Social media platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer an insightful glimpse into the current mindset, buying preferences and “hot buttons” of many of today’s kitchen and bath consumers.
Consumers, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, are moving from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to FOGO (Fear of Going Out), and through this lens it’s obvious that touchless and safe interactions are paramount. Additionally, consumers are responding to altruism and brands that demonstrate social responsibility.
Emerging product and lifestyle trends serve as a guide for brands when deciding the components kitchen and bath design firms should include in the creation of mood boards and shot lists for photos, as well as videos for sharing on social media. Incorporating the products of emerging trends presents your brand as culturally relevant and in touch with your audience. From a lifestyle perspective, the theme that’s consistent across all platforms is thought leadership, charity, authenticity and safety.
The Pinterest platform, as one example, offers a compelling insight into current product and lifestyle trends. In 2020, eight out of the online platform’s 10 predictions came true. For 2021, Pinterest predicts that, since people cannot venture outside, they’ll turn inward in self-reflection. Pinterest saw a resurgence of mindfulness and wellness. People began taking time for more self-care, including yoga, meditation and learning new skills. Bread baking and gourmet cooking interests increased along with hobbies and a return to nature.
In 2021, LED lighting will be a major vibe, with popular search terms including: Mirror with LED lights, LED light room and LED light signs.
Appeal to Pinners’ interest by demonstrating how your products enhance this trend. Home appliance brands can show how their products power light designs. Cleaning brands can demonstrate how their products keep bedrooms dust free and clean. Hybrid, multi-purpose rooms are also encouraging an inclusion of tech gadgets, a trend that’s likely to grow. #Shelfies are the new gallery walls of the kitchen, and in-tandem floating shelves saw a 130% increase. People will be sharing pictures of displays containing copper cookware – a 35% increase over 2019, and glazed clay plates, up 105%. Keep this in mind when staging photo shoots and adding hashtags to posts.
The trend toward minimalism is also rising along with Japandi, a hybrid of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. Clean lines, neutral colors and calming spaces trends saw a 100% increase. To that end, modern minimalist kitchen inspiration saw a 115% increase in 2020, and minimalist bathroom interest surged four times over the previous year.
Consumers also sought to find office space in their homes, often converting closets – referred to as a “cloffice” – as a space for homework. Online searches for #Cloffice ideas doubled, as consumers began to uncover more effective uses of space and cleaning out. Home library design saw a staggering seven-times increase. Similarly, bookshelf room dividers increased 150%, and modern mudroom searches doubled.
Presenting your brand
As people embrace new activities from home, consider how your brand can also present itself on new channels and formats – from lessons via live video to shoppable stories – to support people’s physical, emotional and mental wellness. For example, livestreaming of cooking classes can appeal to the rise of #quarantinebaking and sourdough bread. In a similar vein, interest in victory gardens grew by a remarkable 39.5 times. Ask yourself how your product or service benefits these lifestyles.
In the U.S., livestream shopping events are predicted to generate $25 billion in sales by 2023. Livestreaming shopping events on social channels are simply a casual digital version of home shopping we’ve historically seen on TV. A six-times increase in conversations related to contactless shopping and living emerged. The fact that the conversions (sales) spiked six times demonstrates that a company promoting contactless shopping has a notable benefit – keeping your customers feeling safe and connected, while at a distance, is a distinct advantage.
Shaker Cabinets were featured in top posts on Instagram, and wooden floors were the second-
biggest trend in 2020, featured in 74% of the top posts analyzed. White cupboards and flowers/plants tied for third place, with each being featured in 70.4% of the top posts. White walls were also a big hit, suggesting that people love white kitchens in general. Kitchen islands were featured in 51.9% of the top posts, while brass door handles and marble countertops were both featured in 44.4% of the top Instagram posts.
Mixed reality, immersive environments and AI are creating boundless environments in our everyday world, as blended reality finds its way into work, education, shopping via virtual showrooms, leisure and more. People are curious about all forms of immersive experiences and how this technology will transform everyday life. A longstanding trend on Twitter is recurring hashtags for every day of the week. A consistent posting schedule is ideal for Twitter, so select one or all of the daily hashtags to incorporate into your Twitter presence.
Monday: #MotivationMonday – Share positive wishes and productivity tips for the week ahead.
Tuesday: #TransformationTuesday – Before-and-after kitchen and bath remodel photos are ideal. It can also be used to show a brand’s evolution over time.
Wednesday: #WednesdayWisdom – A weekly opportunity to share thought leadership, expert tips and inspirational quotes.
Thursday: #TBT (short for Throwback Thursday) – This gives people the opportunity to share photos or thoughts about a “throwback” to an earlier time. It’s also a fun way to share past photos or express nostalgia.
Friday: #FridayFeeling – Share your plans for the weekend or share a GIF to express your true #FridayFeeling.
Saturday: #Caturday – For brands, this is a great opportunity to showcase your office pets, pet-themed products or a twist on how your products can be used by furry companions.
Sunday: #SundayFunday – This represents one last hurray to the weekend before returning to Monday. It’s a great chance for brands to get creative and share their final weekend thoughts, plans and wishes.
Social media provides us all with the opportunity to connect with the world around us and share the story of our brand. A consistent, authentic and relevant presence connects with consumers and enlarges your customer base. ▪
Denise Grothouse has an extensive background in international business, branding and marketing. She specializes in digital and social platforms and integrating them with traditional marketing and branding strategies. No stranger to the kitchen and bath industry, she is best known for her work as chief brand officer of Grothouse, Inc., and president of the marketing company Perfect Six.