domingo, 3 de abril de 2016

A Branding Lesson from Connected Lighting Company TCP


As marketing conditions change, it has become more obvious that some of our most sacred marketing concepts simply don’t fit today’s marketplace, and their continued use can be more of a hazard to managers than a benefit.    
Lightbulbs have largely been the bellwether of technological development—from filaments to LEDs and to smart, WiFi-connected lightbulbs that can be turned on and off at the push of a smartphone app. TCP has been in the connected lighting space since 2013, when it released its first smart lightbulb to consumers at Home Depot’s Black Friday sale. The product is relatively simple: It’s a traditional or LED bulb that connects to a software hub, or “gateway,” that controls light dimmers and switches through users’ mobile phones. The company sells a range of products, from individual bulbs that are controlled through a smartphone app to full commercial lighting suites that include complex timing and output programs. 
Lesley Matt, director of marketing at TCP, says that the challenge in marketing IoT-connected devices to the consumer market is twofold:
1) Customers must be knowledgeable enough about the benefits of IoT to invest extra money in those products.
2. They must know how to choose the right software program that will connect those devices to their smartphone, tablet and computer. 

“The biggest challenge that we see is how we communicate the benefit of spending that additional amount of money to purchase a premium product. It’s very difficult,” Matt says. “Everybody’s interested, everybody wants to see it and play with it, but they’re not quite ready to purchase it just yet. It’s very challenging to get the consumer to understand us saying, ‘Here’s my piece of the technology, here’s how it could work in your home and here are the other alliances that we have that you can connect together.’ It’s incredibly difficult.” 
In-store displays go a long way, Matt says, to show consumers how the products work and how they’ll be worth the investment when used in homes, especially those that already have a foot in the door in terms of installing connected devices like appliances and heating systems. Matt’s team also uses social media to boost interest within that target connected-consumer market. 
TCP also does commercial applications in hotels, restaurants and retail spaces. According to Matt, the scale of the infrastructure needed to install connected lighting systems for their much larger commercial clients, like hotels and retail stores, leads to a different set of sales and marketing challenges. “That side of the fence is starting to look more at smart technology as its total energy management solution,” Matt says. “In hotels, for example, they want to be able to allow the guests to go through and control not only their light levels but also their television and their blinds and thermostat all through one device.” 
Educating potential customers on how the technology works, and how it will save them money, is even more pronounced in the commercial space, Matt says. That’s where Matt’s sales team comes in. TCP’s sales team educates both their commercial clients and their retail buyers on the basics of the IoT: how connected devices save money by learning people’s habits and turning off electronics when not in use, and how property managers and regular consumers can choose and connect their connected products to a central control hub on their mobile devices.
Fonte: https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/bright-lights-smart-city.aspx

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