Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Latest Trends in the Consumer Electronics Market

As we kick off the new year with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it is a good time to recapitulate those hot market trends in CEs that have proliferated in the past months and are likely to cement themselves in 2012: 
  • Digital Convergence
  • Reduction in consumer product life cycle
  • The proliferation of software 
  • Increased distribution complexity 

Digital Convergence
If 2011 was the year when business newspapers` healines flashed with this intelligent phrase, I think 2012 will not only be the year of Digital Convergence but of Convergence in general: from content convergence to screen convergence to Internet/TV convergence and so on ... and it makes sense. We, the customers, want seamless, stress-free navigation through all those connected devices and screens that you,manufactures had convinced us to buy. Far from closing this loop, 2012 will be an interesting year in seeing what player will be able to curve an edge with this market opportunity: Apple? Google? Sony?

Reduction in consumer product life cycle
This year, more than 100 new products were announced at the CES show even before the opening. It goes to show that there is endless room for improvement and innovation but I would want to see what will 2012 bring in terms of smart disposal of those devices we keep replacing.

The proliferation of software
More and more of our time is taken by engaging with some sort of program: starting from that playful mobile app to sending an on-line card or placing a conference call on Skype.This trend is more than likely to continue in 2012. This year more orders will be placed on-line, more consumer will connect with brands via apps downloaded from some on-line store, look for stores on a map and so on but some questions still remain valid: how willing are we as customers to share our personal data with companies? 

Increased distribution complexity
The Internet has brought a diversification within the traditional distribution channel paradigm many years ago now. As of recently the crisis has had another disrupting impact on how products reach the market. If before, quality was the main factor driving the marketing message, today, consumers pay greater attention to the price. Re-adjusting the distribution and go-to-market paradigm according to the market dynamics and current trends will determine who finishes 2012 in force.  

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