Hi again and Happy 2019!

As an innovation story initially launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), our homing instincts return us to the show every January to meet with brands and innovators from around the world. It’s truly amazing to connect with so many leaders from around the globe with such a wide variety of products and services, and discover compelling common threads across all of them that will continue to inform our strategy and the products we build for our many brand partners.

The common thread at CES 2019 – the Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT). From connected kitchens to personalized health care to self-driving cars, brands delivered no shortage of “smart” products with lots of embedded services for their owners.

The CIoT market is expected to more than double in the next five years to more than $100 billion. Consumer adoption of IoT continues to grow, although most categories haven’t surpassed 25 percent adoption. So we’ve still got quite a way to go before we reach a $100 billion market.

For these products and services to be fully adopted, brands need to address a fundamental issue— building trust with their owners.

The promise of every device embedded with smart services is that it will make the consumer’s life easier (safer, healthier, more fulfilling, etc.). But in order to fulfill this promise, consumers must be willing to welcome a brand into their home and share their personal data—a decision being made with increasing scrutiny.

During their Consumer Trends presentation, GFK shared recent research that indicates consumer trust is declining while the percent of consumers professing to only buy from brands they trust is increasing from 28% to nearly half of respondents. Additionally, there is growing consumer distrust of digital assistants and social media, as well as an increased awareness of social footprint and data risks.

Thus, at a time when brand trust is more important than ever, it’s becoming less likely to be found.

Brands that have set their sights on products leveraging IoT have set a high bar for how well they manage the relationships with their product owners. There is a very low margin for error—they must get the onboarding experience right from the very first moment.

The first interaction—when customers become owners as they begin to engage with the product—is the time to start building trust. This “moment of truth,” the onboarding event, offers a unique opportunity to engage owners and add value to their experience, and sets the stage for an ongoing relationship with the brand.

Registria’s research has shown that consumers who buy from a brand will buy from the same brand again and again, as long as that trust is not breeched. Now we’re on the cusp of trust becoming an important factor for the initial sale, as well. If customers don’t trust a brand to be “smart” with their data, they won’t buy their smart products. 

A “smart” data strategy not only takes data security into account, but also how the data is used to improve the ownership experience. This includes relevant and easily accessible information and offers from the brand, as well as streamlined support services, proactive service plan renewals, and painless product registration.

We were thrilled to see so many of our client partners leading the way at CES in the CIoT arena.  These brands already understand that technology in and of itself does not improve the “OX,” or ownership experience. But technology paired with a smart OX strategy does.

Consumer IoT Highlights: CES 2019

On the smart home front, CES showcased the race for control with leading brands jockeying for pole position. Of course, appliance brands see the kitchen as the logical “hub” of the connected home, while entertainment hubs and climate control/security centers are still very much in the game.

Standalone smart products were also prevalent at CES as product brands look to extend the physical user experience into the digital realm. From watches to mirrors, toothbrushes to toilets, many of these connected technology devices hold the potential to not only enhance the product owner experience, but also to improve the lives of owners through real-time notifications and preventative screening.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home are duking it out, with practically every device featuring integration with one of these industry leaders. Insurance companies are also very much looking at the risks inherent in smart technology. It’s safe to say that the IoT revolution will touch brands across the spectrum of consumer goods and services.

CES is always exhilarating and a tremendous learning opportunity. We are excited to be a part of both consumer technology innovation and the continued evolution of the customer experience. In fact, we agree that CES could be rebranded as the Consumer Experience Show. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

 

Thanks and have a great year!

Chris

 

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