Do Consumers See the “Smart Home” as Smart?
With the proliferation of mobile, internet, digital, smart technology and more in the daily lives of consumers, they have new ways of controlling a plethora of things, including their homes. Smart home technology promises benefits including comfort, convenience, economy, and safety across a multitude of ways, whether it’s water leaks, inside temperature, garage doors, front door access, and even heating oil monitoring. Companies in a variety of industries continue to experiment with connected home products and services.
With all of the latest marketing behind Nest, ecobee and Amazon Echo, it’s been hard for consumers to miss these trends in smart home technology, But do we, as marketers, really know what is motivating consumers to adopt this technology? A recent study by GutCheck may provide some insight into what products and services have the most promise not only for early adopters, but also the broader audience. Here’s the topline:
- Greatest Appeal: Convenience. Thinks like time saving, easy interaction, simple remote access are as important as saving money and energy efficiency. Heating/cooling, security, lighting, media and kitchen appliances are the key interests (Anyone other than me out there ever have the panic attack that you left the iron on? This goes well beyond that!)
- True utility is the top barrier to adoption. Consumers want to know where the REAL line is between real utility and gimmicks. Is it easy to integrate a range of appliances? Is the data that is collected secure? And right back to cost is where the mind goes.
- Most trusted brands? Google and Amazon. Followed by Nest. So what challenges does that present if you are an energy company trying to sell the smart home technology? How do you overcome?
- If consumers could have anything they wanted, it would be whole-home integration and the ability to control appliances throughout their own home. Not just lights, doors and garage doors. But laundry and dishwashers all the way to pet care, media systems and cooking. (Maybe the Jetsons were onto something??)
But at the end of the day, the biggest barrier is concerns around security. Not just from the perspective of hacking, but how any data that is collected is being used.
So smart homes make life easier, smoother, safer. But at what cost? What do you think? Let us know…