Shoppers today want a lot of things, you know that. Gone are the days when the lowest price or fastest delivery speed were the determining sales triggers for consumers. People pay more + are willing to wait for the products that help them create their own distinct identity, home + lifestyle. As more and more people create personal brands + act as influencers online, they’ve sparked a passion for others to create a more personalized style in their homes.Consumer’s desire for individualization is one of the major movements identified in the Mega Trends report from Trend One. Customization, personal branding + life sharing are all on-trend + predicted to drive how we live, shop + connect in the coming years.
So what does that mean for brands like yours? Consumers who are looking to curate an original, on-trend home + life are looking for more than just a specific piece. Stylish, contemporary design + functional, reliable products are still must-haves, but you also need to work on selling your story + creating a lifestyle. Here are some of the top consumer trends that are shaping housewares marketing in 2019…
Everyone’s an Influencer
Just this year (and we’re not even 2 months in…), I’ve had 5 friends start “branded” Instagram accounts to document their home renovations/decorating projects, new food/cooking commitments + businesses. From perfectly styled coffee nooks + nurseries to all keto cooking tips + handmade ceramics, my Instagram feed is full of ordinary people curating a home/lifestyle/business centered around very specific products, trends + themes. They are quick to share their shopping tips, favorite products + DIY ideas to inspire others. These kinds of accounts (+ the authority they are gaining) used to be reserved for magazines, celebrities + professionals. Now I’m following an OB/GYN nurse’s mid-century modern home makeover + my college roommate’s functional art brand with as much devotion as @chrissyteigen’s family photos and @food52’s amazing kitchen shots… And I’m not alone.
Does that mean influencer marketing is dead? Hardly. It just means it’s evolving. As more people enter this space, the way we talk about, interact with and categorize them is changing. An #ad post from a celebrity + a real-world Mom’s favorite Target find are both sharing feed-space + drawing the attention (+ clicks) of consumers from all walks of life.
Attention is a Currency
It always has been, right? The brands that grab the most attention typically grab the most sales. Marketers in the ’80’s thrived on mass communication, cable TV, infomercials and direct-response home shopping services. If we (over) simplify it, those that could shout a little louder, throw a celebrity in there or drop their price low enough saw results.
Enter: Mindfulness, fake news + clickbait.
As consumers become even more protective of their time + attention, marketers have to rely less on attention-grabbing, instead focusing on customized, engaging, thoughtful campaigns that spark trust, authenticity + action.
As marketers, we have to earn their attention like never before. High-quality content is the norm, not the exception. Stunning photographs, detailed resources + entertaining stories are setting brands apart. The companies focusing on brand awareness + engaging with consumers across every touch point to drive a sale (no matter where they buy) are the ones seeing real results.
Cause Marketing Matters
For-profit brands have taken quite the interest in non-profit causes + becoming a force for good in recent years, for good reason. Beyond the ethics involved, ‘consumers are paying closer attention than ever to politics these days and it is changing the way they shop’, according to a recent survey from the NPD group.
As consumers are curating the products that help them create a lifestyle, they want to support + acknowledge the brands that are championing causes near + dear to their hearts.
- Google met their goal to use 100 percent renewable energy.
- LifeStraw’s Give Back program has delivered almost 16,000 water filters to crucial sites around the world.
- Sackcloth & Ashes donates a blanket to the shopper’s local homeless shelter with every purchase.
- Canvas Home partners with non-profit organizations and artisan groups to directly impact people + communities around the world.
- Parachute donates all returned products to Habitat for Humanity + donates a life-saving mosquito net for every Venice Bedding set sold.
Consumers Curate their Connections
It’s never been easier to share reviews, recommendations, opinions + experiences. News feeds, timelines + connections can become overwhelming quickly. It’s as easy to skip a commercial on TV as it is to scroll past an old friend’s MLM pitch or unfollow a connection online. Users are creating their own online worlds + brands have to work even harder to be included.
What’s the magic ingredient to being seen, heard + loved online?
There isn’t one.
BUT you’ll do a lot better if you’re dialed into your audience. Craft your personas. Write for those people. Create valuable, authentic content that adds to their lives + helps them create the lifestyle they love. Create irresistible content that tells your brand’s story in a way that invites consumers in + makes them want to be a part of your community. Earn their respect + digital love by listening to them, knowing them + helping them achieve their goals.
Self-Care is an Art Form
The world is changing faster than ever before, but more + more, consumers are focused on slowing down. From the art of hygge (or have we moved on to cwtch, lagom, umage or maybe meraki?) to the focus on mindfulness + spirituality, the concept of creating a sanctuary in the middle of our crazy world has taken root in consumers’ hearts + minds.
At IHHS2019, the oh-so-comfy “bathleisure” trend + rising popularity of air purification + healthy hydration products were prime examples of housewares brands catering to this. There’s more to our health than just going to the gym + seeing a doctor + the brands helping consumers achieve these healthy lifestyle goals in both product + content offerings are seeing success.
So, what does it all mean for you?
How are you positioning your products + brand to help consumers achieve these lifestyle goals? I’d love to hear about your latest + greatest innovations. If you’re struggling to bridge the gap between pitching your products + selling a lifestyle, we can help. Just set up a time to talk with Justin (tell him Adrian sent you!) + we’ll help you identify your sweet spot so the path forward is an easier one.