01 Mar Axiom’s Take on 2019 Home Trends
After attending the 2019 International Builders’ Show and Kitchen & Bath Industries Show in Las Vegas, a handful of takeaway trends got us thinking. Here are some themes that emerged for our team, which could be guiding our client work for those who are reaching for the next level of marketing ingenuity:
Connected is key. If appliances, building controls, and entertainment systems aren’t equipped or at least have the capability to be connected down the road, homeowners are spending money on outdated technology before it’s even installed in the home. LG, which has the advantage of manufacturing everything from TVs to small appliances, showed their ThinQ connected home, which is so integrated that each appliance may be talking to each other more than the residents in the house.
Multi-purpose is a movement. Washers that dry, mirrors that turn into TVs, closets that press your clothes, and the ever-present refrigerator hub to manage everything from soccer practice to grocery lists and recipes are becoming even more prevalent. Europe has seen many of these multi-tasking appliances for years, but it’s new for some in the U.S. market. Appliances and building systems are doubling up to provide enhanced living with a smaller footprint while hiding technology in plain sight. It’s a strong selling point that’s resonating with consumers.
A house can hear; if you want it to. From Alexa to Google to a myriad of proprietary peeping toms (okay, maybe that’s too strong), your house is listening and learning who you are and what you like. That’s good and bad. We’ll just leave it at that. Lighting for a variety of tasks and scenarios, sound, entertainment choices, and building controls can all be operated via voice through sensors integrated throughout a home. Acuity Brands debuted their latest system, JunoAI, which hides speaker and mic controls into recessed lighting so well, it’s only visible upon close inspection. Pretty cool.
Digital-only brands are emerging. Some manufacturers are recognizing the high cost of marketing and branding in the brick and mortar stores. The popularity and convenience of online shopping, with its variety, reliable inventory and customer feedback features is driving online sales. Manufacturers like KRAUS kitchen and bath fixtures, which focuses its marketing efforts in online “stores”, are becoming strong challengers for the major brands. It’s not just Amazon. Online retailers like Overstock and Wayfair have a big and growing stake in home furnishings and fixtures. Have you ever noticed how often “online only” is appearing when you shop online at Bed Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot or even WalMart? Brick and mortar stores are catching the wave and it will continue. Plan marketing around it.
Sustainability is here to stay. Not the niche it once was, sustainable building practices, materials and reuse/recycle options are part of the selling process. Terms like cradle-to-grave are out. Cradle-to-cradle is in, as is chain-of-custody. The trend is sure to continue. For example, eco-friendly wool as an insulation material that is also flame-retardant, wood flooring from sustainable certified forest resources, Solar array shingles that look like slate, and a whole host of off-the-grid technologies that won’t sacrifice your day-to-day routine to live a sustainable life.
For more information about our building products marketing knowledge, contact Stacy Einck at firstname.lastname@example.org.