Does brand matter when choosing smart home devices?

Battle of the branded smart homes

We’ve all had that moment, lying in bed wishing we had already turned the lights off or the air conditioning down. Now, instead of having to get up again, tech companies have introduced products that can take care of these simple tasks for you. There is a fast-growing market for such smart home devices, and big tech giants are racing to lead the automation of our homes.

To explore deeper, we surveyed 1,014 people to find out what the most popular smart home brands were and which features were the most important. Does brand loyalty make an impact on which smart home products consumers want in their home? Also, with smart homes becoming more and more common, cybersecurity has been a concern for many, raising the stakes on choosing the right product. How does this issue factor into people’s brand preferences? Read on to find out what we discovered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Amazon was the most popular brand for smart home devices, with 75% of respondents owning a device made by this company, followed by Google with 59% and Sony at a distant third with 21%.
  • 33% of respondents said their interest in smart home devices was driven by a desire for convenience, while 27% cited security as their main goal.

What powers your smart home?

New advancements in home and internet technology have given homeowners almost limitless options when it comes to fitting their home with smart devices. The days of needing tedious and expensive hardwiring to utilize smart home functions are over. Internet speeds are faster than ever before, and with a more stable and reliable connection, smart home products can be integrated to work with each other. This is something consumers have come to expect from their products.

Statistics on popularity of smart home device brands and features

Wireless connection was the second most important smart device feature according to our respondents, behind device support. Similarly, quality and reliability were more important in choosing a smart home product than affordability. Loyalty played a surprisingly small role in brand rankings. Our respondents reported the highest level of brand loyalty to Apple, Belkin and Bosch, yet none of these three companies ranked in the top four in terms of popularity. On the other hand, Amazon and Google, which were the two most popular brands, scored two of the lowest scores for brand loyalty, despite a study by Morning Consult that found Amazon customers to be the most loyal after Walmart shoppers.

What can your home do for you?

Smart home devices are not limited to on/off functions for lights, door locks or playing music. Some recent features can go so far as to sync your home temperature control with changing outdoor climates or adjusting lights with the rising and setting of the sun. In fact, 34% of respondents answered that weather syncing was the most desirable function for a smart home device. Similarly, 3 out of 4 respondents answered that an ability to turn on the lights was their top function for a smart home device.

Statistics for desirable features of smart home devices

It wasn’t all about lighting, though. Security monitoring and locking doors were among respondents’ top five features, and 27% answered that security was their primary reason for having a smart device in the first place. Thirty-three percent were more interested in convenience, although many home automation devices can also be utilized for traditional home security system tasks too, such as motion detection. But household tasks weren’t the only desirable functions because 1 in 5 people wanted their smart home device to be able to turn their car on.

Reason enough to switch

No matter how long you’ve been using a particular brand, if they simply don’t make a product that meets all of your needs, brand loyalty can become strained. Even though more than half of our respondents reported being loyal to their smart home brand, we wanted to know what features out there would cause them to switch sides. After all, limited functionality was the number one reported drawback for products.

Brand loyalty statistics for smart home devices

Features like lighting, music and temperature control were the ones most likely to cause a consumer to switch brands. The switch could prove worth it for some, especially if the new automation made things a little easier around the holidays. The development of those three features is likely to decide which brands achieve the highest percentage of market share going forward and could determine who is able to retain or gain brand loyalty.

More complex tasks like monitoring groceries and syncing a thermostat to the weather were less relevant to brand loyalty among consumers overall. However, the features that had the greatest power to inspire change differed slightly by generation. Baby boomers were much more likely to switch brands for a better functioning smart thermostat than any other generation, while lighting was the main deal breaker for both Gen Xers and millennials.

The downside of smart homes

With the increase in cybercrime in recent years, people are generally more concerned about smart home cybersecurity. Despite the convenience afforded by this technology, some are skeptical of devices in the home that could be used against the owner in some way. Respondents had a number of concerns about smart home devices, ranging from Wi-Fi sharing to information theft. More than 60% were worried about being watched, and 38% were concerned about being robbed.

smart home device security risk statistics

Millennials and Gen Xers were the generations most nervous about cybersecurity. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they had already experienced a security breach as a result of having a smart home device. The prevalence and potential seriousness of these breaches could explain why 79% of respondents answered that experiencing one would be reason enough for a brand switch.

Conclusion

Now that homes are powered with internet speeds fast enough to support extremely complex smart home systems and services, the possibilities are endless. While functions like lighting and sound are still the most important features, more complex functions are being added as technology develops. Brand loyalties are likely to be tested as the next generation of smart home devices takes home automation to a whole new level. If you’re looking to upgrade internet speeds and enjoy reliable and fast services to power your smart home system, search no further than Frontier.

Methodology and limitations

We surveyed 1,014 respondents ranging in age from 18 to 77 in order to explore preferences and brand loyalties among smart home device owners. The mean age was 38 with a standard deviation of 11 years. Forty-four percent of our respondents identified as women, and 56% identified as men. For generation breakdowns, the sample sizes were as follows:

  • Baby boomers: 106
  • Generation X: 258
  • Millennials: 566
  • Generation Z: 68
  • Other: 16

Survey data has certain limitations related to self-reporting. These limitations include telescoping, exaggeration and selective memory. For this purely exploratory project, we didn’t weight our data or statistically test our hypotheses.

Fair use statement

Whether you’re happy with your current smart home devices, looking to buy your first one or planning to switch brands, we hope that you found the information presented here helpful and interesting. We welcome you to share this article for noncommercial purposes and only ask that you link back to this page when doing so. Please keep in mind that we are providing this information as a courtesy and as-is, and we cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any inaccurate or incomplete reporting.