Knowledge is Power
Halfway between CEDIA and the upcoming CES, I suddenly remembered a conversation my father had with a sales representative shortly after I joined his business in the early 1970s. I’d come to the industry from the sporting goods business, which was rapidly changing, growing and morphing. I had told my dad about new technologies, like foam-injected ski boots and honeycomb-core skis.
My father told the rep about the changes I’d witnessed and began admonishing him for the complacency he saw in the TV business. Since the dawn of color TV more than a decade earlier, remote control was the only advance. He pointed to me and said, “How can we expect to recruit and keep young people like Elly in this industry when the most exciting thing we can talk about is a two-button click remote control?” It may seem strange from our current vantage point, but this was not an innovative industry.
Fast forward. The consumer electronics industry has become a Mecca for young digerati hungering for innovative technologies and anything with a high “cool” factor.
The appliance business has also moved ahead selling way more than white boxes. New IP-based appliances will warn consumers about the imminent failure of a belt in their washer or when something has caused the freezer to warm. The problem now is sorting through all of the products available to see what’s right for your company and for your customers.