Four Top CES Takeaways From Consumer Insights Experts

Published Jan 16, 2019

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If you made it to CES this year—or even if you just followed the coverage—you probably felt drowned in the products and innovations that surrounded you. When confronted with everything from a meatless burger that actually tastes good, to the introduction of fast-as-a-speeding-bullet 5G wireless technology, to robots of every description, it seems impossible to sort out the winners from the losers. But if you’re part of a brand marketing or product development team, you need to translate the glitz and glitter into actionable data about what consumers really want.

At Toluna, we’re all about getting to the root of what consumers really need and want; it’s what we do all day, every day. So we’d like to share our translation of what this year’s show said about what consumers REALLY need and want in the vast electronics universe.

1.) My Home is Smarter Than Yours

Google was of course the biggest smart home presence at the show, with previews of a landslide of new Assistant-connected products set to hit the market later in the year. But, not to be outdone, Amazon was showing a number of Alexa-related partner home products, and even one that ventured out onto the highways, Echo Auto.

It seems that homes—and everything connected to them, including autos—now have to be smarter and more connected than the neighbors’. But they also have to be more entertaining, with TVs with 8K resolution showing up at the show, along with the products of new partnerships with Apple: Samsung, Sony, LG, for example, which can now be controlled through iPhones, iPads or Macs.

Takeaway: You may have thought millennials were all about being out and about. But they’re really immersed in—and willing to spend on—their homes, as long as the products REALLY keep the various threads of their lives connected and keep them entertained.

2.) A Healthy Obsession

Judging by the slew of health-and-fitness products at CES, consumers are obsessed with
health and willing to spend on products that make them feel they’re in better control of their bodies. We saw everything from watches to monitor blood pressure, to vision self-testing devices, to portable ultrasounds, to vests that detect signs of heart attacks. And there were plenty of fitness-related products, including a treadmill that turns a workout into electricity.

Takeaway: Willingness to spend on health-related products is nothing new. Consumers have always looked to trusted brands to help them stay in control of their health. Both fitness-obsessed millennials and health-conscious Baby Boomers will invest in health-related products—as long as they solve a real, common problem and are easy to use.

3.) The Beauty of Technology

It was only a matter of time before the world of beauty and technology became conjoined, and the magnitude of beauty-related products at CES is proof perfect that moment has arrived. There were hand-held devices of every kind to analyze skin, with one of the most interesting coming from Procter & Gamble. The brand’s start-up division, P&G Ventures, was showing off a new device that detects changes in tone and prints makeup on those spots. P&G also featured a retail-like experience that used facial recognition to determine the best products for a consumer’s skin. And there were a number of magic mirrors that analyzed everything from skin issues to weight.

Takeaway: Consumers all willing to open their pocketbooks for products that make them feel more beautiful, longer. And—just as in every other area of their lives—they want products that are designed to meet their individual needs.

4.) Final Takeaway: Again this year, CES was tangible proof that there is an ever-expanding universe of and products to make consumers’ lives smarter, easier, healthier and more beautiful. It’s literally impossible to determine where and how well your new product or innovation fits into the landscape—without the help of consumer insight products and expertise to keep you up-to-date on consumers’ needs and wants in real-time. It’s what today’s marketplace demands.

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