Build a better battery and the world will beat a path to your door. In today’s connected world, that could become the winning mantra for a host of product categories that rely on battery power. Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix research recently found that may well be the case for smart door locks currently owned by 11% of US adults.
In a category that has been dominated by a few big brands, such as Kwikset, Baldwin, Yale, and Schlage, brand by itself ranks far down the list of purchase considerations. Three-quarters of smart door lock owners or purchase intenders named battery life as their top consideration. How consumers would actually know the extent of battery life for a specific model is likely limited to the claims of the manufacturer, past experience, or product reviews. If a manufacturer could demonstrate significantly greater battery life, perhaps proven through third-party user experience testing, it could differentiate itself in a way that is critical to consumers.
The distance between battery life and brand is significant. Where battery life ranked no. 1, brand ranked no. 11. Those results can be read a couple of ways. On one hand, where consumers far out-value 10 other features over brand, there is room for new players to enter the marketplace when they can compete on features. This explains why newer players like SimpliSafe and Eufy have gotten significant traction in the smart door lock category. On the other hand, major brands are not successful just because of brand, but because they offer many of the most important features.
“In the quest for novel new features that might ‘wow’ consumers, sometimes manufacturers forget that doing the basics better than anyone else has great value,” said Interpret Vice President Brad Russell. “The functional aspects of user experience, even something so basic as the battery, or even ease of installation of the battery, may well be the feature that closes the sale.”