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Beyond dongles and dashboards

Gary Shapiro President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) | April 21, 2016
Gary Shapiro of CTA shares his thoughts on the latest IoT-related trends coming to Asia, and what brands looking to jump on the IoT bandwagon should consider.

In order to reap the benefits of IoT-driven revenue opportunities, brands needs to be able to understand and make sense of the large amounts of consumer data that is now available. Such opportunities would demand a different approach to marketing and product development, with big data capabilities being integral to making sense of this information. According to a 2015 study conducted by Gartner, 40 percent of businesses think IoT will have a significant impact in the next three years, however, those surveyed said that many of their organizations have not established clear business or technical leadership for their IoT efforts. 

James Brehm & Associates found that almost two-thirds (64 percent) of business executives worldwide said that security was a top barrier to IoT growth. In addition to intimately meeting the needs of the consumers, brands also need to ensure that measures are in place to prevent any security breaches, and to maintain the trust that customers have in the relationship.

The last thing that companies need to note in their brand building journey is that consumers want to move beyond dongles and dashboards. As the rise and fall of Google glasses has shown us, consumers resist technologies that make them look like cyborgs. Instead they want technologies that are small and, more importantly, fashionable. Visitors to CES Asia can expect to witness technology becoming nearly invisible.

Take Under Armour (UA) for example. Instead of slapping on a shiny metallic square with a fancy strap onto the arms of consumers looking for a fitness tracker, UA's Gemini 2 sneakers come with trackers embedded in the shoe to note distance as well as real-time pacing information. Runners don't have to carry their smartphones or separate fitness trackers with them on runs, as the shoe automatically syncs via Bluetooth technology upon their return.  

In the age of the informed consumer, it's more important than ever for brands to have a complete understanding of what makes consumers tick. Brands that would stand in the company of immortals are the ones that not only understand the consumer, but are also able to use the information that they have to predict what exactly the consumer wants, before they even have to ask.


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