Manufacturers and brands gaining equal power with the consumer over the retailer!

Penny Heyes is the Director of The Digital Agenda on The Internet of Things, she will be speaking at the BIOS Conference and has shared some blog posts to get our delegates thinking about the Internet of things.

Who is getting the most data about the consumer and the product use?

Manufacturers are beginning to understand the power of the internet of things.  By using this technology, they are able to develop and maintain a relation shop directly with the product consumer. This is far more effective than spending thousands on generic marketing campaigns than can never be as tightly targeted (to the individual consumer).

Up until now the retailer has had the upper hand in the world of consumer loyalty and relationship often via loyalty programmes and reward points ….but this can and is changing.

Michael Porter of Harvard Business School predicts that the rise of wirelessly connected products, and the resulting entry of manufacturers into the battle for customer loyalty, will bring a “new era of competition”.  (source The Economist)

“Makers of products will gain an equal footing with retailers and the owners of technology “platforms in the battle for the consumer’s affection”.

After sales service will be revolutionalised through the use of the Internet of Things.  A great example of this: Babolat, the manufacturer and brand of tennis racquets has embedded sensors into its racquets that feed data to the player’s smartphone which can then monitor how they are playing and offer advice on how to improve.

Even such mundane things as fizzy drinks and washing powder are set to become “smart”, as their makers attach sensors to their packaging that can detect when the product is being used, and that can communicate with smartphones when scanned.

So the manufacturer and the brand no longer have to rely on the retailer for direct communication to the end user.