with something from the Vision Premium category.
Still, that might not be enough. If you like to edit HD content, run ten windows with forty tabs open all at once, use Photoshop while watching Blu-ray movies and play new games, then you’re probably better off with something from the Vision Ultimate category. If nothing but the absolute best processor paired with the best graphics card will do, then you can choose from the high-end Vision Black series of computers Soon more than twenty different notebooks alone will be launching under the Vision branding, from OEMs like Acer, ASUS, MSI, HP and Toshiba.
It all feels pretty similar to Intel’s “Genius” branding that you can find on recent Intel-powered computers (and one AMD employee confided in me that they like the Intel strategy better). In either case, customers don’t really need to know the specs of the machine — they don’t need to tell a dual-core from a quad-core, or worry about mixing up gigahertz with gigabytes. All they need to know is what they want to do, and a retail associate can tell them which category they need. Then any computer in that category will work for what they need. It sounds a little complicated, but actually feels very simple once you see how it works in person.
The question is, will it be successful? Clearly, AMD is the underdog in the computer world, taking only a fourth of the market share controlled by larger rival Intel. While who has the “better” processors is always a subject for debate, it’s hard to argue that for at least the last few years, Intel has been sitting on top. One of the reasons they’re so popular, though, is because they have such a strong advertising presence — when was the last time you saw an AMD commercial? Yeah, I thought so.
The concept is intriguing, though; picking the right amount of computer power is easy, and all you have to do is find one that looks good at your price. Would it help you in buying a new computer? And before you answer that derisively, think about your mother or grandma. They may not understand Vision, but they can understand a Best Buy employee saying, “Any computer sitting on this table will work for what you need. Pick the one you want.” Ring in with your thoughts in the comments.