Kitchen and Bath Survey Reveals 4 Key Consumer Trends

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends, Marketing Insights

  • Date:

    February 4, 2020

Kitchen and Bath Survey Reveals 4 Key Consumer Trends

Industry Trends Marketing Insights

Wray Ward recently partnered with the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) and Kitchen & Bath Design News (KBDN) on a survey of 300 kitchen and bath designers and dealers. The survey, designed to understand this pivotal group’s priorities in the face of changing consumer attitudes and behaviors, looked at four consumer segments:

  1. Younger Starters (in their 20s or 30s)
  2. Moving-Ups (in their 30s or 40s)
  3. Midlife Made-Its (in their 40s or 50s)
  4. Older Next-Phasers (in their 50s or 60s)

I presented survey findings during the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) Insights Breakfast last month. Miss my talk? Here are four key takeaways from “The Future of Kitchen & Bath: Predictions Regarding Crucial Customer Segments” for kitchen and bath product brands. You can also download an infographic with key data (grab the link below) and email me for a free copy of the summary study highlights.

1. There’s never been a greater appetite for new products and marketing support.

Demographics, technology and design meta trends are converging to drive strong demand for more styles, features (smart, eco-friendly), price points, samples and collateral. Today’s consumer is leaning into personalization, and we’re seeing this reflected at every level in the showroom.

Your marketing and product development should be focused on seizing these opportunities and making sure your product portfolio and new product development investments are aligned with the marketplace in a way that aligns with your brand and company positioning.

2. Customer experience still reigns supreme.

Designers are shifting more of their marketing to digital platforms, but in the showroom, first impressions are everything. Designers call more and better showroom displays their No. 1 priority, and a whopping 86% have made changes or plan to make changes to their showroom. They want to be able to offer more product variety and price options to appeal widely across audience segments.

Creating customer experiences where the customer can be an active participant in the design of their space is key, especially for the Younger Starters and Moving-Up segments. People don’t just want a design. They want to feel they’re working with someone who gets them and who shares their philosophy.

This is a critical front line area. If you're not responding with new and innovative ways to tell product stories, you could be losing. Losing presence, preference, advocacy and customers.

3. It’s great to be green.

Looking ahead, 44% of designers offer or plan to offer more eco-friendly products. That means expanding thinking around what is eco-friendly. How is the manufacturing process sustainable? How does the product contribute to a healthy home? How is it water/energy efficient? How brands shape this knowledge into a story that’s relevant to consumers’ lives can be a differentiating value.

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the eco-friendly field, it’s time to evolve your priorities.

4. New technologies represent the No. 1 change.

Thanks to widespread integration of social media, 3D design software and virtual reality tools, customer experience — and expectations — are advancing rapidly. Brands need to invest in talent and resources to fully support the development and use of these tools.

Home technology has long been about temperature control, security locks and entertainment, but kitchen and bath is moving from the fringe and gaining a bigger footprint in the technology arena.

Designers and showroom personnel are all at varying degrees of technology adoption and sophistication, so your brand should be flexible in supporting them with training, collateral and digital assets.

If you want even more data to drive your brand in 2020, email me or call Wray Ward at 704-332-9071 for your free copy of the summary study highlights.

Explore more articles from Wray Ward.