Datamonitor Comment

What's the next step in 'smart & connected' product development?

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

What's the next step in 'smart & connected' product development?

Related tags: Consumer packaged goods, Brand, Target market

Contemporary consumers expect technology to make their lives easier and more comfortable and the cosmetics sector is taking inspiration from the internet and cashless vending machines to drive more sophisticated and advanced innovations.

Smart and connected consumers are rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach to consumption and have come to expect personalized products.

Going “smart” is a process we have been witnessing for some time now, and connecting the physical and digital worlds allow consumer packaged goods products to offer value-added benefits.

The recent launch of a Bluetoothbrush by Braun brought this trend into personal care.

The toothbrush, sold under the Oral-B brand and expected to cost around $300 in the US, has a Bluetooth 4.0 link to a smartphone app and can be programmed, with the help of a dentist, to pay more attention to any areas of the mouth that are being neglected.

As described by the brand owner P&G, the app displays brushing progress in real time, telling the user when to move to a different part of the mouth and warning if they are brushing too hard.

So which trends does this product tap into and what is its target group of consumers?

According to Datamonitor Consumer​ researcher Aleksandrina Yotova, the increasing smartphone ownership, and the ubiquity of mobile broadband has helped in the adoption of digital devices that are driving real time connections and changing the way that consumers and brands interact and communicate.

Alexandrina-Yotova-126x126

However, Yotova says a clear value proposition can be seen in products that use technology for a purpose, rather than being complementary, because consumers will not pay the higher price if they do not see the personal advantage, and will reject them in favor of the less advanced and more affordable alternatives.

Thus, tapping into the personalization trend will mean consumer packaged goods brands will be able to anticipate consumers’ changing needs.

“Smart and connected”

Due to the price premiums typically associated with smart and intelligent design, such futuristic products will mostly entice wealthier consumers.

However, their market will not limit to developed countries as shoppers in emerging markets are becoming wealthier and more sophisticated.

With today’s younger consumers being most technologically minded, 25-34 year olds are the key target market for smart product manufacturers.

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