IHA checked in with Helen Jamieson, senior trend strategist with Trend Bible, to get an update on global home lifestyle trends that she will discuss at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics will include smart home, consumer shopping preferences, branding and global market trends.
Trend Bible is a UK-based, globally operating trend forecasting consultancy that specializes in forecasting the future of life at home. The agency works with brands, manufacturers and retailers, advising clients on how to capitalize on emerging industry and consumer trends. Trend Bible publishes a series of industry specific trend books and insight reports, as well as crafting custom consultancy services for clients.
Senior trend strategist Helen Jamieson advises some of the world’s biggest and most recognized retailers, brands, architects and design agencies. She directs them on how to use insights about the future to inform strategic, design and marketing decisions. Helen also works on developing Trend Bible’s unique methodologies for trend forecasting and training the team in how to use them.
Helen, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work? What fuels your inspiration?
I never cease to be fascinated by social and cultural change, what this means for how we will live in the future and for the sorts of product, services and environments we will need and want. As a trend forecaster I’m always tuned in to what’s happening around me, looking for early signs of change in almost everything. I get most inspired through conversations with a diverse set of people, collaborating and sharing ideas. The reward comes when I can pull these insights together to identify opportunities for my clients that they can put into action.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business? How has your company met these challenges in the way you do your work?
We’re increasingly being asked by our consultancy clients for longer-term forecasts, five-year, or even 10 to 15-year views. Historically our clients would want to look 18 months to three years ahead. These long-term forecasts look at big shifts in consumer lifestyles, industry and innovation. I think this shift reflects the pace of change, the relative uncertainty in the world and significant disruption to business as we know it, through the success of start-up models like Airbnb and Uber. A long-term view can help our clients identify the big opportunities, or potential risks, and how to overcome them. This type of trend forecasting relies on a different set of methodologies that I’ve been developing with the team.
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
This Show is a great opportunity for Trend Bible to connect with the world’s biggest home and housewares brands and see first-hand what’s happening with new product. We spend time speaking with industry peers, our clients who are exhibitors, as well as meeting with new clients who are interested in working with Trend Bible. It’s always a pleasure having the chance to present, sharing a preview of our insights for the upcoming season. I always make time to learn from other presenters – there really are some innovative thinkers and doers sharing their insights and experiences and I enjoy being able to tap into these too.
Global Trends for Home and Interiors, 2019
Saturday, March 10 1:30 – 2:20 p.m.
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center Room E350
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
I’ll reveal two trends from our published trend books. The first is Connected Souls, from our Autumn Winter 2018/19 Book and the second is Grounded from our Spring Summer 2019 book. I’ll be sharing inspiration and future design direction for housewares product. The presentation will include direction on how these trends should be translated into color, material, shape and pattern for housewares. I’ll also give an overview of the research that underpins each trend providing you with the narrative that describes why each specific design aesthetic will be relevant to consumers in their homes in 2018/19.
Helen, you’ve presented in the Innovation Theater before. What are you looking forward to from speaking this year?
This will be my second year presenting at the Show but my third time attending. The Innovation Theater always receives a great audience who are clearly switched on and eager to absorb new insights. We often have great conversations with individuals after the presentation, they’re either interested in working with Trend Bible or just fascinated by trend forecasting and want to share thoughts; I enjoy meeting everyone and really value these conversations.
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?
The home was traditionally a private space where only our direct family or those with an invite would get to see how we live and the things we own; social media has changed that significantly. Many once-private, at-home occasions are now published online, from the first moments of waking up in the morning to what’s eaten for supper, or the weekend’s cake baking activity. This has had significant impact on the design aesthetic of products consumers want to buy. Housewares products that ordinarily were purchased for functionality now have to look great and be Instagram-worthy.
What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
The impact of online retail continues to be a topic that our clients ask us to advise them on. Manufacturers now have the ability to sell directly to consumers, which means they have to start behaving more like brands; retailers now have to rethink the purpose of their bricks and mortar stores; and e-commerce sites have to consider the increasing influence of “inspiration” platforms like Pinterest as they introduce click-to-buy functions.
Smart technology or “connected” devices in the home are also a key topic. Most brands and manufacturers are considering if and how they should, or should not, incorporate smart technology into their products and services. One of our first pieces of advice in this area is to remember that the prime function of the home is to be “homey” and to always consider how consumers will feel about smart technology within the context of the home environment.
Thank you, Helen. Perceptive as always, you set the stage for how to consider the home environment within a much larger context. We look forward to learning from you on the opening day of the Show, March 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Innovation Theater.
For more information, visit www.trendbible.com.
Learn from experts about how to invigorate your new products and services by enhancing your innovation efforts. Critical issues such as global design trends, branding, the needs of distinct consumer age and gender groups, and questions about smart/connected devices in our home environments all impact the home goods market. Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at www.housewares.org after the Show.