Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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THE PACE OF life seems to be speeding up these days, with a firehose of information every time you turn on your phone, tablet or computer. Here are some trends worth keeping an eye on in 2019, according to four industry pros sharing what you need to know to be successful this year: • Tim Costello, CEO of BDX and Builder Homesite, parent companies of NewHomeSource.com and HomLuv.com, top-rated search and information websites for new home buyers and builders; • Lynn Kirchgatter, recruiter and owner of Keercutter & Associates, a search firm that specializes in the construction, kitchen and bath industries; • Laurie Laizure, founder of Interior Design Community, a social media community for design professionals to share knowledge, ideas, resources and trends; • Irene Williams, integrated market- ing consultant handling social media, public relations, brand messaging, ad- vertising, online and communications strategies for kitchen and bath indus- try clientele as owner of Msg2Mkt. DEMOGRAPHICS DOMINATE "Today, 28 percent of households are single people living alone, 25 percent are couples with no children and 20 percent are unrelated adults sharing a household," observes Costello. "Yet, we're still building three to five bedroom homes. We should be focused on creating compelling new forms of housing for today's dominant household types." What are those compelling forms? "There's a tremendous opportunity for helping Boomers age in place, right-size or both," he says. There's also a vast opportunity to help tech-savvy millennials – soon to overtake their boomer parents as the country's largest demographic – express their style. Both demographics seek simpler living with walkability and wellness. "Smaller, flexible, smarter forms of housing will better serve today's smaller households," Costello notes. REACHING NEW CLIENTS "Virtual reality and augmented reality are funda- mentally changing how consumers experience yet-to-be-built homes – and how they person- alize and design spaces. This is especially true in the kitchen and bath," the NewHomeSource. com/HomLuv.com leader shares. "Consumers want to click on and change appliances, cabi- nets, countertops, backsplashes, light fixtures, flooring, faucets and more." Is your technology offering prospective clients this option? "The most vital phases of the customer journey occur digitally. Thus, the quality of your online content has never been more critical to your success." First, they have to find you online. That's a challenge Laurie Laizure's 90,000-plus Interior Design Community members discuss regular- ly, she says. "Marketing is extra dollars spent, and designers still struggle on where exactly to put those dollars. While some have had great success marketing themselves online, others have not," she comments. While some have developed their brand with blogs and lucrative product licensing deals, others are still figuring out what makes the most sense for their busi- nesses. What is working for many, she says, is using Instagram for "sharing their experience day to day being a designer working on the projects they have currently, showing sneak peeks. This is bringing in big dollar projects for many designers who are doing it right." Irene Williams' corporate clients want to be part of those projects. Reaching designers and their support networks is her company's focus. "In the current social media landscape, we're strongly focused on Instagram; Instagram consistently offers 58 percent more engagement than Facebook business pages." Pinterest is an- other site she recommends. "This search-friend- ly platform does a phenomenal job in driving traffic back to our clients' websites. It's often the strongest site traffic driver by 20 percent or more for brands in the kitchen and bath industry. We also do plenty of paid digital promotions with key publications. We nurture engagement on all social and digital platforms with the common goal of getting designers to visit brand websites, subscribe for product updates via email or set up appointments to view samples." Williams also advises clients to pay atten- tion to the content types that social platforms are focusing on; these will often point the way to the best engagement on their sites, she reports. "For example, Instagram has beefed up its video offerings through the addition of Hot, Need-to-Know Trends for 2019 BY JAMIE GOLD, CKD, CAPS, MCTWC Changing demographics, virtual and augmented reality, changes to social media platforms, the growth of voice searches and staffing shortages are all factors that may impact kitchen and bath firms in 2019 and beyond. Design Trend: Comfortably Content crossvilleinc.com Msg2Mkt places digital Lookbook on Crossville client's site and social media pages. Many millennials want to personalize their homes when they buy or remodel them. Photo: Courtesy of Msg2Mkt/Crossville Photo: Courtesy of IDC member Mehditash Design LLC / Ryan Garvin - Photographer Photo: Courtesy of IDC member Shannon Ggem, Ggem Design Co Right-sizing and auxiliary dwelling units mean more small-space design. 34 Kitchen & Bath Design News • January 2019 TREND SPOTTING

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