Monday 06 June 2016

Connected objects:
What strategy should brands have?

Connected objects are the current commercial and marketing trend, and this trend involves a quantum shift in the product development strategy of brands.

This is a historic moment because it shows that there is a divide; there will now be connected products and products which are not connected. Every day now we can see that the products sold on the market are constantly evolving, but it is rare to see this kind of division in the evolution of a product concept. Connected objects are not ‘just’ new packaging or a new recipe, but a new fully-fledged concept which requires investment, technological research, repositioning of the brand and considerable risk-taking in terms of marketing. A connected object requires rethinking the entire strategy of how products are adopted by consumers and reviewing the development cycles. In short, we wish product managers the best of luck.

Indeed, the first connected objects will be used as crash tests by brands. At the moment it is too early to study the results of these experiments, but it is clear that this might provide lessons on the technological shift by brands in terms of whether it was a success, a failure, enriching (or will it close down the business?), best practices, and whether it was a misguided idea or not. We are waiting to see how these products evolve, get testimonials from brands that want to ride the wave, and soon we hope to be able to write the follow-up to this article to give a report on these technological beginnings for brands.

Right now, let’s return to the present and get a quick status update on the whys of connected objects for brands.

At the moment all brands are seeking to find their place in the sun in terms of the Internet Of Things market. They are snapping up the latest innovative concepts or creating their strategic divisions dedicated to IoT themselves (e.g. Bouygues Telecom).

There is a risk factor – and sometimes a success factor – but we have seen companies which are more cautious in terms of their expenditure on R&D and innovation… So the question is: Is the business geek the new chic? Why are brands now starting to get into developing connected objects?

Here is the answer broken down into a few observations.

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