Smart Lighting and Smart Homes - Competitive Landscape

Part
01
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Part
01

Smart Home Leaders Competitive Landscape - Google, Amazon, and Philips

Google (Nest), Amazon (Alexa/Echo), and Philips all have very different strategies when it comes to competing in the smart home category. Google (Nest) focuses on creating a holistic ecosystem of their devices that intuitively work together, and is tied together by Google Assistant. Amazon (Alexa/Echo) creates devices but is primarily focused on getting consumers into the Amazon ecosystem, whether that's from their own devices or via "Alexa Inside" collaborations with other brands. Philips is exclusively focused on their hardware, with only Hue being a truly smart (vs. just a digital) home device, and they work with third party providers like Apple to ensure their devices can become part of others' ecosystems.

Google (Nest)

  • Google's Nest products are aimed at creating a holistic ecosystem at home, where a consumer interacts only with Google and their products. Their products span the gamut from home assistance (via voice assistants), streaming devices, connectivity (WiFi devices), safety and security (like smoke alarms, doorbells, and locks), cameras, thermostats, and accessories.
  • Google has a competitive advantage when it comes to answering questions, given Google's origins as a search engine. It also has a leg-up for Android mobile phone users, who are already familiar with Google Assistant, and will find the transition to the smart home device use more intuitive. While it's possible to make Alexa work with Android devices, it requires additional setup and will not be as intuitive for many users.
  • Nest also has a perceived advantage in creating visual smart speakers, as they have helpful options like Chromecast and YouTube built-in while Echo does not.
  • Google's marketing strategy is to consciously build a "walled garden" ecosystem, where each piece (from Google Mail to their search engine to their home devices) build on one another. Their goal is for seamless and holistic integration.
  • Google Nest controls an estimated 24% of the US smart home market, and made an estimated $7.5B globally in 2019.

Amazon (Alexa/Echo)

  • Amazon offers a range of proprietary products from smart speakers and smart displays, to audio companions, to streaming devices. However, they have a much wider range of product partnerships that come with "Alexa built in."
  • Alexa's competitive advantage is the sheer breadth and scale of its partnerships. They have the most choice for smart integration, the smartest routines and third-party skills, and the biggest hardware assortment. They also have Alexa Guard, which is free and can notify contacts of suspicious activity (like the sound of breaking glass, an alarm, or alerts from a Ring doorbell).
  • Amazon's marketing strategy is to make their device (or Alexa, via third-party devices) ubiquitous. They can then make revenue from having customers lured into the Amazon universe and spending in other ways.
  • Amazon currently controls 70% of the US smart speaker market and made an estimated revenue of $21.91B globally in 2019.

Philips

  • Philips is best known for its Hue bulbs, which can be controlled remotely to change brightness, color, or be set on a timer. These lights can be connected to the separate Philips Hue Bridge, which allows users further customization and Siri controls using Apple's Homebridge technology.
  • Philips' competitive advantage is its established history as first movers on smart bulbs. These bulbs are also easily installed and work with most third-party software like IFTTT. Its marketing strategy is to focus on discrete hardware devices that play well with third-party suppliers, like Apple. As of yet they have not launched any smart home assistants.

Research Strategy

We computed Amazon's smart home device revenue for 2019 by analyzing global revenue vs. Amazon's market share. Specifically, we found out that the US is 30.4% of the global home market. Since Amazon makes up 70% of the US market, we can derive its total revenue globally given the global revenue for smart home devices in 2019- which was $103B. We first get the total percentage that Amazon Echo owns vs. the global total by figuring out what 70% (Amazon's US share) is of 30.4% (the US share of global sales.) This is 21.28%, meaning Amazon makes up 21.28% of all revenue globally. Then we simply find 21.28% of $103B, which is $21.91B.

We can do the same thing for Google Home, which makes up 24% of the US base. We can use the same calculation as we did with Amazon, multiplying Google Home's 24% share by the US share of global sales (30.4%). This is 7.3%. We find 7.3% of $103B which is $7.5B.

Unfortunately, we cannot find similar data for Philips. The team checked its earnings report, reviewed industry websites such as Owler and Crunchbase, and reviewed news and industry publications, but there was insufficient information to estimate its revenue. This is because Philips folds Hue revenue into their LED lighting category. However, we found that Philips Lighting (now Signify) made 1,812 million euros in 2018 for total LED products.

Part
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Part
02

Smart Home Leaders Competitive Landscape - Belkin and Samsung

Belkin has successfully built a reputation as an innovative brand that focuses on the needs of its clients and has been able to grow. Samsung has one of the largest collections of smart home solutions, and it leverages its extensive distribution and marketing channels to push its smart home offerings.

Belkin

Product

  • Belkin's smart home products include its smart light switch (allows users to control the switch with an app), smart light plug, smart dimmer (allows users to dim home lights from anywhere in the world), smart water assistant (detects leak anywhere at home and data on water usage), smart bridge (allows smart home device to be connected to Apple Homekit), and smart Wifi-camera (allows users to monitor their home from anywhere with a smartphone).

Revenue From Smart Home Product

  • Data specifically for Belkin's smart home product segment is unavailable but Belkin's annual revenue is estimated at $1 billion.

Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategy

  • A key competitive advantage Belkin has is the design of its products which has garnered praise from industry analysts. The product design is not just attractive, but the company has also designed products that are easy to set up and use.
  • The company also has a big drive to innovate and its success in innovating has kept them in the news and allowed them to win several awards.
  • Belkin's marketing strategy is to market its products as a people-inspired product. They market their product as a business that understands the life and needs of their customer and have successfully built a reputation as a transparent company.
  • Belkin was acquired by FIT Hon Teng in 2018 and Belkin's CEO said that the acquisition will enable Belkins to be able to produce hardware at an even bigger scale, enabling them to compete and take advantage of the coming IoT wave.

Samsung

Product

  • Samsung's smart home products include smart bulbs, smart sensors, smart WiFi plug, smart Cams, smart motion sensors, smart water leak sensors, smart tracker (allows users to keep track of what is important such as keys, pets, and even kids), smart arrival sensors, smart WiFi, among others.
  • In general, these smart products are products that are designed to be operated remotely from anywhere.

Revenue

  • Samsung's smart home products are categorized under SmartThings. Although the company doesn't reveal its revenue from SmartThings, they announced that they have over 45 million active users of their SmartThings and 10 million smart homes.
  • The total smart home in 2020 globally is about 175 million and the total Smart Home market has revenues of about $90.97 billion. If Samsung SmartThings accounts for 10 million smart homes, it would suggest that Samsung accounts for about 5.71% (10 million/175 million) of the global market.
  • If we assume that Samsung will also account for 5.71% of revenue generated by the market, it will mean that Samsung's smart home segment generated revenue of about $5.19 billion (5.71% * $90.97 billion).

Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategy

  • Samsung may competitive advantage is its trusted brand name and its vast international distribution channels globally.
  • They also belong to the Revenue EDGE ecosystem, allowing them "to manage connectivity to more than 1500 certified devices from more than 120 partners around the world."
  • The company's smart home system is also compatible with a host of other devices such as Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, Philipps Hue, Arlo, Honeywell, among others.
  • They also have a huge collection of smart home solutions that are compatible with its mobile and television devices, given it a great edge against other competitors.
  • Samsung's marketing strategy is to leverage its already popular brand name, marketing channels, stores, appliances, and other devices to introduce its smart offerings to consumers. They also emphasize the fact that SmartThings supports over 5,000 devices, allowing for limitless possibilities in the home.

Research Strategy

To understand the competitive landscape of Belkin and Samsung, we extensively searched media, industry, and each company's press releases and annual reports to understand their smart home business. We were able to gain insights about the competitive advantages each company posses as well as their smart home products.

We were unable to find data on the revenue generated from the smart home segment. While we were generally able to find data on revenue generated by the company, a search for the percentage of each company's revenue due to smart home solutions was unproductive.

A search for estimates of each company's revenue specifically due to smart home solutions in major business media, industry articles, and interviews by company executives also didn't prove productive. The smart home segment is generally still very young in the company's analyzed and information available is mainly product plans, launches, or products being planned for the future.

We were able to find data on the number of connected homes by Samsung and data on the number of smart homes globally. We then used both data to estimate Samsung's share of the global market and then estimated its revenue by multiplying with the global market size. A trial to triangulate the market size of Belkin similarly was unsuccessful as data on the number of homes connected by Belkin is unavailable.
Part
03
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Part
03

Smart Lighting Leaders Competitive Landscape - Koninklijke Philips NV, Cree Inc. and Eaton Corporation

Koninklijke Philips NV, Cree Inc., and Eaton Corporation were all key players in the lighting market and each leveraged their existing platform and market relationships to compete in the smart lighting market, however, all three companies have recently sold their lighting business segment and are no longer competing in the smart lighting market.

Koninklijke Philips NV

Products

  • Philips Lighting smart home lighting products are under the umbrella of Hue personal wireless lighting products. The Hue products include smart bulbs, light strips, lamps, luminaries, accessories, and the app.
  • The lighting products include those for the living room, kitchen, bathroom, outdoor lighting for the home.
  • In 2018, the company introduced products such as Philips Hue Signe (with which the walls at home can be painted with light), Philips Hue Sync (this enhances spatial immersion of games, movies, and music. Hue Sync works on any Windows 10 or macOS (Sierra and later) computer), and a more advanced Philips Hue App.
  • Although it's still called Philips Lighting, it is important to note that Phillips Lighting business segment has been sold to Signify.

Revenue from the Smart Lighting Segment

Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategy

  • Phillips competitive advantage is its reputation for quality and the trust they have built over the years, as well as the relationship with agents, sales networks, and a great relationship with a huge customer database
  • They are also a global brand and are a top-three player in selected home luminaires markets.
  • Another key advantage is "the company’s strong in-house R&D capabilities and knowledge in LED and lighting applications, complemented by extensive qualitative and quantitative consumer research."
  • The company's marketing strategy is based on "driving the transition to connected lighting for consumers in and around the house."
  • In order to realize their marketing strategy, they are focused on expanding the "Philips Hue offering and broadening the lower cost portfolio to drive volumes."
  • In addition, "Philips Hue aims to further expand in growth markets. Home Luminaires aims to create scale-able platforms to drive growth in functional luminaires and strengthen the global portfolio."
  • However, Signify acquired Philips Lighting in 2018 and is now in charge of the company's marketing strategy.

Cree Inc

Product

  • Cree launched the XLamp XP-G3 S Line LED lighting in 2018, an XLamp XP-G3 LED that is optimized for the connected lighting future.
  • They also have Connected Cree LED Bulbs.

Revenue From Smart Lighting Segment

  • Data on the revenue from Cree's smart lighting product segment is unavailable, however, the company's lighting product segment generated $568.76 million in 2018.
  • The company offers only a few smart lighting products which suggest that revenue from smart lighting is likely just a fraction of its overall lighting revenue.

Competitive Advantage

  • The company's competitive advantage is that they were a key player in the led lighting business.
  • In addition, Cree's LED lights have multi-platform compatibility (iOS or Android smartphone) and are sold at an affordable price. It is also designed to support "hubs and market-leading platforms such as the Apple® HomeKit™ platform as consumers adopt new platforms for home connectivity."
  • The company's strategy was based on offering smart lighting products at an affordable price and ensuring that their product is compatible with different products. They tried to position themselves as a key market player and to be ready to capitalize as consumers increasingly adopt smart lighting solutions.
  • However, the company sold its lighting business unit Ideal Industries in May 2019 and discontinued lighting business operations.

Eaton Corporation

Product

  • Eaton Corporation smart lighting products include Wavelinx (a wireless connected lighting system), Trellix (an IoT platform for the connected lighting system that provides operational efficiency, improve occupant experience and deliver actionable insights through the aggregation of valuable data), and Halo Home (Bluetooth-enabled lighting solutions that can be controlled with any smart device in the home).
  • The Halo home lighting solution includes smart surface LED light, Smart LED Floodlight, Smart LED Motion Floodlight, smart bulbs, among others.
  • The smart lighting solutions also include accessories such as Bluetooth dimmer, smart dimmer, smart internet access bridge, among others.

Revenue

  • Data on the percentage of Eaton Corporation's revenue due to smart lighting is unavailable, however, the company's lighting business segment generates revenue of $1.7 billion.

Competitive Advantage

  • Eaton Cooperation's competitive advantage includes its great market positions, large agent network, a deep customer relationship, and a host of great brands in the North America market that has helped them build trust.
  • The company's business strategy involved emphasizing that it had a well-integrated connected lighting system that does more than conventional smart lighting systems.
  • The Eaton Corporation has discontinued its lighting business after selling it to Signify in October 2019.

Research Strategy

To understand the competitive landscape of Koninklijke Philips NV, Cree Inc., and Eaton Corporation, we extensively searched media, industry, and each company's press releases and annual reports to understand their smart lighting business. We were able to gain insights about the competitive advantages each company posses as well as their smart lighting products.

We were also able to find data on the revenue generated from the smart lighting segments for Phillips lighting. However, we were unable to find revenue data for Cree Inc. and Eaton Corporation. While we were generally able to find data on revenue generated by each company's lighting business segment, search for the percentage of each company's revenue due to smart lighting solutions was unproductive.

A search for estimates of each company's revenue specifically due to smart lighting in major business media, industry articles, and interviews by company executives also didn't prove productive. The smart lighting segment is generally still very young in the company's analyzed and information available is mainly product plans, launches, or products being planned for the future.

Another key reason why data is unavailable is that these companies have also recently sold off their lighting business unit to other companies and are no longer in the business of producing lighting products.
Part
04
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Part
04

Smart Lighting Leaders Competitive Landscape - Wipro Consumer Lighting, and General Electric Company.

Wipro Consumer Lighting's competitive advantage is its best-in-class innovations in lighting and modular switches that have led to it becoming one of the fastest growing and best distributed lighting companies in India, while only using a successful, digital-only marketing platform. General Electric's competitive advantage is its lighting products connectivity to Google devices and the ability to operate without a central hub or wifi. Both companies are front runners in providing smart lighting in their home countries, however, GE holds a slighter bigger advantage as it operates in 97 countries but it is still constrained by regulations in the US and internationally. An analysis of both companies is detailed below.

Wipro Consumer Lighting

Products

Revenue

  • Wipro reported total revenues in excess of $1.44 billion for fiscal year 2019. The company reported revenue from the Wipro Customer Care and Lighting segment to be INR 71.5 billion, or $1 billion when converted from Indian rupees to US dollars, while lighting products account for 11% of the company's total turnover. Therefore, the company's lighting products, including smart lighting, generated $158.4 million (11% of $1.44 billion) in revenue in 2019.

Competitive Advantage

Marketing Strategy

  • The company entered an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with VVF Limited to enhance their distribution in North and East India and are working to fill gaps in South East Asia.
  • In 2018, Wipro launched the "Wider light for brighter homes" campaign to stress the importance of the Wipro Garnet LED bulbs to enable better light flow and thus make rooms better lit, all with a focus on how ordinary low-beam lights contribute to life's difficulties. The Garnet bulbs were given to provide better benefits and comfort to consumers with the ability to change people's moods with the different colors, and the company won several awards for the innovation including "Red Dot Design award for outstanding design, Global SSL Showcase Top100, India Design Mark for certified excellence in Product Design, Frost & Sullivan award for LED lighting Visionary Innovation leadership, Prestigious Brands Asia 2017-18 and International Diamond Prize for Excellence in Quality by European Society of Quality Research (ESQR)".
  • The CEO of ULKA states the long-standing relationship with Wipro is made easier because the company is a clear differentiator in the lighting business and it was easy to find a way to engage customers with the products and with a greater coverage than other LED lights would need.
  • Wipro runs digital campaigns such as "The idea of the ‘Soch Badlo" ads were to increase public awareness of smart bulbs using emotional and social messages that are crafted to inspire young men. Primarily this campaign was thought to widen their thoughts although now they use light bulbs as the sole way for socially-distanced elderly people to express their affection towards loved ones and use the spectrum to express different moods.
  • The Surprisingly Human campaign was a digital film aimed to educate consumers on the benefits of the features of smart lighting.
  • The company has also partnered with Schreder to take the smart light technology to products such as Smart Streetlights, Smart Poles, and expertise to "empower smart cities in India" while addressing the premium lighting requirements.

General Electric Company

Products

  • GE's smart lighting products are primarily focused on " providing energy efficiency and productivity solutions for commercial, industrial and municipal customers".
  • GE offers LED+ lighting that gives consumers convenience, security, and entertainment by adding features such as speakers, battery backups, color, dusk to dawn, and motion sensing.
  • C by GE is the product offering to connect, control and automate home lighting. These products include full color, turntable whites, soft white, full color strips, smart plugs, smart switches, c-reach, and an app.

Estimated Revenue

  • The company's total annual revenue was $26.2 billion in 2019. The 2018 revenue from the lighting segment was $1.72 billion, while GE Lighting (smart lighting products) generated around $700 million.

Competitive Advantage

  • The C by GE is an industry first that features an app that can access Google Home, Google Mini, Google Max or Google Home Hub to connect and control the full-color bulbs. This innovation followed the C by GE Made for Google bulb and Smart Light Starter kit which led to the company earning a CES Innovations Awards Honoree designation.
  • The biggest competitive advantage of GE's smart lighting products is the lack of a hub and that WiFi is not necessary.
  • The General Manager of Product Management and Growth of GE Lighting notes the pervasive nature of light at home, and states that the company's products "leverage lighting's real estate" and powerful partner connections to launch platforms that drive "productivity, safety and enjoyment throughout the home".
  • GE's smart, full-color lights are valuable for everyday life and celebrations and they add color solutions with millions of color options that can be controlled by "voice, an app, or through custom routines and schedules". Lights can also be wirelessly set up on different circuits.
  • In addition to having compatibility with Google products, the lights will also be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit.
  • General Electric operates and serves customers in 97 countries. It is focused on innovation and growth in LEDs and connected home technology.
  • A threat to the company's competitiveness is the competition it faces from international businesses that operate with a global presence and with a" deep energy domain expertise" and the end-products sold by GE are often subject to numerous regulatory specifications and performance standards under different national and international standards.
  • Benefits of the C by GE smart lighting products include setting a wake/sleep schedule, controlling lights by voice, and enjoying peace of mind in general among others. The products also offer the advantage of not having to touch light switches and therefore reducing the spread of germs.

Marketing Strategy

  • GE acknowledges that regulation and government scrutiny impacts the marketing of the products and slows its introduction of new products which adversely impacts the business.
  • GE's smart lighting products are marketed under the brand C by GE. The company aims to position this brand to not only reinvent the light bulb but also the "productivity, wellness, and security" that comes with lighting.
  • The company is noted to be investing a large amount of money into a three-year turnaround plan focused on the C by GE brand. It has a new campaign called "C-ing is Believing" and has disbursed an "onslaught of media placements" created by OMD to transition consumers to using smart technologies such as lighting in lieu of traditional technology. OMD was chosen to continue the company's campaigns after great success with the 2018 Reveal Light campaign.
  • The company launched an ad series that featured Mad Men’s John Slattery that was comprised of TV, premium video, social, streaming media, streaming audio, direct digital, programmatic, and experiential spots.
Sources
Sources