News and Insights

Finn Listens and Learns at SXSW and CES

April 11, 2019

What do a folding TV and a blood drive have in common? Finn. We sent our team to CES in Las Vegas and SXSW in Austin to attend the shows, find out what was generating conversational buzz, and discuss the implications of these events for marketers. From CES, we found that the technology media still dominates the digital conversation, whereas at SXSW it is the lifestyle brand activations that have people talking.

From our analysis, several things stood out to us:

  • No matter how cool the tech, brands need to stand for something. Whether it was the impact of technology gadgets on health at CES, or the Game of Thrones activation at SXSW, building something meaningful separated brands from the pack.
  • Brands that think beyond design thinking into edge thinking do well. Whether it’s making the product more accessible to more people, or touching all aspects of people’s lives, the companies that thought of a clear whitespace and dove in headfirst stood out in a crowded setting.
  • Diversity has a LONG way to go in technology. Whether it was our survey at CES that shows there has been no improvement in the perception of women in tech, or the diversity discussions at SXSW, it was clear that we haven’t reached anywhere near the playing field that modern brands need to succeed. We think there is going to be a significant opportunity for the brands that move quickly (see point #1) as they’ll have better access to talent and broader markets to serve.

To dig deeper into our team’s findings from CES and SXSW, you can check out our videos and blogs from each event:

POSTED BY: Matt Bostrom

Matt Bostrom