“If you are coming to CES looking for new tech, you have not been doing your homework,” bold but very on point statement made by a very senior Dell executive when we were discussing what are some of the things large corporates are looking for when they invest a week on a platform such as the CES.
For all large businesses, in many ways, the statement rings true. A very large part of being a technology A-lister, is to know what competition and peer are doing, to know every new developments that can help in creating patents, products and even strategies. As daunting as that may sound, billions of dollars are invested in ensuring this happens. So, CES for the large players is not as much about geeking out as it is about meeting people – clients and media included – and looking for the conversations that are likely to set the trends for the year.
A very important question was raised by AOL’s Tim Armstrong at the forum on what brands and media companies are doing with the extra time that all the new tech in connected life including homes and cars will create in a new consumer’s life. As much a reality as self-driving cars seem to be, sooner than later drivers would be choosing auto drive modes and engaging in other activities. Can brands find a way to be part of this time?
Nissan’s Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said that once car manufacturers competed to create the best designed and sleekest looking cars. Today, while this competition continues, the more increased focus is on who has the best technologies. The same applies for consumer durables and other household brands.
The bigger picture really is about creating a better world – safer roads, safer homes and in all enhancing the way of living. The outcome is how all of this is changing consumer behaviour – not just the on-demand behavior but also the way consumers are interacting with each other and with brands.
The rest of the year will be about which brands take the first steps in evolving to be part of this changing behaviour and stay relevant to the consumer.