That’s the slogan under which the IHA will rebrand the International Home + Housewares Show beginning with the 2016 show.
This special Sunday Show Daily of HomeWorld Business features a look at the show’s next branding initiative (turn to page 3 of the March 8, 2015, issue). The “smART” branding accentuates the letters “ART”— signifying the fusion of technology and style that characterizes today’s successful housewares design and marketing development.
Brains and beauty have long been productive partners for a housewares industry that has worked consistently to advance with intelligent, attractive products that make daily tasks more bearable. “Smart” as a buzzword has achieved even loftier status in today’s consumer goods marketplace, and housewares marketers are doing their part to develop an array of digitally connected “smart” products in many categories.
The value proposition in housewares is much more compelling, though, when you can bundle desirable technology and fashion into a user-friendly lifestyle solution.
Come across as too techy and you run the risk of alienating the core consumer base. Come across as too pretty and you run the risk of covering up the practical benefits of a product.
A great-looking product probably won’t make it to the second order if its quality and performance underwhelm. Conversely, a product touting life-changing technology will have a hard time reaching the retail shelf if it might be seen as an eyesore on the kitchen counter.
Credit the housewares industry as a whole for overcoming margin pressure in recent years to stay on the leading edge of technology and fashion trends and doing so at competitive costs.
This week’s International Home + Housewares Show promises to serve up a buffet of design innovation. Design, often misunderstood by consumers to represent how a product looks, is as much a byproduct of how a product is made and how it works. The combination of these factors— the look, the technology and the utility— calculates the real intelligence quotient of a product.
Most consumers probably don’t realize how good they have it with so many great products at great prices. Anything done to make them more aware can only help lift the value of the housewares business across all channels.
The next slogan for the International Home + Housewares Show has a clever ring to it, but it’s no gimmick.
As a calling card for this industry… it’s smart.