All features will improve and expand in terms of “smartness” and, in turn, the power to enhance consumers’ lifestyles and management options will also increase. This expansion of functions is happening at prices that are affordable by a solid chunk of U.S. homeowners. As important for the health of the industry, revenues are arriving. Initially, these will only offset investments in learning and category participation. However, profit is on the horizon. Not every provider will make it as not every entry in any new marketplace succeeds. Competitive pressure and market positioning are intense.
Nonetheless, the offerings are expanding in scope and in diversity, creating some pull for different types of consumers. Security dealers that do not participate will be relegated to competing on price alone. While some dealers can own that position, it is the toughest of all long-term plays.
A telling indication of security dealers’ acknowledgement of change is in their views of what factors provide their companies’ differentiation and advantage today, and what factors will matter in three years (see graph at left).
Today, nearly 50% of our surveyed dealers believe customer service sets them apart; however, only one-third believe that will be so in three years. Instead, more than half believe that offering a “one-stop solution” will be a core differentiator in three years. Also increasing in importance for differentiation, according to security dealers, is customization and innovative offerings.
Tricia Parks is CEO and founder of Dallas-based research firm Parks Associates.
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Research - Security STATS