Innovation that excites the senses by turbo-charging consumer wants and desires ships faster and sells faster than products that don’t. The Nest thermostat does just that and has been sold out for months. They took the unremarkable thermostat that passively hangs on the wall and added smart energy-saving features combined with an excitingly simple, look that comes right out of Apple.
Tony Fadell is the former Apple executive who helped create the iPod and run the iPod and iPhone divisions of Apple for years. With his new company Nest, after almost two years of hard work, Fadell created a thermostat as cool as the iconic gadgets from Apple. Nest is the sexiest thermostat ever.
By exciting consumers Nest has solved the problem of how to get consumers engaged in home energy savings in a way the utility companies have yet to accomplish. Its screen is slightly domed glass; its barrel has a mirror finish that reflects your wall. Its color screen glows orange when it’s heating, blue when it’s cooling; it turns on when you approach it, and discreetly goes dark when nobody’s nearby. It is functionally superior by programming itself based on the temperatures you set. It learns your personal schedule in a week and starts automatically turning down heating or cooling when you’re away to save energy.
Nest brings to the market place a new concept for an old product. The “emotional heat” it generates is enough to motivate consumers to switch out the passive thermostat for an active one, a habit change that has been very difficult to motivate consumers to do without significant price incentives. The Nest example reminds us of the power of desire to change consumers’ habits.
Donna Sturgess is the President and Co-founder of Buyology Inc and former Global Head of Innovation for GlaxoSmithKline. Her latest book is Eyeballs Out: How To Step Into Another World, Discover New Ideas, and Make Your Business Thrive