How 3 Smart Home Companies Define Digital Experience

When we began having conversations with companies about the concept of digital experience, we had one goal in mind. Figure out what digital experience means to companies so we can better serve when making product decisions.

How naive of us.

As it turns out, the term digital experience means something different to every company and person.

We had a series of short conversations with companies at the Pepcom “Digital Experience” event at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas. Our primary mission was to ask companies the simple question: “How does your company define digital experience and how do you approach it?”

The answers were as diverse as the products. We interviewed makers of smart beds, garage door openers, gadget makers, pet startups and more. What we found was that the concept of digital experience has a lot to do with product research. What do your consumers want? How do you find out that information? How do you make product decisions based on customer feedback?

Below are samples of conversations we had with three smart home types of companies discussing digital experience.

Gordan Redzic – VP of Product at SleepIQ from Sleep Number

Sleep Number has been pushing the notion of the “smart bed” for a couple of years. A bed that can quantify sleep and movement patterns, heart and breath rate, warm your feet, change the firmness and angle of the mattress. It even comes with its own app.

Applause: How do you define the digital experience?

Redzic: It is an amalgamation of hardware and software. We have taken something that is the least technical thing in the house—the bed—and made it software-orientated. When you look at the relationship that you have with your bed on a daily basis, you can now understand sleep patterns etc … and when was the last time that you thought about your bed?

We have this relationship on a nightly basis and our technology now allows you to improve your ability to sleep and take advantage of the eight hours that you should be spending in it.

Applause: How does your company approach the digital experience with your customers?

Redzic: We have a broad customer base. Obviously, everybody has to have a bed but we want to make sure that our offering caters to a really wide cross-section of people. We have a variety of customers across the portfolio—some choose beds that are cheaper with less features, others go for beds that are packed with features that fulfill their particular demands … the customer makes the decision based on the information we give them.

Kelly Stelmack – Marketing Manager at

DIYZ is an app that shows people how to do stuff in the home, provides expert advice and an ecommerce channel in the app so that people can buy the tools and materials to complete projects directly from Amazon. We asked Stelmack if DIYZ has thought of integrating augmented reality into the experience so that people could see what a finished project was supposed to look like. Stelmack liked the idea but DIYZ are just concentrating on the basic app for the moment.

Applause: How do you define the digital experience?

Stelmack: Digital and physical does cross over in our market, but it is a difficult question to answer when you try and define it in a DIY context.

Applause: How does your company approach a digital experience with your customers?

Stelmack: Our app makes it easy for customers to get access to the content that will help start or complete a DIY project. We are giving people the ability to access videos, ecommerce partners and professional advisors in the palm of their hand. Not only do you get the step-by-step instructions within the content, but we are also partnered with Amazon so that you can get the tools or supplies that you need prior to starting the project.

David Mota – Senior Marketing Product Manager at Chamberlain

Chamberlain makes garage door openers. By popular demand, they now have an app …

Applause: How did you make the decision to create a digital experience for a garage door opener?

Mota: For us, we feel we have a great product that solves a lot of use cases for consumers. We want to make sure that consumers are aware that this product exists. There are so many times that we run into people that say, oh, you work for garage door openers, you guys ever thought of having a smartphone control? And we go, hey, it actually exists. Here is what we have.

That is our approach, trying to figure out how to get more awareness that the product does exist.

Want to see more like this?
Dan Rowinski
Former ARC Editor-in-Chief at Applause
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