I Can Take it Home With Me!
By Bill Johannesen
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is all about checking out the cool new products, capitalizing on the show's business frenzy and connecting with colleagues in sharing experiences from our dynamic, challenging business. Many of the stories exchanged in Las Vegas continue to support a developing trend, which many in the industry feel represents a clear opportunity for new growth in an overall sluggish business environment.
One industry veteran's story was typical. "The wife and I were visiting her 66-year-old mom over the holidays," he said, "and we walk in the kitchen, and there's this 15-inch flat-panel LCD TV on the counter. I asked her why she didn't call me and she said she saw it, had to have it, bought it and brought it home that day!" In a similar vein, the president and COO of a nationwide specialty retail chain talked about how his wife actually went to one of his own company's stores (something she hadn't done or wanted to do, in years) to find a flat-panel TV for the kitchen. She ended up bringing one home for the bedroom and one for the den as well.
Women want flat panel televisions! It's not only George and Elroy Jetson that think these products are cool; it's Jane and Judy, too. They're a "bug light" to all ages, appealing for their fashion, style and "I can take it with me" size. I've heard women refer to the carry-handle on some models as "empowering." Simply put, they want these TVs in their homes; they'd love to replace all the CRTs with flat panels and put these cool new sets in all the places a CRT could never fit.
An incredible amount of money is spent on kitchens, bathrooms and decor — anything to do with the home when the woman decides it's necessary. Research, not to mention everyday experience, shows that women influence a majority of consumer electronics buying decisions — some 75 percent of CE purchases, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Now we've got products that women feel are necessary, at least of higher priority than ever before. And now that more women are in the workforce, they also seek the luxury of small rewards, the same as men.