By Wares July 10, 2018 Industry news

In the news: Canon gets experiential, Spark gets charged, Sonos goes IPO and smart speakers just continue growing.

Canon resists the hard tell - Canon has opened its first Experience Store in South Melbourne. As you can see from the photo above, the 320m2 space adopts a minimal, neutral space approach, all the better to show off images, products and offer hands-on support. The store, says Canon: "offers an experience personalised to the visitor using their own images. This includes tailored demonstrations, consultations, lessons, safaris and guides to help people take their next step with confidence. Regularly refreshed, the Store will have image features that inspire and offer accessibility regardless of skill level." The Store has full-time Ambassadors, the overall aim being "showing not telling, and inspiring before selling".


ComCom charges Spark - Spark is the latest company to be charged over its treatment of consumers. Yesterday the Commerce Commission has laid 11 charges under the Fair Trading Act against Spark New Zealand, alleging it made false or misleading representations relating to its billing and a $100 offer for new customers. See the details here.


The ecosystems have it - Canalys expects the global smart speaker installed base will approach the 100 million unit barrier by the end of 2018, almost 2.5 times bigger than at the end of 2017 and more than doubling to 225 million units by 2020. Amazon Echo devices will account for over 50% of the installed base this year, while Google’s Home series will account for 30%. Apple’s HomePod will be the tail end Charlie, with just 4% in 2018. Amazon and Google's "locked-in ecosystems" and especially Amazon's drive to look for growth outside of the domestic environment are the key differences here.


What about Sonos' IPO? - Talking of smart speakers, Sonos filed for its US IPO last week and the pundits have been offering mixed views. Sonos' reliance on other brands (Spotify etc) for content and connections may be seen as a weakness. It's a strength, say others. Several have called for Sonos to get its sums right... Read more about what Wired thinks here.


Aussie FMCG has issues of trust - The indigenous Aussie FMCG operators will be slightly concerned that supermarket brand ALDI has just been named the most trusted brand in Australia with improvements in its Net Trust Score (NTS) lifting ALDI from third to first in the latest Roy Morgan Net Trust Score surveyRivals Woolworths and Coles were rated highly when considering trust but fell behind ALDI on Net Trust Score due to their "much higher levels of distrust". NRMA, Bendigo Bank, Qantas and Bunnings complete the NTS top five.

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