DIY+: The Value of Installers with DIY Products

A recent article I read by Ron Miller on TechCrunch.com (click here to read) reinforced our recent strategy focus at DOW. In February we unveiled our DIY+ strategy at an open house at our Tampa showroom. DIY+, as you can deduce, refers to do-it-yourself products. The + is the most important part, it represents all that a professional installer brings to the product.  In the connected home, consumers still need, and prefer, professionals to get the most out of every product.

The article recaps an interview of Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman by Andreessen Horowitz partner Scott Weiss at South by Southwest. Kaufman notes that the first issue of connected home products is installation. Many consumers are not comfortable handling the installation of items such as the Nest Learning Thermostat or Lutron lighting control products. There is an opportunity for installers to be profitable selling and installing these products. Professionals have a knowledge and experience advantage over the big box stores whose employees are not likely to be familiar with the installation or operation of these products.

Once these products are installed, the next problem is connecting them to the internet. In the consumer electronics industry we may take it for granted connecting a new product to our home Wi-Fi, but the average consumer is not as adept at navigating these connections. If these products aren’t connected to the internet, they don’t provide the benefits that made the consumer purchase them in the first place. Connecting smart home products is time that adds revenue to your installation.

Connecting the consumer’s new smart home product is just the beginning though. Programming the smart products to work together is another value a professional offers to consumers that want the most from their products. Consumers may have installed a Nest, Lutron Caséta dimmers, and have a universal remote, but that doesn’t make it a smart home. If these products aren’t talking and controlled by a single source, the true benefit is being missed. Owning a universal remote like a Logitech Harmony to only change the channels on a TV is equivalent to using an iPhone to only make and receive calls. For a professional that is familiar with these products the programming is relatively easy and quick. That makes it a very profitable opportunity.

At DOW, we see a lot of potential for our retailers in selling and installing smart home products. Our DIY+ focus is bringing the right products to independent retailers at a time that they can get into the market as it is on the rise. Smart home product adoption is continuing to rise and we intend to help our retailers capture a part of the growth.