"Sears sells appliances - why are you here?" That's the question I got, more often than not, here at CES.
Electronics? Sears? Yes and yes.
As a member of Sears Blue Blogger Crew, convened by Sears Electronics, my assignment covered technology and social media for marketing and PR practitioners, families with multi-offices and small business. Appliances? While most every one of my readers have them, this isn't the place you come to for advice. Yet, what you may not know is I've been covering and writing about appliances in kitchen design for years. When Larry Costello, director of public relations for Sears Holdings Corp., invited crew members to tour the Kenmore booth, I tagged along.
Read on to find out what I learned about the latest in appliances and technology. You'll also encounter questions designed to advance your marketing in 2011.
In the booth, Larry introduced me to Phiip K. Philip, director of brand management for Kenmore. That's Philip in the image above.
Ovens that Text
If your family is like mine, you have multiple cooks in the kitchen. My teen boys seem to survive on frozen pizza. If the crust is burnt, they won't eat it. A text that tells them when to take it out would save time and frustration.
When I told my 16 year old son he could program an oven to text him when it was preheated, he wanted to know when we could get one.
Marketing question: At what point in your sales system do you need to alert prospects or customers to take action?
Heating Up and Cooling Down Fast
Are you familiar with induction cooking? Foods cook fast on a flame-free, smooth surface that heats and cools quickly. I love my Dacor cooktop, but cleaning it is a pain. Because it's black, every spot shows up. My kitchen isn't clean until the cooktop is spotless. Kenmore Elite's cooktops clean up with a swipe.
Marketing question: When do you feel your system is spotless? Is there one checkpoint you have to clear before you go on?
Kenmore Elite's double wall oven with convection comes with two interior fans in each oven. There's also an internal system that clears odors you'd rather not smell.
With three men in the house, we go through pounds of bacon every month. Bacon is so greasy, isn't it? That's why I layer the bacon over a grid on top of a baking sheet.
Broiling it for the last minute or two gives the strips a crunchy edge. Even store brand bacon comes out crispier and less fatty. But, the scent of bacon lingers in the house for hours.
If I had a Kenmore Elite, no one would know what we had for breakfast.
Marketing question: How can you adapt your process to present the most finished and desirable product - and clear the air around it?
Let Your Washer Make The Call
Need repair services? Instead of calling an 800 number, a mobile phone connects directly with Kenmore's repair center. You don’t need to answer the door to get a repair diagnosis. Just watch the appliance’s screen for the answer.
Marketing questions: Who can you delegate tasks to?
Kenmore Elite's dishwasher is the first ever to integrate touch screen controls. I liked the simplicity of the interior. I had to ask Philip twice if he was saying the system uses laser beams to monitor performance. Power sprays reach every surface while conserving water and energy.
Marketing question: How effective are you at reaching your customers?
Everyone's in the Kitchen
Kenmore invites everyone to gather in their kitchen. Located in Chicago in real life and at Kenmore Live Studio on Facebook, you can interact and watch live shows. Check out these images of a mom blogger versus food blogger cook off.
Marketing question: Where can you invite people over to interact and maybe even be entertained? Hint: Social media sites work as well as in real life events/locations.
Want to find out more? Check out the Kenmore CES 2011 press kit
How does your business or service connect to everyday life?
Wired PR Works CES 2011 coverage is brought to you by Sears Electronics. As a member of Sears Blue Blogger Crew, Sears Electronics covered my flight, hotel and incidental expenses. Each crew member also received a Sony Bloggie video camera. As an internal communications contracted associate for Sears, I managed a Kenmore Elite associate launch project.