CES Is A Great Opportunity To Gain Retail Leverage

By Ben Smith

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – CES.  Before I get to the point and offer our invitation, I thought I’d share my non Powerpoint based preparations for CES.

Here is my CES Checklist:

  • Chapstick?  check (I recommend Burt’s Bee’s)
  • Gel insoles?  check (yes, I’m gellin with Dr. Scholls)
  • Hand sanitizer?  check (the mini bottles of Purell are TSA approved)
  • Elixirs / medicines?  check (Airborne does the trick)
  • Week’s supply of gum?  check (Orbit Mint Berry)
  • Coke Zero?  NO (Darn you Osama Bin Ladin) … but the cab driver will be happy to keep the meter running while you run into the Walgreens between the airport and hotel!
  • Why CES Is Important To Me:

    This is my 9th CES, with a one year hiatus during my brief foray into the Clean Tech industry with Gridpoint.  Let’s just say the consumer energy saving products I was working on while there were, and still probably are, about 5 years too early. We killed them before they even got a chance to launch at a venue like CES.  So I missed the show in 2007.

    Fast forward to this year – after moving from Biz Dev to Trade Marketing / Marcom, I almost missed CES 2010 due to budget issues.  Thankfully things worked out – a good thing since the day jobs for the braintrust here at Retail Leverage includes minor details like writing the CES presentations!  However let’s just say that I care enough about the total experience of CES that I had made plans to pay to go on my own.

    For better or worse, going to CES is akin to the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano.  It serves as a virtual reset for myself and many other CE marketers and merchants.  Sure we just met with you a couple of weeks ago, and yes, we’ll be scheduling follow-up meetings for mid to late January, but it serves a purpose.

    Why Is CES Important For Retail Leverage?

    Those CES meetings with your retail customers are important – one of the few (if you are lucky) opportunities during the year to look at the bigger picture, vs short-term listing / margins / execution issues.  If you’ve been with us for a while, you know we advocate 5 ways to gain Retail Leverage.  CES is a great time to present those kind of strategies to your customers.  If your CES meetings don’t set the tone for where you are going in the next year, and how you are going to advantage your customer, I don’t see much of a purpose for meeting.  I also believe picking up the general vibe on the show floor is important, as it provides a window to the same trends the retailers are already on, or will be soon.

    The Point Is – You Are Invited To Gain Retail Leverage At CES

    I also believe CES provides a one of a kind opportunity to maintain industry connections, and more importantly, forge new ones.

    So this is our invitation if you want to connect with us, talk shop, and discuss Retail Leverage strategies (or play craps – or both at the same time).  When we have some downtime at the show, or after hours, the door is open. This invitation is to marketing and sales pros from CE brands, their agencies (PR, marketing, advertising, etc), and pretty much anybody looking to gain Retail Leverage.

    The best way to contact us is via our twitter account (@retailleverage) or retailleverage@gmail.com .  We hope to see you there!

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