Introducing new tech devices is notoriously tricky, especially when they’re different enough to not fit neatly in an existing category, like a lock that needs no key or a video projector that sits right up against a wall. Now what?
Benjilock and Vava are two smaller electronics brands that have introduced exactly those products and found that in-store retail was essential, not anachronistic. Among the channels they use is B8ta, a small chain of boutique-like tech showcases. (Editors’ note: B8ta and CNET have partnered for in-person and online presentations.)
“Like the Apple stores, you feel it, you touch it and then you get the idea,” says Robbie Cabral, founder and CEO of Benjilock, which makes a. “Feeling a product and seeing that it actually unlocks with your fingerprint, you’re like ‘OK, now I get it.'”
And it’s not just the product that needs to be demonstrated, but also the brand, according to a maker of cutting-edge video projectors. “Our projector is close to $3,000. You’re not talking about buying a $10 gadget,” admits Jeh Lin, director of business development for Vava,. “Not a lot of people have heard of the Vava brand. People want to do their research, they want to see it in person.”
Lin says being in a store that emphasizes experience, like B8ta, can instill confidence that helps equalize his brand against tech giants like Samsung. “I love Best Buy, but within B8ta they provide an above-and-beyond experience,” says Lin, who also values the fact that B8ta’s technology and store layout allow it to capture a customer’s journey and time spent interacting with each product.
Robbie Cabral and Jeh Lin shared a number of other insights into launching new tech products with CNET’s Brian Cooley in the video above.
Now What is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the “new normal.” There will always be change in our world, and we’ll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.