Getting carried away with new portables

Companies are always trying to find new categories in which to lump consumers, so that they can get a sense of who they’re targeting when developing and selling new products.
The National Statistical Office released a survey last week describing six groups that companies need to keep their eyes on. They said that these “blusumers,” a mix of the words “blue ocean” and “consumer,” were new consumers in a market that had few competitors.

What with so many people using small digital products, it wasn’t surprising that among the newer types of Korean consumers, those “on the move” were one of the six groups. The statistical agency said that “moving” blusumers usually owned at least two or three small digital products.

Statistics showed that Koreans above the age of 10 are spending more time on the move every day. Marketers think that they will need more entertainment as they commute or travel.

Most adults, many youths and the elderly already own cell phones.
In addition, other small gadgets such as MP3 players, portable media players and portable game players such as Sony’s Play Station Portable (PSP) or Nintendo’s DS Lite have become part of the everyday baggage of modern Koreans and many of the brand-names are at the high end of the market, suggesting this is an area where fortunes can be made.

Electronics products are not the only hot items that are being customized for busy people. Companies have begun to design unique products that merge multimedia functions with fashion, such as T-shirts with pockets that are a perfect fit for an iShuffle MP3 music player or strapping speakers to suspenders when doing exercise, like hiking or jogging.

On Auction, a Korean Web-trading site, sales of these items have gone up. You can see MP3 sunglasses (sunglasses that have earphones attached and will play MP3 music files), MP3 wristwatches, and speaker pouches on sale here.
The market for these mobile consumers does not end at giving them a good or unusual way to carry their devices.

Smaller units, such as one sticker company that makes very feminine “stickers” for Motorola Razr phones and other accessory makers also have a chance to grabbing a share of the market.
“The whole ‘digital wear’ thing used to be just for nerds or people into sports, but now that digital products are very commonly carried around, they are becoming more popular,” said Jeon Hang-il, Auction’s fashion manager.

By Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily


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