By Princewill Ekwujuru
New technology, design and availability have been identified as responsible for the intense competition for market share in the fan segment of the home appliances sector of the market.
This has led to deployment of various types of technological enhancements by fan manufacturers aimed at improving consumer experience with their product.
The enhancements include music playing capacity, Bluetooth capacity, liquid crystal display, LCD, cooling agent and rechargeable power source. The major contenders for the market are ORL, Binatone, OX, Sonic, QASA, Lontor, STC and Panasonic, all imported brands.
Others are include Linsan, Kestar, Deluxe, Sonik, Deco.
Vanguard Companies and Market, C&M, investigation revealed a growing demand for fans driven by hot weather, increased population, growing real estate development.
The need to satisfy the growing demand informed the production of fans of various sizes and capacities, colours and stylish designs that are consumer pocket friendly.
Hence the market is proliferated with different types of fans such as Wall and Window mounted, floor-standing, Ceiling mounted and others.
To maintain market share, the top contenders have developed and introduced power efficient fans that use battery, as well as fans with two blades that give a great cooling output.
Other innovations include remote control and programmable timer.
The competition is further heightened by increasing volume of imported second hand portable fans.
C&M findings showed that major marketers have not neglected the distribution concept of delivering the products directly to the wholesalers for sale to the retailers.
C&M findings also showed that most consumers’ patronage is influenced by brand names as well as durability, design, availability of the product as well as referral from other consumers.
Fans like other home appliances have their peculiar problems in spite of the technological innovations.
C&M findings revealed that fan engines made from aluminium are more problematic and less durable than fan engines made of copper coils.
Some of the consumers also claimed that second hand fans are more durable than the new ones, though some said they patronise them due to economic condition.
Speaking to C&M, consumers were divergent in their preference for the different brands. Though majority indicated preference for ORL, Binatone, OX, QASA, Lontor and STC; ORL, Binatone, OX, came topmost in consumers’ mind due to their durability and cool air output.
A consumer, James Jolomi, prefers OX because it is a brand that , that has been able to connect with consumers in terms of affordability and durability. “I love OX for its energy-efficiency. It is an alternative to air-conditioners.”
Another consumer, Matthew Olayemi said he prefers ORL for its low power consumption and silence. “But I am looking forward to trying QASA because of the commendations I had gotten from friends who use the brand”, he said.
Hassan Al-Hassan said he prefers imported second hand fans because they are cheap and serves his purpose.
Speaking to C&M, a fan technician, Muyiwa Adelotan, whose shop is located at Isasi, Lagos, confirmed that fans made of copper coils are more durable and suitable for the Nigerian environment, “most of the fans in the market are made from Aluminium. When choosing a fan you need the help of a technician.”
In addition, Ayo Onile, a specialist in repair of different types of fans, located at Alaba International market, Lagos stated, “not every service technician understands fans produced these days, so you need an expert to choose a good fan for you.”