A Lesson in Why Brand Name Matters
Smart deadbolt manufacturer Kwikset’s 60% marketshare among homebuilders sets it up to help feed business to integrators.
But the Kwikset story is another quick (pun intended) lesson for integrators in the value of carrying certain brands that aren’t just for consumers, but perhaps even more importantly for homebuilders.
Kwikset, which touts its Z-Wave-based SmartCode line of motorized deadbolt locks to integrators through distributors like ADI, has huge brand awareness among builders. The company has the No. 1 position in U.S. residential hardware, with an incredible 60 percent marketshare among builders, according to Keith Brandon, director, sales and marketing, Kwikset.
“With our top position among builders, it’s much easier for builders to make a connection with dealers that are carrying and installing our locks. Kwikset does not sell directly to builders, they have to go to a local lock distribution outlet or through low-voltage distribution.”
That additional level of the sales channel could also be a boon for Kwikset integrators.
There is also some plain math in the situation that helps integrators. According to Brandon, the average home today has three to four doors with deadbolt locks - the front door, the back door, the door from the home to the attached garage, and sometimes an additional exterior side door to enter/exit the garage. With Kwikset’s high marketshare, the odds are that builders will purchase mechanical deadbolt locks from the company for the three “non-smart” doors and logically seek out a Kwikset lock for the “smart” front door.
Consumer Awareness Too
Besides the builder awareness, Kwikset aims to parlay its consumer awareness to benefit dealers. It’s consumer-facing website actually creates leads, and Kwikset is in the process of creating a system that converts those leads over to its dealers. As a caveat, Kwikset has lots of partners and “can’t show favorites” when those leads are passed on, according to Brandon.
“We have the advantage that consumers come to us,” notes Brandon.
For integrators who fear that getting involved with a top brand will eventually lead to the dealer channel being bypassed, fear not, at least as far as Kwikset is concerned.
“We question whether the market for smart locks is at a DIY state yet,” says Brandon. “The lock business continues to be a crowded space, so we need to keep adding value to our product line with new innovations, like our Bluetooth connectivity.”
Kwikset’s SmartCode locks are controllable by systems from Leviton, Elk Products, URC, and MiCasa Verde. The system is also integrated into the ADT Pulse system and with alarm panels from 2Gig Technologies, DMP, DSC, Honeywell, Interlogix and Napco Security. Using low-energy Bluetooth, the deadbolt can be locked or unlocked with an electronic signal from an iPhone (4S) or later using its Kevo (key evolve) technology. Android compatibility is coming.
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Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org
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