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NPD-Innovation Will Come From Consumers, Not New Products at CES

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PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6, 2013 – Consumers are content with the electronics devices they have on hand and most aren’t too concerned about getting more, according to global information company The NPD Group’s new Tech Innovation Study. Sixty-eight percent of consumers surveyed said they were good with the technology they had and only 11 percent said they couldn’t leave home without their devices, which are almost always connected. Most consumers, even younger ones, asserted that tech needed to fit their lifestyle and most also expressed no urgency to upgrade or invest in devices.   

“The number one priority of the tech industry, and the gaming, app, or entertainment companies that increasingly rely on technology, is to hasten adoption of both products and services,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president, industry analysis, at NPD. “There is a fundamental conflict between marketing to early adopters who are more profitable customers and evangelists, and the rest of us. The industry can’t rely on consumers to drive innovation; it needs to give consumers a reason to want to adopt the innovation.”

Price, brand, and software are some of the key reasons consumers tend to adopt new products. According to the survey, consumers who bought an iPhone, for example, said their main purchase motivator was brand, followed by software features. Consumers who bought a tablet said software features were the main motivator, followed by price. And once they have these devices, most consumers aren’t looking to do fancy things on them.

When asked what was most important or desirable to do on a tech device basic shopping price comparisons were much more important than exotic applications such as virtual dressing rooms or in-store product suggestions. Smart home capabilities and family scheduling trumped things like cashless mobile payment; vehicle safety technology was more important than mobile integration, and streaming movies topped using social media to reach celebrities.

Consumers want their technology devices to provide solutions to everyday problems, which often aren’t the most glamorous,” said Stephen Baker, vice president, industry analysis, at NPD. “They’d like help getting the best prices when they shop, being safe in their cars, managing their home and family and enjoying basic entertainment. The challenge isn’t just selling better features and specifications today, but also focusing on meaningful innovation that makes the next gadget purchased more valuable than the last.

To find out more about who is driving innovation in the technology industry, join The NPD Group at our reception and panel discussion at CES on January 8.

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