Concept testing at CES 2022: highlighting key motivational differences in how the UK, USA & Singapore evaluate new tech

Feb 14, 2022 |3 min read
CES concept testing

Recently we tested 20 different products that were featured at CES 2022. Using our Meaningful Disruptive Credible (MDC) concept testing framework to ask real consumers from across the US, UK & Singapore what they really thought about the exciting new technologies being announced throughout the convention’s four-day schedule. The data for this study was collected by our field partners, Cint. Our research highlighted how consumers differ throughout these 3 markets, with definable differences in not only the order the products ranked but also in consumer motivations regarding product evaluation and purchase intent.


The David Attenborough Effect

I’m well aware that his is not a name you often associate with technology, however it seems that not only has Sir David captured the nation’s heart but also our minds and wallets. One of the biggest shocks of the week was seeing how well the microplastic-removing Patagonia washing machine performed amongst our UK audience, coming second on almost all metrics in the UK, scoring particularly well on being both Meaningful and Disruptive. A bigger shock was seeing just how poorly it performed in our other two markets, where it came out pretty much bottom of the pack on all our measures.

So, what gives? Well, we get a clearer picture when we take a look at the performance of other concepts in our testing. There is a clear theme of sustainability and environmental awareness in how the UK evaluates any concept. It wasn’t just this washing machine. The UK loved the Samsung Eco remote (the number 1 product in the UK and the only one to beat the washing machine) for its ability to reduce battery waste in landfill. And we disliked the Coldsnap ice cream machine out of skepticism around the pod system in terms of sustainability and waste. Regardless of the category, our results suggest that Sir David has had a real impact in what the UK prioritises in its technology.


Ice cream: the way to America's heart

We’ve written before about how the Coldsnap ice cream machine performed in our testing. With this pod-based ice cream machine turning out to be a real surprise hit among our panelists, scoring incredibly well on both our Meaningful and Credible measures. However, it turns out that only the US audience scored it highly on being Disruptive; in fact they scored it so highly that they have masked the scores given by the UK and Singapore.

These two audiences were much less excited about the next big thing in home ice-cream technology (with Singapore even ranking it in the bottom half of our 20 concepts for being Disruptive). Perhaps our American panelists loved the idea of an easy to use, low mess home appliance; or perhaps it was simply the idea of having an ice cream machine at home on your countertop. Either way, Ben & Jerry’s might have some competition in the land of opportunity.


Health-conscious Singapore

One of the more interesting concepts of the week was the Sony Bravia Cam.  This is a camera that connects to your TV and allows you to control the TV with hand gestures, and even monitors where you are sat, so it can tell you if you’re too close to the TV or even adjust brightness and audio settings based on your location.

The US and UK had security concerns about being watched all the time in their own living rooms, leading to the Bravia Cam scoring low on being Meaningful in both countries. Singapore on the other hand loved the concept and were particularly drawn to the health benefits being offered, in fact the Bravia Cam’s ability to tell you when you’re sat too close was the most-loved feature in Singapore from all 20 concepts.

The Bravia Cam highlights how a product can succeed in a market with the right messaging despite high levels of skepticism elsewhere. It remains to be seen how this newest innovation from Sony will land but for now it certainly seems like targeting a more open, health-conscious Eastern audience is the way to go.