CES, as most of you already know, is one of the major platforms that OEMs use to showcase their new products to the world. This years event, which is currently ongoing at Las Vegas has seen some exciting new announcements already, like next-gen SoCs from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Samsung, new smartphones with FullHD displays from ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and Sony, and a multitude of other stuff that is lined up for 2013 from various other manufacturers and developers.
Besides revealing official product details and plans, most hardware manufacturers also have test units available on site for visitors to check out and get a hands-on feel of. And more often than not, there is also someone hired to explain the key features and notable points of the product to booth visitors.
As a company, the last thing you’d want while showcasing your flagship device for the first time ever to people who understand technology, is a sloppy demo or explanation of the features. There’s a lot of work and research that goes into making a high-end smartphone, and an unprepared or ill-informed or indifferent person manning the booth could undo all that hard work in a few minutes and create a less than desirable impression about your brand. Which seems to be exactly what happened when a Mobile Syrup representative visited the ZTE booth at CES to check out the new 5″ 1080p flagship, the Grand S. Check out this video below for a crash course on how not to do a product demo.
As you can see from the video clip, the person demoing the product was not well prepared, and certainly didn’t have the aptitude for a role which requires passion for technology. Nor did there seem to be any attempt or effort made to get up to speed with that one product she is responsible for. It’s not like the visitor was asking arcane stuff such as whether the chip used in the phone uses a 28nm manufacturing process or whether there is native mkv or flac file support, is it?
On the other hand, why blame the rep at all. After all, she is just hired help. Sure the person hired is expected to be responsible enough to get updated on the product, but isn’t it also ZTE’s onus to ensure that they either have people with the right aptitude for this sort of thing, and if not (considering people will the right aptitude would be in short supply for a huge event like CES) at least take the time out to prepare the demoers thoroughly so that they are able to make a good impression of the product and your brand.
No wonder then that the visitor in the video says I guess I’ll find out the specs myself. On another note, this got me thinking, that if this is how ZTE allows product demos for their flagship device to be done, what kind of after sales support should we be expecting from them.
Don’t get me wrong, the ZTE Grand S, does indeed look like a very well put together phone with impressive specs to boot. Hardware or software wise, it can stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the other 5″ FHD phones out there, and ZTE has gone to a lot of lengths to keep it so slim while still packing all that muscle inside. All I’m saying is that bloopers like these, that too right at the announcement stage of a product critical to your business plan, can undo a lot of years of planning and hard work in those few seconds that it takes to happen. I’m hoping this was just that odd one off case that occurred due to the regular demoer having taken a coffee break, and that ZTE has taken appropriate measures to ensure that anyone demoing the Grand S is equipped with all the information that is required to put forth a confident demo worthy of this device. After all, no point in shooting the messenger, right?