Defensive Strategy

A Thermostat’s PR Triumph

28 Oct 2011  

Thermostats are not the most exciting devices. I would put them right up there with water heaters and door hinges in terms of overall interest, things that fall in the category of “items you need but don’t think much about.”

This is why I am so impressed with what Nest pulled off this week.

Nest is a start-up company launching a new thermostat. It is apparently a pretty nifty device; it looks cool and makes a number of adjustments based on who is in the room. But at the core it is, well, a thermostat.

This week Nest was everywhere. I saw it in the New York Time, The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune. In each publication Nest received a huge article and all of the articles raved about this very cool new innovation. I did a Google search on Nest Thermostat today and got 35.2 million hits. This is pretty impressive. Nest is exceptionally well positioned heading into the holiday season.

How did this happen?

Well, it certainly wasn’t chance.

Nest clearly executed a simply brilliant PR campaign. I suspect the company and its agency crafted the story and pitched it carefully. In a slow news week, media outlets picked it up and ran with it.

The fact that a former Apple executive started Nest certainly helped. And it is an interesting device. But more than anything Nest did some brilliant marketing.

Well done.

3 Responses

  1. […] first read about this little gem from this blog several weeks ago and have recently seen it picking up some hot PR momentum.  While the name as […]

  2. Tim Calkins says:

    Archit–An interesting set of posts. Clearly Nest has a few issues to work out. The downside of massive publicity is sometimes massive demand that can’t be supported. This leads to unhappy customers and a negative backlash. I wonder if Nest will be able to navigate through all this. This will be interesting to watch.


  3. Archit Gadicherla says:

    Prof. Calkins,

    As always, enjoyed hearing your thoughts.

    Below is a series of blog posts by an early adopter of Nest. Very interesting observations and comments by the original poster and fellow commentators. Ultimately, the user recommends that one “NOT” buy a Nest thermostat.

    While their PR campaign was fantastic in building ‘buzz’ and probably preference for the Nest brand, it turns out that the end user experience is hit and miss. An example of how the ‘brand promise’ was not ultimately delivered/fulfilled.


    Archit Gadicherla, KSM’09

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