Smaller Spaces, Bigger Design Opportunity

HomeWorld’s annual Generational Marketing Report in the August 6 issue examines how downsizing of American homes is reshaping housewares design and marketing.

Among the indicators of this small space living and design convergence is escalating demand for and creation of space-conserving, multi-functional and convertible housewares— from countertop cooking appliances to task furniture to tableware.

Versatile Considerations

Suburban America’s need for multi-functional products waned as average home size increased through the mid-2000s. Versatility now registers higher in purchase considerations of home-starting Millennials and empty-nesting Boomers, although real estate metrics indicate these demographic groups might not be downsizing to smaller apartments or houses quite as much as home goods marketers have been projecting.

Many designers warn marketers not to overload functions into products, respecting the desire among a better-informed generation of consumers who appreciate products that can perform a couple of tasks well but may be wary of all-in-one claims.

With so much access today to market insights and consumer product feedback, it would seem much less likely for housewares marketers to introduce products with gratuitous features and functions that could compromise performance, consumer satisfaction and, ultimately, sales. Intense competition, though, sometimes makes it difficult to break old habits.

A strong connection between quantifiable consumer need and attentive product design remains a cornerstone of the most successful housewares introductions. The annual Housewares Designs Awards competition celebrates efforts to advance that rewarding consumer/design relationship.

Housewares Design Awards

Entries are open for the 2019 Housewares Design Awards, presented by HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® in partnership with the Las Vegas Market. The 14th Housewares Design Awards ceremony is set for Tuesday, January 29, 2019, during the Winter 2019 Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center Las Vegas.

The 2019 Housewares Design Awards will recognize excellence in 11 core housewares categories, an expanded Smart Home category and a new Gourmet Specialty Foods category.

Las Vegas Market will host the awards ceremony for the third year while providing independent judging, operational and promotional support for the design competition. Non-stick coatings leader Whitford Corporation continues its longstanding sponsorship of the Housewares Design Awards.

Real Products

The Housewares Design Awards every year presents— in the form of real products, not concepts or prototypes— tangible testimonials to the evolving lifestyles influencing housewares, and the commitment by the industry to be more responsive to a genuine need for practical design innovation.

Don’t be surprised to see examples of multi-functional, adaptable products among the 2019 Housewares Design Award finalists and winners.

As versatile as some of these products might be, all of them still must do one thing very well: Satisfy consumers.