As a European transplant to the U.S., I've found it interesting this year particularly how little attention the U.S. pays to IFA. Yes, the tech press cover it and often have people on the ground sharing photos and news, but if you're not a techie, then it won't even register. And that's not because tech isn't big news over here. It is. But, people only really care about it if it's happening here. The U.S. really is as insular as its reputation maintains. In fact, the rumor (and now confirmation) that Apple will hold an iPhone press conference has been the top story this week, not the brand new phones actually announced from Huawei, ZTE, HTC, Sony Xperia, LG, Honor, and even Blackberry.
But could that actually be a good thing for brands?
With Americans pretty much unaware of these launches, for the products that do come to the U.S., there's now the opportunity to get a second wave of coverage that won't be (as) tainted by the fact that everyone has already heard the news. So brands can get the one-two punch by launching at IFA, and then doing a second launch to celebrate their U.S. on-sale.
As well as doubling the coverage, this also gives brands the opportunity to revise messaging and even tech specs ahead of a U.S. launch based on the reaction from discerning media and consumers in Europe. Yes, there are big differences between consumer appetite in Europe and U.S. but it's fairly safe to say that if people hated certain features or laughed at your branding in Europe, they won't be loving it here in the States either.
So, if you did launch a product at IFA and are upset because of the lack of awareness in the U.S. don't be. Learn from the experience and bring it to the U.S. afresh. (Just don't launch on September 12...)