MODULE 3: THE GEEK SQUAD
The Geek Squad was created in 1994 as a small business that assisted consumers with their computer equipment. Regardless of the make and model of computer, or where It was purchased, the Geek Squad would come to your house to sort our your computer problems. Geek Squad employees, “agents,” wore simple black and white uniforms with a Geek Squad logo and drove black-and-white Volkswagen Beetles, or Geekmobiles. They charged fixed prices, regardless of how much time was spent fixing the problem. The prices ranged from $100-$300 and were for services such as installing networks, debugging computers, or setting up entertainment systems.
In 2002, the Geek Squad was purchased by electronics retailer Best Buy for approximately $3 million. Best Buy saw this as an opportunity to help its frustrated customers install and use electronic devices purchased from Best Buy. Best Buy's research indicated consumers saw this service as critical and started to place Geek Squad areas in their stores. They even created some stand-alone Geek Squad Stores and provided 24-hour telephone support. There are now more than 24,000 Geek Squad employees in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada, which has helped reduce product returns of electronic devices at Best Buy by over 25 percent.
Many changes in the marketing environment created the need for Geek Squad services. The most obvious relates to technology. Wireless high-speed Internet technology, laptop computers, high-definition televisions, MP3 players, tablet computers, and the connectedness between electronic devices such as computers, cellphones, and entertainment systems are just a few examples of complex products that now require installation assistance or maintenance.
Other marketing environmental factors that are addressed by the Geek Squad relate to socio-cultural factors and demographic changes. Women now play an increased role in purchase decisions for personal computers and home entertainment...
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