It’s no secret that nobody saw the drastic increase in spending (36% to be precise) that UK consumers would undertake on home improvement projects during the pandemic. However, now that post-pandemic spending is starting to lower to normal levels again, how can your home improvement brand continue to capitalise on consumers’ home and lifestyle ventures? Here’s how: get involved with trends early.
The rise of TikTok and Instagram as home and lifestyle inspiration portals during the pandemic, and the continued popularity ever since means that trends spread like wildfire among users, and failing to get involved in these trends could make all the difference between breaking revenue records versus losing sales to competitors who recognised the trends early on.
The psychology behind trends stems right back to the early days of human existence. As a species we like to follow a herd-mentality type of situation because it’s easier to fit in with the crowd than go out on your own; by following the crowd you save yourself more time by cutting out your own decision making and copying that of others.
Additionally, going along with a crowd subconsciously plays into our natural human tendency of wanting to belong to a tribe, a tendency that nobody is immune to. Despite there being so much psychological research surrounding trends, they can be difficult territory since they have an unknown expiration date. That’s why acting fast is key.
However, acting quickly is easier said than done when it comes to execution. There’s always another priority, too many sign-offs needs or something else that takes over.
Well, we have good news. We’ve compiled the most popular trends from 2022, and researched the most likely trends for 2023 to help you in your endeavours.
There’s been a buzz around self-care at home this year - so much so that there’s now an International Self-Care Day on the 24th of July every year for the cause. More and more consumers are putting their mental health first by developing daily ‘rituals’ to take time out of their busy lives and show themselves a little more compassion. These so-called rituals can include anything as simple as lighting some candles around an evening bath filled with relaxing oils, to something more extravagant like constructing a garden building dedicated to yoga and meditation.
IKEA targeted this trend by introducing their ‘Balance Starts at Home’ PR initiative which encouraged thousands of people from different countries around the world to give a description of what home felt/looked like to them, and how their feelings towards their home impacted their general wellness. Without explicitly promoting its products, IKEA got their name out there in the self-care and wellness space via this creative and thought-provoking PR campaign.
This trend has been on the rise in recent years, and its popularity has continued into 2022; you know as well as we do that sustainability is big, and it’s here to stay.
Consumers are increasingly looking for green(er) alternatives, whether that’s reusable items as opposed to single-use, or products made from sustainable materials rather than plastic or rare resources.
The distinction between eco-friendly and sustainable products has also become more recognised by consumers, and their buying habits have changed as a result. To a growing number of consumers, it’s no longer acceptable to stock a product that’s environmentally friendly in the short term, it’s all about what the impact of making/selling that product will have on the planet’s future. Thus, the distinction between environmentally friendly products versus sustainable products is becoming more important.
Well-known sofa brand, DFS, made a statement in the sustainability sphere when they announced their partnership with Clearabee, a company that will take away old sofas and recycle all the materials possible from the old piece of furniture. This initiative, coined ‘Sofa Rescue by DFS’ means that old sofas no longer go to landfill, but instead get repurposed to save the reliance on raw material usage in manufacturing.
Seeing this trend continue into 2022 was no surprise as ever since the pandemic there has been a rise in the number of people looking for home workspace-related products. Specifically speaking, one of the most interesting products which have snowballed in popularity this year is the desk treadmill. This merges the idea of self-care at home and home working because it means that consumers get their daily exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy.
However, products to aid and enhance the work-from-home life have continued to stay popular across the board as more consumers strive to find the perfect work/life balance…and make their spare room into a fit-for-purpose office as opposed to a hoarding room for old clothes, toys, and whatever else happens to materialise.
H&M Home keeps it fairly simple when it comes to marketing their home office products, but it’s key to remember that simple can be just as effective as wild and extravagant if done correctly.
H&M Home run numerous paid advertising campaigns across various channels including Google Shopping Ads and social media ads. They also have a dedicated landing page ready for customers who respond to their more generic ads meaning that they’ve paid attention to their CRO and customer journeys.
In addition to this, the brand has also teamed up with a few micro-influencers in different countries around the world to reach customer bases that don’t respond as well to paid advertising strategies.
Very specific to the UK - this is a trend that has recently begun to gain traction. The days are getting darker, we’re heading into winter, and the looming Cost of Living and Energy Crises means it's no surprise that consumers want to improve their homes to let in as much natural light as possible to save on electricity bills. Some consumers are at a point where spending money to put in more windows and natural light sources is cheaper in the long run than paying electricity bills.
Aside from the increase in energy bills - that’s not the only reason why consumers are looking to let more natural light into their homes.
There’s an abundance of research supporting the fact that natural light helps to regulate our circadian rhythms better than artificial light; this links into the self-care at home trend as a regulated circadian rhythm means a better night’s sleep, less reliance on caffeine and sugar for energy boosts, and even a better overall mood.
As this trend continues to grow towards the end of 2022, marketing campaigns specific to it are few and far between. However, there are endless opportunities to tailor marketing activity to it.
Displaying ads on money-saving advice sites is a good way to get in front of customers and encourage them to enter the upper funnel of their customer journey. Additionally, paid advertising on search engines and social media is an option to target customers who are lower down in the funnel and more ready to buy. Alternatively, methods like TV advertisements and even product placement in films get products in front of the consumer in a subtle manner making it easier for them to enter the awareness and consideration stages of their buying journey.
As more Gen Z individuals and ‘Zillennials’ start to become homeowners, we expect to see a trend of bold, contrasting colours making its way into homes.
Gen Z has been found to show a preference for bright colours, specifically yellows (the colour of happiness, joy, and positivity) and greens (the colour of nature, health, and growth). Additionally, the colour purple (the colour of royalty, luxury, and spiritualism) is predicted to become more popular among Gen Z individuals.
What’s more, a generation-wide pattern can be seen in Gen Z’s love for the contrast of bright colours which suggests the start of a move away from the trend of minimalism where homes became varying shades of nude, white and grey.
We all know the best way to judge whether or not something will fit in with everything else in our home is to see it, and that’s why Dulux’s Visualiser tool is perfect for consumers looking to make a decision on what paint to buy. Producing something similar to this is one way you can show your audience how great your bold-coloured products could look in their home.
Alternatively, why not add a bit of fun to your marketing strategy and tailor a gamification campaign to your boldly coloured products? Your game could allow users to furnish their own online house using a digital catalogue of your products, the wackier the better!
‘Hygge’ is a Scandinavian term that’s grown in popularity recently. It doesn’t have a direct English translation, but the best way of describing it is that it aims to put the cosy feeling of being under your duvet and in your warm bed on a cold and rainy day into words. It’s expected that consumers will start to adopt more hygge style products into their homes in 2023.
This trend is a byproduct of the current trend of self-care at home as people look to make their homes into more comfy and cosy places, somewhere they want to spend time and relax.
To target the types of customers that want to add a bit of hygge into their home, why not take a leaf out of IKEA’s book and create a virtual simulation of your products in a hygge home setting? This way, customers can enjoy your products through a bit of virtual reality lifestyle marketing and get a better image of what your products could look like in their own homes.
From kitchen islands to fireplaces to built-in wardrobes we’ve seen wacky and creative home projects for them all in 2022, and this trend is only going to increase in popularity in 2023.
With more and more people looking to save as the cost of living increases, consumers are much more likely to complete their home projects themselves than pay for someone else to do it.
Although on the face of it this might seem negative since, after all, you don’t want your customers doing things that your brand is an expert in, this can also double up as an opportunity for you.
Rather than targeting audiences with complete finished products, diversify and offer bundles on certain items which make up a DIY kit to help them make it themselves. Then you could team up with a home and lifestyle influencer that matches your brand image and who can film ‘how to use’ videos for your product(s).
To further promote your bundle to shoppers who might not follow influencers, why not use a Google Ads Paid Search campaign that targets DIY-related keywords for the product(s) you’re offering bundles for? This gets your bundle to in-market customers looking to buy.
This trend has started to gain momentum, and it’s expected to get even more popular as we head into 2023.
Not only are consumers looking to create their own textured walls by using paint, wallpaper and plaster, but they’re also starting to use more solid materials like wooden slats and panels to make more of a statement. By using non-traditional materials to create textured walls, homeowners create something unique to their home giving it a special feel.
To promote your offerings for textured walls, a unique method could be to create a textured bus stop or billboard advertisement which encourages passers-by to feel and see how great your textured wall materials look and feel!
To elevate this method, why not contact a PR agency that can get in touch with their contacts to shout about how unique and creative your campaign is? Not only does this get your products in front of customers, but it also gets your name out there as a market leader too.
Additionally, look at really strengthening your SEO approach so that you rank above your competitors for anything textured wall related. Whether this is taking the time to optimise for keywords, or improving your site structure and metadata, if it gets you to position one on Google…it’s worth doing!
2022 has made way for trends around self-care, sustainability, home workspaces, and natural lighting. While 2023 is predicted to see big and bold making a return, with customers striving for a ‘hygge’ home, getting their hands dirty with DIY projects, and making statements with textured walls.
We’ve shared our insights into what current brands have done to target trends in 2022, but here’s what you can do to stand out and target trends in your marketing strategy going into 2023:
Other fun ideas could include creating pop-up stores in popular locations (e.g. a shopping centre) or a social media campaign asking audiences to share their worst DIY attempts (points to those with photo evidence!).
So what are you waiting for? Get planning for 2023 now using these insights, and get ahead of your competition by planning exciting campaigns!
Looking to learn even more about what really drives your customers to buy? Check out our latest report where we do a deep dive into the minds of real customers of home and lifestyle brands to see what makes them tick.