Producers of several YouTube home and cooking channels are at the International Home + Housewares Show as part of an initiative by the International Housewares Association to cultivate more exposure for the industry on this surging digital programming platform.
The YouTube producers include the Kin Community and TasteMade networks, which serve up several YouTube channels; and independent YouTube channel Alejandro Home Organizing.
The recruitment to the show of these YouTube “influencers” coincides with the commencement of IHA’s “Vision 2020” strategic plan, a core component of which is a devoted effort to connect housewares suppliers directly with consumers.
The IHA’s new strategic plan also unifies association management efforts around disciplines formerly split on a domestic and international basis. Derek Miller, formerly vp/international, now heads all show marketing efforts as IHA’s vp/global marketing. Perry Reynolds, formerly vp/marketing and trade development, leads member services and trade development efforts as svp/global trade development.
The activities of the realigned IHA management should converge in the association’s mission to connect its members— through its show, international show/event participation and a full menu of services— not just to retailers around the world, but also to end-users.
This goes beyond an already successful consumer media strategy that brings dozens of editors and bloggers to the show and a string of press previews during the year; or the initial social media programs launched by IHA in recent years.
“We have so many things going on year-round that the consumer would be excited to know about,” Miller said. “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to promote our members and their products to the consumer, which ultimately drives sales.”
Digital commerce and social networking have lowered the fiscal and operational barriers to direct consumer marketing.
“There is a lot of talk about the path to purchase,” IHA’s Reynolds said in reference to the way digital commerce has empowered consumer shopping navigation and choice. “Being able to reach the consumer directly along that path can be highly influential.”
Suppliers and retailers alike stand to benefit from any initiative to open the dialogue between the housewares industry and its consumers. And IHA is in a strong position to be a catalyst for promoting all outlets available to raise the industry’s consumer profile.
This doesn’t have to come at the expense of a high trade profile.
It’s important that IHA’s “Vision 2020” plan is implemented in such a way that the association’s focus on fostering connections between suppliers and retailers isn’t blurred by a heightened effort to help the industry connect directly with consumers.