Launch it Or Leave It at CES 2018?

Call me what you will, but I love a good product launch.  There’s nothing more exciting then planning how, where, and when a great new product will be introduced to the world.   This is especially true in the world of IoT.  Getting a device into the hands of early-adopter customers and watching them come online, and analyzing usage data is one of the best parts of the IoT connected product development process.  Having customers respond and use the product validates the months (and maybe years?) of hard work you spent dreaming, fundraising and developing “the next big thing”.

As we embark on the holiday season – and Black Friday specifically, we’re about to find out quickly what “the next big thing” is for 2017.  Is it the iPhone X?  The latest Xbox?   There are lists a mile long of the must-have products for the holiday giving season and many of these debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

CES, which takes place every January, sets the tone of the entire electronics industry in the coming year.  In fact in 2017 VentureBeat estimated that as many as 20,000 consumer electronic products would be launched at the event.  That number can be scary for a lot of companies who may think it’s better to wait rather than battle the noise at this massive show.  However, the reason so many companies showcase there year after year is because of its impact on success.  Here are just a few reasons why CES is the go-to place to launch connected products:

1) CES is nexus of early adopters: At a most basic level, CES is a gathering of excited early tech adopters who are willing to try anything and give immediate, candid feedback.  It’s like commissioning a focus group of thousands of participants. And like a focus group, you can take that feedback and make immediate improvements that will have a lasting impact on your product. (NOTE: To gain this benefit, you must have a ready-to-use product at the show – one customers can get a hands-on experience with.)  In addition to having open minds, these early adopters also have open wallets for technology they really love.  They want to be the first people to own “the next big thing”.  If you’re not quite ready to ship, but close (1-3 months out), consider taking pre-orders to build excitement and get an early feeling of the success of the product.

2) Top media outlets from all over the world are at your fingertips:  Do you dream of having your product showcased in TechCrunch or Wired?  No matter what your publicity dreams are, nearly ever publication and TV station you’ve heard of will be covering CES.  While fame and fortune isn’t guaranteed, CES provides an unprecedented opportunity to make an impression on these influencers and get your product the visibility you believe it deserves.

3) Did you know that CES gives out awards too? Getting to say that your product is “award-winning” is great and getting to say that your product won a CES award can be transformative.  Remember that 20,000 number mentioned earlier?  If you are one of the few products that are honored by the Consumer Technology Association at CES it provides validation for future customers, partners, investors that your technology is truly a game-changer.  And we’ve seen this first hand.  Xively customer, Halo won a Best of CES Award and a CES Innovation Award, and soon after rolled out their products to be sold in Lowes stores across the country. And after a successful product showcase at CES in 2017, Xively customer Heatworks was selected as a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree in the Home Appliances product category for its MODEL 3 Water Heater.

While none of this is guaranteed, what is guaranteed is the opportunity for all of it.  If you are still thinking about how your product can make a splash at CES 2018, or unsure if it will be ready in time, let us help.  Request a consultation with a Xively IoT expert and let us help you maximize CES for your business.

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