Tiny House: Lifestyle or Marketing Tool?

Tiny House: Lifestyle or Marketing Tool?

Could you do it – live your life in less than 400 square feet? The tiny house concept has spurred all kinds of media attention around this cottage building industry (pun intended). With our background in building products and the home building industry, we’ve been intrigued by this movement and the latest stories that are casting a not-so-rosy hue on the realities of living in such a small space. Marketers, on the other hand, are generating big numbers through tiny houses.

The New York Times recently published an article about brands leveraging consumer interest in tiny houses to market their products. Hormel’s SPAM brand trucked a tiny yellow and blue house to festivals earlier this year, handing out samples and giving tours. What’s the correlation? None, really, but according to SPAM brand manager Brian Willis, it worked. People were drawn to the structure just to see it, and in the meantime, got the message about SPAM.

Then there’s Untuckit, a New York-based manufacturer of shirts designed to be worn untucked. Their “tiny house” was actually a tiny store, which they hauled around the East Coast in 2016 to universities and towns in an effort to raise awareness of the brand and find out where to open new stores. Interestingly, neither of these brands are building products or in any way related to home construction.

But these are examples of how companies are tapping into the big curiosity of this little living trend – they do not address the realities of adjusting to this extra-small lifestyle day after day. Journalists are uncovering plenty about the flip side of tiny too. Zoning issues, space constraints, privacy concerns and long-term durability are all topics to which tiny house owners can relate.

The idea and novelty of tiny houses as strategic marketing opportunities is still strong and clearly showing positive results. If this topic is of interest to you and your brand strategy, we hope you’ll call to discuss it. Contact Stacy Einck at seinck@axiomcom.com.


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