In Control ? Leviton Model Home Program
Leviton's Model Home Program Lends Context to Connected-Home Technologies
By Jessica Millward
If seeing is believing, showing must be selling. The significance of the demo certainly isn't lost on electrical and telecommunications wiring specialist Leviton Manufacturing Company. In 2000, the Leviton Integrated Networks (LIN) team was initiated to market many of its parent company's products into a single, comprehensive set of upgradeable packages for residential housing. The LIN team soon recognized the context-critical nature of its mission; its roster of home networking, lighting and automation control and power quality products for the home would be most effectively marketed and merchandised in a home. So the company developed its Model Home program, through which LIN partners with local builders to showcase its entire line of connectivity products in the most real-world setting possible: the model homes of new housing development sites.
By the 1990s, Leviton Manufacturing had come a long way from its origins in gas lamp mantle sales. (Isidor Leviton founded the company with his father in 1906.) With a 25,000-plus product repertoire, the company was ripe for a renewed approach to its residential market. Mark Cerasuolo, director of A/V systems for LIN, explains, "We had a very active group in the company selling lighting control systems; another group actively promoting home controls; still another group promoting low-voltage communications and upgrades; and a power quality group that was beginning to offer residential surge protection. So our group at LIN put all those pieces together."
Leviton put model home programs in place for a few of its residential lines; for instance, its low-voltage and Decora Home Controls products had already been integrated into Builder Program. But perhaps the most evolved symbiosis of builder/manufacturer relationship has occurred in Leviton's pilot project with Washington-based Conner Homes. Leviton's local sales force became directly acquainted with Conner through contacts at the electrical and low voltage contracting firm, Parent Electric. The LIN-certified structured cabling company (Leviton offers a BISCI-accredited structured wiring certification program for installers) had been hired to install various systems in Conner's new Woodbridge development in Redmond, Washington, and suggested the multi-use housing community as an ideal pilot community for the full line of Leviton products.