Internet of Things
IT & Services

3 Companies Using IoT to Evolve Their Brands

Molly Gardner
January 22, 2019

Connectedness and smart applications are often discussed in the context of consumer delight: gadgetry, smart homes, smart appliances, etc. In terms of business results, the benefits of connected systems take the form of cost savings, efficiencies, and new revenue. Measurable proof of IoT transforming consumer spaces and impacting the bottom line not only exists–it’s stacking up and drawing eyeballs from a wider range of industries.

But in order to drive true order of magnitude results, businesses and customers alike must experience an essential shift in their perceptions and behaviors. A new solution/experience has to be something they’ve always been or are suddenly are desperate to have. Technology provides the vehicle, but brand is at the wheel.

How do brands deploy IoT solutions to change consumer perceptions, promote new behaviors, and establish preference? Among a growing list, these three companies serve as strong examples of brand evolution flowing alongside the IoT revolution:

ADT: Flipping a Household Name

For almost all of its 147-year history, ADT’s brand was home security. Now, as a major player in the connected home industry, ADT leverages IoT technology to build upon its core focus. Partnerships with companies like SAM, a cybersecurity platform, promise even further innovations. But the intent to increase customer touch points and engagements indicates a broadening brand position.

Confidence in Core Security Promises

Because ADT’s brand is centered on security, it has to instill confidence while introducing emerging technologies. For example, their new platform ensures battery backup for electrical failures, as well as LTE cellular backup for broadband wifi failures. Two-way encryption RF sensor technology protects customer information, as do unique user codes and permission settings that can be coordinated to certain times of day.

Voice Control, Video, and More

With voice control, via Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant, ADT puts stock in conversation design. Additionally, and to maintain pace with newcomers like and Nest Cam, ADT offers a camera integration that extends to a video doorbell application.

At CES 2019, ADT unveiled their “ADT Command Panel & Control Platform.” This platform allows users to communicate with and control over 250 home devices (carbon monoxide detectors, light bulbs, thermostats, etc). A new feature If the security system has been set, it snaps a photo of anyone who disarms it in order to enter the home.

Going Beyond Home and Office

As a perfect example of the way that IoT innovations redefine brands, ADT is once again expanding its horizons: launching a new untethered security-related service. ADT, as a brand, wants its definition to go beyond the home or the office.

The new “ADT Go” service is an all-in-one mobile safety app that provides:

  • roadside assistance
  • live emergency response teams
  • family check-ins and location monitoring
  • alerts about driving behavior
  • collision detection.
  • interactive crime map for potential home buyers

Why the Brand Wins

As a long-time, literally household, name, ADT recognized their brand had a lot to lose and took action to combat new, nimble, tech-forward brands. In using IoT implementations ADT reinforces their core competencies, applies new emerging technologies, and expands their reach into even more everyday life situations to more deeply reflect and meet their customers’ needs.

Virgin Atlantic: Sexy & Smart

Having styled itself from the beginning as a hot company centered on innovation, Virgin Atlantic steps forward to identify its airline brand with IoT enhancements.

“The airline’s CIO, David Bulman, comments that their new aircraft is a “true Internet of Things object, with every single component supplying data to the network.”

Good-Looking Data

In addition to generating 1/3 terabyte of information from a single flight, Virgin also collects data from maintenance crews and fuel suppliers. As this information flows between traditional silos, the sharing enables significant cost savings. Information is transmitted in real time about engine function, landing gear status, and so on. If a potential problem is detected during flight, the airline has mechanics waiting with the right tools and parts at the arriving airport.

Boeing has a video that discusses Virgin Atlantic’s IoT movement. Their “Connected Engineer” project has brought about a drastic change in operations and workflow. Delays are reduced by 20%, with turn-around times improving by 20 to 30 minutes. As a result, 24% fewer worker hours are needed.

Energy is Less of an Enemy

As the energy consumption rates of airlines become the elephants in the sky, spokespeople and executives struggle to position their brands as part of the solution. Virgin Atlantic just spent $1.4 billion on new, efficient jet engines, and can show marked efficiency in their connected aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic’s Development and Innovation Manager Tim Graham offers to other companies looking to build their IOT digital strategy:

“Target the areas where you can demonstrate improvements in customer experience or employee productivity…It’s all about showing the business what is possible and what the technology could do for them and their customers.”

Why the Brand Wins

Virgin Atlantic already boasted a strong brand–but recognized an opportunity to offer more than a main cabin that looks and sounds like a bar on the upper east side. Through bigger (and better) data and energy consciousness via IoT, they demonstrate how important it is to do more than groove and show a pretty face. Representing something larger drives a change in perception–often a favorable one.

Carnival Corporation: Luxury Looks Different

Winner of 2019’s IOT Breakthrough Award for Wearables Innovation of the Year, Carnival Corporation revamped the luxurious brand reputation of its Princess Cruises through the use of a new wearable device.

Making Waves with Wearables

Princess Cruise Line occupies the premium tier among Carnival’s nine cruise brands. And new connectivity capabilities allow this brand to “next-level” its passenger experience. On three Princess ships, each passenger receives a personal Ocean Medallion wearable device upon boarding. This gives each guest a unique identity, allowing them to receive personalized service (on a cruise ship carrying 3500 passengers).

The medallion interacts with a shipboard “experience IoT,” which includes sensors, kiosks, interactive surfaces and smart devices throughout the ship. It also pairs up with passengers’ personal devices. The entire platform focuses on “elevating service levels.”

Seamless Service

The device not only adds an incredible layer of personalization, it also enables a wide array of premium services, including:

  • keyless room entry
  • shipboard payments
  • access to a personal itinerary
  • live ship navigation assistance
  • remote ordering of food and drink
  • effortless checking in and out at destinations
  • access to special entertainment options like streaming video and on-board gaming

Carnival is a major force in the travel industry, owning 105 ships, with 20 new ones on order — including two more “next generation” vessels slated for the Princess line. The awards that Carnival is winning for its Ocean Medallion platform has garnered it priceless publicity, including this article in The New York Times.

Why the Brand Wins

For some, cruise lines will always be the lesser means to a vacation. But for liner loyals, it’s not just a floating hotel. It’s a preferred method of travel. And, for these customers, user experience on-board builds the brand. The more Carnival invests in reflecting and presenting an essential experience through connectivity, the more referral traffic and audience expansion will flourish as a direct result of the brand.

Tech and Brand Together

IoT solutions allow businesses to optimize production, reduce operating costs, streamline supply chain, track and manage assets. But these KPIs don’t translate to the end user–other than stock values responding to buzz around innovation investment.

When human nature and digital progress join forces–a larger shift occurs. The market changes permanently. Whether enhancing/expanding existing equity or driving an all-out revolution, a well-executed IoT implementation provides a confident, intelligent, and experiential vehicle for brand.