Look out world -- Sears is making its way into the connected home.
Extending its Kenmore and Craftsman brands, Sears Holdings sees an opportunity to take these trusted names into the new frontier of the Internet of Things, offering the convenience and peace of mind of connectivity.
“As we look at these brands, we think we’re well positioned in the connected home space,” Tom Park, president of Kenmore, Craftsman and Die Hard brands, tells Marketing Daily. “If we can provide connected products [that offer] peace of mind at a convenient price, we can own that.”
Among the products the company is launching is a line of Kenmore television sets, moving the brand beyond the appliance category into consumer electronics. The company will begin marketing its two televisions this July, laying the groundwork to launch connected sets later this year, Park says.
“It recognizes [Kenmore’s] brand equity and capitalizes on that,” Park says. “The Kenmore brand you’ve had in your kitchen all these years is coming to your living room.”
The company is also adding smart capabilities to many of its appliance products, such as refrigerators and water heaters (and launching a smart thermostat line), that will detect when something may be in need of repair, automatically contacting the home service division to solve the problem, Park says.
“Connecting to our home services department before there’s a problem is a definite value proposition,” he says.
Beyond Kenmore, the company is launching a smart garage door opener and Bluetooth-enabled tool storage units under its Craftsman brand. Those extensions are designed to offer the “peace-of-mind” already held by the Craftsman-branded tools, Park says.
Moving forward, Sears will continue to look at the opportunities to add connectivity to all its brands, where they can add value or peace-of-mind, Park says. (The company is also launching a line of Die Hard-branded tires, but no connected home products under that line as yet.)
“We’re committed to our vision that with the Internet of Things, the possibilities are endless. But it has to be the right proposition,” Park says. “We’re going to be looking at every product and see whether it fits.”