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CES to Focus on Product Branding

According to AdAge, at next week�s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, attendees will note a bold addition to the technology-packed slate of discussion topics: branding. While mild in comparison to the marketing shindigs held by the soft-drink or consumer-package-goods industries, any talk of branding borders on the cutting edge in an industry where engineering reigns and marketing exists to serve.

�There�s been a shifting of brands in the consumer-electronics space, along with a devaluation of traditional brands, and all of the sudden marketing is a hot topic again,� said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with Jupiter Research. New brands making strides through marketing, like Apple�s iPod, along with established brands looking to reassert themselves, like Sony, and a rash of technology innovations have pushed the importance of branding to the forefront of the industry again.

The 39-year-old CES has seen the introduction of electronic gadgets from the VCR in 1970 to the plasma TV in 2001, but that gee-whiz technology has almost always trumped marketing plans. The show is expected to draw a record-breaking crowd of more than 130,000 attendees from 110 countries January 5-8.

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