Nest was born out of Apple iPod creator Tony Fadell’s quest to build a
green and connected home. He founded the company with fellow ex-Apple
tech Matt Rogers in 2010.
With heating accounting for 50% of the average energy bill in the US,
Fadell saw a gap in the market for an attractive connected thermostat
device at a more consumer-friendly price.
In true Apple style, the startup was kept a secret to avoid
competition and make a big impact with the product launch. The
thermostat, which remained under the radar for 18 months, was unveiled
in October 2011. Media were briefed about it one week before the launch.
Communications was crucial to the company. It hired Kate Brinks
as a director of corporate communications to devise a strategy and
appointed The OutCast Agency as AOR.
According to Brinks, one of the main challenges with this strategy
was convincing reporters to have a meeting without announcing the
“We didn’t want to waste the reporters’ time, so there was a lot of trust with those who met us.” Media coverage included Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
The company announced its second-generation thermostat in October 2012.
The next step is educating people about why Nest’s thermostats
are better than existing ones through in-store displays, advertising,
emails, and more.