CPE is Top of Mind

In a turbulent economy, do people give up having fun? No they do not. Instead, they get their “CPE” in check. CPE is cost-per-entertainment. Consumers across all demographics are participating in entertainment-based activities at home such as video games, surfing the internet, making user-generated content, keeping busy with Twitter®and Facebook®, and watching their new big TV’s. All of these hobbies and toys are considered as a good CPE investment.

Entertainment is both an emotional and rational investment. For example, a highly desirable Wii® once was a splurge but now may be a reasonable investment due to the hours of entertainment it provides(Nielsen 09).CPE does not always have to be achieved through products. Instead CPE is relevant in various products, services, and occasions from converging electronics (e.g. phones as music players, handhelds that display TV content, and cameras with GPS functionality), professional sporting events, at-home theme parties, and TV-viewing nights.

Entertainment-based purchase decisions also span all demographics and channels. The entertainment-focused shopper will vary from the key beer shopper to the female grocery shopper. For example, video gaming is believed to be dominated by young men, but people of a wider age range now make up the largest percentage of gamers and game shoppers. Gaming is an example of an industry dedicated to continuous updating of its product (technology) to attract a more diverse audience.

It is also an industry that understands the growing value in CPE-based purchase decisions across all demographics (Experience 09).

Additional evidence of entertainment-based thinking can be extracted from other stats and figures. In January 2009, the number of people going online worldwide passed the 1 billion saturation point; meanwhile,TV viewing also was up 30% at EOY 2008 (comScore 09). A downward trending economy doesn’t mean trading down on quality electronics.

Big TVs are still selling, but more CPE-based purchases taking place at supersaver channels like Walmart or Costco whose numbers are up while other electronic stores are down and out.

As marketers, what do we do with our CPE understanding? We remember that our brand shave an opportunity to play in the CPE arena.CPE decision-making often provides at-home and cost-effective fun for the shopper. Consider how we can partner or lead programming to enhance at-home entertainment, become a small luxury that will provide long-term value, or even drive a more impulse basket-ring for the CPE shopper. Pop up in unique, unexpected places and partner with new brands. Lastly, always be genuine. Shoppers know what is fun and what is not, so tap in to an occasion or partnership that makes sense for your brand behavior.

Contributed by Tracy Kollker