Philips Hue LED Starter Kit Comes with Two Free Google Home Minis
We are starting to see new promotions involving the Google Home Mini. During the holiday 2017 shopping period there were many discounts available on Google Home Mini bringing the price down under $30. Retailers were typically using these promotions to drive consumer traffic in stores and online. It is not clear whether Google was subsidizing these efforts, but it certainly helped Google sell a smart speaker every second in the fourth quarter racking up over 7.6 million in global device sales.
A promotion at Best Buy available through the end of the month uses Google Home Minis as an enticement to purchase the $199 Philips Hue LED Starter Kit. Two hundred dollars is a considerable commitment for four light bulbs, but Philips is looking to entice people into a high-end smart home lighting experience that includes bulbs that not only dim on command, but can also “bathe your home in millions of colors.”
More Promotions Drive More Market Share
It is perfectly logical for Best Buy and Philips to market this promotion since the free devices may persuade consumers to buy the lighting system and smart speakers enhance the smart home user experience with voice interaction. I recall seeing promotions of Philips Hue devices being bundled with Amazon Echo Dots in 2017 on Amazon.com. For Google, this is very good because it is an opportunity to expand market share and introduce new consumers to Google Assistant which is the company’s primary goal.
This would likely not have happened if Google hadn’t introduced the low-price Google Home Mini. It’s harder to give away a $100+ device along with a $200 purchase from another manufacturer. We haven’t yet seen the $349 Apple HomePod bundled with other products as an incentive to buy. However, even Apple is apparently considering a lower entry price point for a sub $200 HomePod in 2018. That is still too high for many promotions, but suggests recognition by Apple that lower price points will be critical to driving up user numbers even among brand loyalists. The Philips Hue promotion reinforces how important low-cost smart speaker options are to expanding market reach for voice assistants.