The Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. This year there were 4,500 Exhibiting Companies, over 180,000 attendees, 155+ countries represented, and around 6,500 members of the media. The sprawling venue spanned 3 separate locations across the Vegas Strip (Pro Tip: Wear comfortable shoes if you will be walking the floor. I opted for vanity over comfort and my feet paid the price).
As I walked the floor, meeting with clients, taking in the new innovations and looking for opportunities to partner I noticed several brands. Some very well done, others that will face some issues. I’d like recap of my thoughts on some of the highs and lows of brands at CES.
Cleer – If you are not familiar with Cleer Audio, my guess is you will be soon. Many headphone manufacturers advertise noise canceling technology; Cleer delivers. When I put these headphones on, I could hear the outside world disappear to the point where I could not even hear myself speak. As for the Brand, Cleer conveys a (pardon the pun) “clear message,” better sound with no background noise to distract. A promise the product delivers on.
Dreem – The team at Dreem consider themselves Sleep Pioneers with a single mission, helping people be better at sleep. They achieve this by using technology to train us to be better sleepers. The Brand, Dreem, promises a better night’s sleep. It conveys a promise and creates an image for the consumer that aligns with the aim of the product.
Brands with Issues to Overcome
Solo – This is a very cool headphone that also acts as a mixer; really a quality product that offers something different. Can you guys spot the problem? Beats by Dre, a Brand you may have heard of, has a Brand called, you guessed it, Solo. Trademarking this Brand in the US will be a challenge, if not outright impossible.
Hobot – If you like your Roomba, you will love the Hobot. In addition to vacuuming, this product also mops and buffs your floor with a changing of the pad on the underside of the machine. The issue here is much clearer. Be honest, did you picture a vacuuming robot when you heard the Brand Hobot? Odds are you did not. Without a name change, this Brand risks not only being far from clear and promotional for the product, but most likely ending up the butt of a plethora of jokes.
From a branding perspective my biggest takeaway was that no matter how innovative or revolutionary your technology is, a misstep on the Brand naming can keep your product from reaching the audience it deserves. A world-class product deserves a world-class Brand that will propel it towards success.