Getting a slice of the new business pie
26 March 2018
Author: Jasmine Waters
What we buy and sell is constantly changing, and the way we do has become more important than ever before. As markets such as gifts and homeware continue to gain popularity, both agents and retailers need to think outside the box to get a piece of these new types of business.
Our new shopping habits have us spending more time online and less in stores, meaning the overall experience we have when we’re there, is crucial. Small independent brands have a real advantage here – by focusing on creating these experiences, they can naturally show what they do best. As some brands look to technology to help keep interest and loyalty, you also can’t rule out classic customer service. As exciting as VR and augmented reality can be, walking into store or showroom and talking to someone with a burning passion for what they sell… you can’t match it!
In terms of new business, a key factor to change has been the difference in age demographics. The ‘millennial’ market now represents between 23-25% of consumers, spending on average £400 billion each year. The rise of platforms like Pinterest and the impact of social media influencers mean the ‘twenty-somethings’ want the picture perfect lifestyle, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the growth of homeware. High profits can be seen here as the market is forecast to reach £20 billion by 2020, bringing in not only extra turnover, but also increasing brand recognition. Anton Dell are working with Lavender & Lillie, using the design of their gifts and homeware to appeal to both traditional and contemporary homes and personalities.
Like many areas in fashion, gifts and homeware are all about creating the complete lifestyle experience for a customer. Our homes are the anchor in our daily lives, so it’s unsurprising to see the surge in market interest, proving a substantial way for brands to showcase talent. It’s not only smaller brands getting their slice of the homeware pie, with luxury giants Dolce and Gabbana collaborating with SMEG and Loewe using gifts to strengthen their core brand message at Milan Design Fair.
However you might interact with them, a brand is an experience – if you can truly ‘get’ where and how every element of what you sell creates your USP together, then you’re onto a winning formula. You could do this by developing strategy based around the experiences and ethos that drives your brand narrative, keeping relevance and meaning throughout everything you do. As for selling, agents need to anticipate the change of landscape – monitor, measure and manage upcoming behaviour patterns to get the most out of every new avenue and opportunity.
Whether you’re looking to branch into the homeware market or just being open-minded, understanding the relevance and role a brand will play into a consumer’s life is crucial to keeping up with the ever-changing times. There’s no right or wrong way to stay engrossed and engaged, but instead a variety of options – new tech, new shoppers and new experiences. Agents and retailers alike need to stay nimble with cutting edge strategies to bring brands forward into the future.
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