Are brands MIA in IOT?

Are brands MIA in IOT?

I was recently watching the news on my phone. Each news segment was preceded by an ad for a home appliance extolling the virtues of being connected. The ads hammered away at the convenience of using voice activation to control the appliances.

After viewing more than a few ads, I was struck by the realization that I could not recall any of the brands. The washers, dryers, refrigerators and TVs all looked perfectly well designed. I presume they would all do their respective jobs of washing, drying, cooling and entertaining. However, the only branding I could remember was the name “Alexa”.

This raises a question. As brands rush to be ‘connected’, are they losing the connection with their customers?

Heavily promoting the digital assistant technology may provide a short-term burst of energy for some products. Yet, brands may not reap long-term rewards if they so casually sacrifice the opportunity to communicate their core equities to their customers.

Every brand marketer who ventures into IOT must do so with a clear strategy. They would do well to remember what is at the core of their business and build from that position of strength. They should find a point of difference that doesn’t rely solely on borrowed equity.  Otherwise, some consumers may believe that Alexa is the one washing their laundry and drying their clothes.

There will be winners and losers in the war for IOT supremacy. At the moment, it appears the battles are being won not by the brands building the category but by concierges who are connecting with the customers.

Keith Higbee Keith Higbee