Monday April 18th, 2011 - 7:21AM
Perhaps it’s time for the housewares industry to have its own slogan, a tagline to promote a business that finds itself at the epicenter of a new consumer sensibility.
We’ve all seen what a catchy slogan has done for the milk industry.
OK, maybe not. But there has to be something that captures the essence of housewares… that communicates its commitment to improving everyday life.
Looking at housewares sales trends and merchandising initiatives the past several months, the concept of “homemade” starts to resonate. Try this:
“Housewares: Home. Made. Better.”
As in homemade… better. Or home… made better. It works either way with consumers craving new, easy home solutions to save money; to reconnect with family and friends; to express themselves; to personalize their space; to take control of their health; to save the Earth.
Homemade conveys trust and comfort, a nod to tradition without being old-fashioned. It is a feel-good designation relevant to a new consumer generation seeking emotional rescue from today’s hyper-stress though a fulfilling home experience that won’t break the bank.
Pride in self-achievement: That is the common promise by many of today’s top-selling housewares products. Soda makers. Treat makers. Meatball makers. Single-serve coffeemakers. Chef-endorsed cookware. Specialty bakeware and kitchen tools. On-the-go beverageware. Mix-and-match tableware. Water filters. Grooming appliances. Steam cleaners. And many others.
Sears and Kmart are leveraging the appeal of homemade accomplishment with its plan to launch a collection of home goods licensed by author and TV cook Sandra Lee, who extols at-home simplicity and economy through her “Semi-Homemade” cooking methodology.
Similar sentiment is rooted in every home product endorsement from Rachael Ray to Martha Stewart to Bob Vila that has attempted to make self-made treats seem more attainable and self-service chores seem more agreeable.
Homemade aspiration isn’t limited to the kitchen. Homemade applies to cleaning, to wellness, to appearance, to décor, to organization and more.
Homemade means fresher and more satisfying. Homemade baby food. Homemade lasagna. Homemade pillows.
Homemade rebuilds consumer confidence and esteem. Homemade encourages not an escape from daily living, but rather an embrace of daily living.
Simplifying and improving a homemade lifestyle is the legacy of the housewares industry. It doesn’t hurt to remind consumers every now and then to keep the spotlight on an industry unified in its commitment to advancement worthy of more attention on the shelves and more dollars on the bottom line.
The housewares industry often seems to struggle for a higher profile in the consumer products space against such categories as fashion and technology, although housewares historically has been one of the steadiest sales performers.
Many of the success stories reported by HomeWorld Business during the past year serve up convincing evidence that housewares is tapping into the psyche of the consumer market as its transitions back into a careful purchase mode. Housewares once again is providing innovative new solutions and merchandising programs to celebrate and facilitate a rewarding homemade lifestyle.
“Housewares: Home. Made. Better.”
A catchy slogan is nice. What’s more more important, though, is a sustained campaign to raise the profile of a vital industry that is hitting an evolving consumer’s self-serve sweet spot.
This is the moment for housewares. Why let milk get all the attention?