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Showroom Spotlight – Savant SoHo

The company looks to amaze and inform NYC’s shoppers about how a smart home can transform their lives.

Integrators who have been to Savant’s NYC Experience Center will recognize the neighborhood for the manufacturer’s new, street-level, consumer-friendly demo space, called Savant SoHo. That’s because the new shop is a block or so away from its established, industry-only showroom. And that’s not by accident.

“Our existing New York City Experience Center has always been appointment-only,” says Ian Roberts, vice president of channel marketing and education at Savant. “We wanted to start these conversations with this more accessible space and then, if there is a benefit in taking someone for the more immersive-type tour, then both spaces do play off against each other. We want Savant SoHo to be the educational destination for dealers to bring in their partners, clients, contractors, sales team, and so on, so we can all turn the battleship at the same time.”

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Those who walk by the store — perhaps on their way to the popular Harry Styles’ Pleasing pop-up store just a few doors down — get pulled in from the curb by the front lighting display. “We’re playing light and music shows on our dynamic lighting strips at the front of the space,” adds Roberts. “The whole idea is to grab people’s attention on the street to get them in the door, and then we can start to build that smart home story for them.

Savant SoHo – Street View Entrance

“This was an opportunity for us to put ourselves out there, do something unique, and start to educate consumers on what smart home is. We’re educating people on how a little technology, even one smart device, can enhance a single room or a single experience in their home, and build on that so that, as you’re walking through this space, we’re able to layer that story and eventually bring it into a whole-home conversation. Then we make the introduction to our most dedicated Savant Ambassadors.”

Lighting the Spark

As Roberts mentions, the first part of the space is an eye-catching display of smart lighting that is designed to be a prime selfie-spot for social media. Once past that, customers are treated to a series of vignettes that show the benefits of smart home living.

Savant SoHo – Selfie Spot

First up, is an outdoor scenario that shows how easy it is to change the color of the lights to suit any season or holiday, as well as indoor and outdoor cameras and motion detectors. Many of the products on display throughout the first floor are Cync products — Savant’s sister consumer line.

“We have some unique products in the Cync line that stack up really well against some of the incumbents that people know or may have already,” says Roberts. “For example, we have a smart thermostat with sensors that can be scheduled, so where you are sitting during the day — say, in your office — can drive the thermostat during daylight hours and then at night you can have a different sensor that makes it so that you’re comfortable in bed. These are little things that people might not think about, but that really impresses. This is where we start to expand consumer perception on what smart home technology can do for them, building on the story that it can offer a broad range of features and options they may have never considered.”

Savant SoHo - First Floor

The next section ups the ante by introducing AV into the mix with the Savant WiSA wireless surround sound soundbar, which also provides Savant smart home control. “You can add lighting and climate and anything you want to a number of rooms through the soundbar,” adds Roberts. “We want people to start looking at entertainment as a gateway to the smart home.”

Savant Soho – TV and Soundbar

The back of the first floor features the Savant Power System, including a look at its technology that makes any electrical panel smart, local battery storage solutions, and its electric vehicle charger. “What we’re trying to educate people on is, whatever your available power is, we can make it more efficient,” says Roberts. “There’re a lot of compelling reasons why people care deeply about their power — making it reliable, extending it, having it last for as long as it can — and we have the tools to help them with that. This is where we might understand who that client is walking in the door and help qualify that person for whatever he or she is looking, be it a fuller smart home experience or power resilience. If that is what the client wants, we give him or her the opportunity to book a smart home consultation right now.”

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Going Deeper

That’s the end of the first-floor experience, but clients who want more information, or are part of a tour, can head down the steps to the basement level for a deeper dive into the technology.

Savant SoHo - Heading Downstairs

“They can casually explore smart home on the first floor with the Savant team, and as they continue to the lower-level gallery, we provide a guided experience for them — say, an integrator bringing a client,” says Roberts. “We can help them book a private session where the homeowners might want to come in with their plans and talk real details about their new home. We want that to be a personal experience.”

Downstairs goes deeper into some of the areas found upstairs — power and lighting in particular. The Savant Power setup is similar to the one in the NYC Experience Center, and visitors to Savant’s tradeshow booths may find the lighting section feels familiar. There is also a display of fit-and-finish products, and the windows do more than look out into the back alley.

Savant SoHo - Downstairs

“We’ve installed our new Inception Shades down here in these lower windows,” explains Roberts, “so people can see what a quick install, premium-finish shading solution will look like in their home.”

The back of the room is taken up by a large conference table positioned directly in front of a large television. “We’ve got our Zoom integration here in our conference space,” says Roberts. “We can pull experts in from across the country or connect with an architect to make it a more robust meeting experience. This is also how we can demonstrate our entertainment solutions. We have multiple zones of audio in the space, and we can show how playing music all over your home — completely in sync — can be hugely entertaining. We try to bring all those major experiences into one location so that we can get those conversations kicked off and then get into the details as needed.”

And while the space is certainly open for business, it is most definitely a work-in-progress. “We’re constantly changing up the space — even on a daily basis — because that is how to pull that traffic in from the street,” concludes Roberts. “We’re invested in developing new relationships with consumers on behalf of the industry. We’re getting into the real work, and we are constantly evolving.”