Connected home brand builds a ‘Nest’ in Australia via iSelect

Nest’s range of safety and security products, which taps into the Internet of Things, will be available from iSelect

Nest director of product marketing, Maxime Veron
Nest director of product marketing, Maxime Veron

Google-owned Nest Labs, the US smart home giant, is launching into Australia, bringing an array of connected home offerings and services into the market as part of its first Asia-Pacific country launch. And it's using iSelect as the conduit. 

Google acquired Nest Labs in January 2014 for US$3.2 billion in cash as part of its goal to make its mark in smarthome systems.

As part of the Australian launch, the Nest offerings will be available exclusively in iSelect's new Life Admin store, for the initial launch period.

“The Australian market when it comes to connected objects for your home is quite nascent,” Nest director of product marketing, Maxime Veron, told CMO. “But within this year, and the next, all of the main players will be entering the market. Nest is leading the charge right now. Google Home is coming this year, as well as rumours about Amazon coming.”

Nest products are sold in the U.S., U.K., Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico and are installed in more than 190 countries

“Nest is focused on creating a home that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it,” said Veron. “To date, Nest’s hardware, software and services have been available for purchase in just twelve markets, yet they’re used by millions of people in more than 190 countries. Today we’re excited to be entering our first market in Asia Pacific region through our partnership with iSelect.”

Veron said the decision to forge a marketing partnership with iSelect gives Nest an enormous amount of marketing muscle. “It is great to have a partner who can also invest in marketing for us,” he said, explaining iSelect is heavily advertising via billboards the arrival of Nest coming to Australia.  

For its debut, Nest is launching a host products including Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm which talks to consumers and alert them to problems.

It is also rolling out Nest Cam Indoor, a camera that enables consumers monitor what's happening in their home, but also talk to it. In addition, there's Nest Cam Outdoor, a weatherproof camera, as well as Nest Aware, which provides advanced cloud algorithms that provide the camera with smarter alerts and video history.

Veron said he couldn’t comment on future rollout plans and whether new partners - online or brick and mortar retailers - will come onboard.

“Australia is our 13th country. We have launched in 12 countries so far. We really look at every country differently and specifically - we don’t do copy and paste. We have different go-to-market for every country," he said.

“In the US, where we are everywhere, we have a brick-and-mortar and online presence, we have a whole Nest Professional Installers channel that we manage ourselves. So it is the whole enchilada. But in Australia, it is a much more nimble and dynamic approach with iSelect, with this one partner who help customers get the right product for their home. And we’re very excited about that.”

Specifically, Nest’s range of safety and security products will be available from iSelect, both as standalone purchases and part of exclusive deals with iSelect energy and telco partners including Optus, Sumo and Mate Communicate.

Veron said the company will investigate how and when it will bring its other flagship products, including Learning Thermostat and a higher end camera recently launched last month in the US, to market in Australia.

“We will be continuing to look at how, and when, we bring these to the Australian market.”

Further iSelect offers across home loans, home and contents and health insurance will be available exclusively to Nest customers over the coming months, according to iSelect managing director and CEO, Scott Wilson.

“Nest strives to create a home that is more thoughtful, reinventing unloved but important products to do more for you than you do for them, and this aligns perfectly with our mission to help Australians take care of their important Life Admin,” Wilson said.

“We are excited to offer the Nest products on our brand new ecommerce store from today, as well as help customers unlock additional value by bundling their new Nest purchase with exclusive offers from our range of insurance, utilities and personal finance partners.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

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