Kitchen & Bath Design News

APR 2016

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

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Page 5 of 64

CHANGES ARE A'COMIN'…and those changes are probably talking on their iPhones right about now. Indeed, the biggest evolution expected to impact the kitch- en and bath industry in the next decade isn't just about prod- ucts, color trends or even new technology. Rather, it's about a smart phone-toting generation of homeowners and future homeowners with distinctive passions, ideas and preferences that will dramatically reshape the future. While kitchen and bath marketers have long focused on boomers due to their sheer numbers, the 18–32-year-old age group now comprises 35% of the population, surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest and fastest-growing demographic. Despite this, many industry professionals have largely ignored this group, citing the fact that they are not homeown- ers, not remodeling and, in many cases, not even looking for their frst apartment, forget a house. But, while employment challenges and high student loan debt have kept this genera- tion living with parents longer, these future homeowners will increasingly be impacting the design landscape in the years to come. Indeed, 23% of millennials plan to purchase a home in the next year, according to a new Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) survey, and the group's spend- ing power is expected to reach $1.4 trillion a year by 2020. But it's not just their numbers, or even their spending power, that's worth taking note of; it's their diferent views on everything from product preferences to preferred living spaces to shopping habits. Millennials have strong preferences for energy efciency, smart home technology, comfortable, workable kitchens and more casual spaces, according to speakers from the National Association of Home Builders and Better Homes & Gardens, who addressed housing preferences for this group at the International Builders' Show earlier this year. Indeed, this generation is more 'connected' than any other – whether through an ever-growing array of social media platforms, an almost appendage-like attachment to their cell phones, and their desire to enjoy interactive technology in all aspects of their homes (see related story, Page 46). Likewise, millennials use technology in all aspects of the shopping experience, researching products and services, reading reviews and soliciting input on social media, so they tend to be educated buyers. And, they are quick to share their experiences online – both positive and negative – which means they can be a huge asset to your business – or a poten- tial liability if things go south! Millennials are also increasingly gravitating toward dif- ferent home environments, often opting for condos in busy urban areas rather than the suburban homes of their parents. This is something they have in common with some of the old- er boomers, who are downsizing to smaller high-rise spaces in more citifed settings – which translates into a whole slew of new design challenges (see related story, Page 40). Even the showroom experience is diferent for millennials, many of whom have already pre-shopped online, and who want to see fewer, well-displayed choices integrated with digi- tal oferings (see related story, Page 18). But it's not just millennial homeowners who are changing the landscape; millennial designers, inspired by Houzz and Pinterest, are also re-imagining the kitchen and bath design feld. Indeed, a whopping 99% use Houzz and 96% use design software, according to the RICKI study. Millennial designers also tend to view themselves more as people oriented, with 64% saying their sales approach is more people-focused compared to 33% who take a more design-focused approach and 3% who say they are more prod- uct-focused, the study showed. And, 82% describe their sales approach as "relationship oriented." So, what does this tell you about millennials? First of, they're not easily pigeon holed. As much as they love tech- nology, they also appreciate relationships and real-time connections. Nor are they simply a younger version of their suburban dwelling parents. Being less "stuf-oriented" than previous generations, their penchant for simpler, cleaner and smaller spaces may keep them in urban areas long after they can aford bigger splurges. But while many millennials favor simplicity in design, they do like all the bells and whistles when it comes to tech- nology. And with their love of social media, they may just be your best marketing tool ever! Keep an eye on this evolving generation – they're not just changing the future, they are changing the present as well! " Millennials have strong preferences for energy efciency, smart home technology, comfortable, workable kitchens and more casual spaces." Millennials Leave Their Mark April 2016 • 5 EDITORIAL ® Like us: KitchenBathDesignNews Follow us on Twitter: @KBDN Follow us on Instagram: @kbdn_sola PUBLISHER Paul DeGrandis PUBLISHER EMERITUS Eliot Sefrin EDITOR Janice Anne Costa MANAGING EDITOR Anita Shaw ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ashley Lapin Olian GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Patrick O'Toole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Berndtson Joe Dowd Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS Elizabeth Richards Denise Vermeulen COLUMNISTS Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS Hank Darlington Leslie Hart Bruce Kelleran, CKD, CPA Stephen Nicholls Ken Peterson, CKD Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, CAPS Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, CMG, CAPS, IIDA Bryan Reiss, CMKBD Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Tracy Hegg CIRCULATION MANAGER Mike Serino READER SERVICE MANAGER Jeff Heine DIGITAL PROGRAMS MANAGER Tim Steingraber OPERATIONS MANAGER Marie Snow PROJECTS MANAGER Heidi Riedl Copyright © 2016 by SOLA Group Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form, including electronically, without written permission from the publisher of Kitchen & Bath Design News . JANICE COSTA EDITOR

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