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Forging Smart Alliances

Whitestown, IN

The home of the future is here, with everyday tasks made simpler through the power of your own voice. Ecobee’s wi-fi enabled thermostats and light switches cater to your comfort, maximizing savings and conserving energy through beautifully designed products. The Toronto-based company worked with Stephen Gould experts and gained end-to-end streamlined solutions to show Ecobee’s products in the best light.

Making it easier to manage energy consumption is good for families and the planet, and Ecobee offers smart thermostats that can save upwards of 23% on heating and cooling costs. Ecobee launched the world’s first wi-fi enabled thermostat in 2009 — and today, their products come equipped with Amazon Alexa voice service, so users can speak commands from across the room. It’s no surprise that this leading, innovative company wanted to push the envelope on improving and elevating the way its representatives presented and demonstrated its products.

Ecobee’s aims: to get wholesale distributors and home contractors to feel completely comfortable with how to install and use Ecobee’s thermostats and mobile capabilities. Successful sales depended on creating a captivating first impression to engage new users of the products. Ecobee sought a packaging solutions provider who could grasp the company’s goals and collaborate to get the job done with precision. They needed to bring sophisticated creative and production expertise, be at ease working iteratively to provide rapid prototypes, and be willing to work on a low volume project with a significant impact on market growth. 

Enter Stephen Gould Account Executive, Austin Hildebrandt. His Indianapolis-based design and engineering team, located near Ecobee headquarters, was skilled at adapting to all of their requirements. Adam Welton, Senior Marketing Manager at Ecobee remarks, “Stephen Gould was very collaborative on the design of the display cases. They were always bringing solutions and options. I appreciate how they continued to think about ways to improve the display case. It was such a big advantage for us to see their fast iterations, try out prototypes locally, send them for reviews, and evaluate adjustments.” He adds, “We spend a significant amount of money on each case and they have to be correct when they are going out into the field.” 

To provide the most realistic environment for installers, the demo case functions as a properly installed, wall-mounted thermostat. When opened, the display board hinges to prop up against the case so the thermostats display and operate fully. Stephen Gould has made demo kits for multiple Ecobee product models, and over time, the team has adapted the design for various requests. The team engineered customized, durable, black cases reinforced with metal, designed to protect the products inside and withstand rough handling during airline travel. They’ve further developed and produced lightweight carry-on versions that resemble laptop cases. These have expanded to be easily updated with the growing line of Ecobee models, so sales reps can arrive at their destination, and without any testing or concern, rely on the unit to work as it should.

I like having local access to an international partner. I was able to hop in the car, go to the Stephen Gould’s office, and meet with their team. I brought our previous demos, which were less than ideal, our ideas to improve it, and their team worked with us to design improvements that solved our challenges.

Jay Kress, Director of National Accounts and Strategic Partnerships, Ecobee

Stephen Gould has not only designed and manufactured the evolution of these demo cases, but the fulfillment team assembles all the necessary components, completes the wiring, performs quality assurance — and handles warehousing, boxing, and shipping of each unit to various locations as needed. Jay Kress, Ecobee’s Director of National Accounts and Strategic Partnerships comments, “I appreciated that Stephen Gould was able to administer the entire process. We didn’t worry about any of the logistics. Stephen Gould performed the whole process turn-key.”

The creative ingenuity, proximity, and responsive full service that Stephen Gould provides all its clients afforded Ecobee streamlined fulfillment to reliably support its sales across North America. Finding the right alliance propels growth. The future of business is bright, collaborative, and smart.

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