IHA chatted with Rick Babick and Janine Michalek of Design Research, LLC to learn about their research on kitchen design trends, which they will analyze at the 2019 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics discussed will include design innovation, smart home, digital commerce, and global market trends.
Rick, tell us about your work. You are a research company. Why do presentations on design?
We named the company “Design Research” because that captures our unique expertise. In the nearly 40 years we have been conducting research on design, we have never come across a research company that offers expertise in product categories where design matters. Design is often the key reason why people purchase a product – especially in home goods, yet we’re the only company that specializes in this area. We do presentations on design trends because we keep abreast of trends in the home as a service to our clients. We provide them with a meaningful, timely context in which to evaluate consumer response to their products.
Is it possible to quantify design trends?
Absolutely! We poll consumers through quantitative surveys to identify the percentages of those who like each style, color, material, pattern, etc. We do that by showing them collages that represent styles, colors, etc. in various product categories in each room of the house. We update our collages every year, thus enabling us to track trends over time. Compare that with other “trends” services that show a lot of pictures but that offer no proof, weight, context or historical comparisons behind their trends interpretations. With enough pictures, it is possible to create a storyboard to support just about any design or style. Our design trends are expressed in hard percentages. Consumers don’t lie about their preferences–they know what they like and we track that. Further, our design tests are proven to eliminate product failures and to increase sales an average of three-fold!
The American Living Survey: Five Years of Design and Lifestyle Trends
Innovation Theater • Lakeside Center • Room E350
Sunday, March 3 • 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Can you help a company design on-trend products specific to particular rooms in the home?
Yes! We canvas a wide variety of design sources to stay on top of current product offerings and current interior styles throughout the home. Then, when a client is seeking a study on kitchen products we present respondents with images of kitchens in various styles. We show them the prospective product concepts or designs and ask them to identify which ones they like best. By cross-tabbing the most liked designs with the style preferences, we are able to inform the clients as to which designs are most liked and who likes them, thereby identifying the size of the opportunity. For example, a much-liked design in a smaller style segment such as Tuscan is likely to enjoy lesser sales than a much-liked design in a larger segment such as Transitional. Our design expertise and history with design trends is used to inform our research.
Can you help a company design on-trend products targeted to specific generations, or consumers of specific retailers?
Absolutely, we do that very often! We have found that the wants/needs of Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers are VERY different when it comes to design and style. (Come to our presentation and you will find out how!) Thus, all our studies, and our IHA Presentation, highlight the specific tastes and needs of each generation. As far as specific retailers, we have conducted studies which target products to as many 8 unique retailers. We have also successfully conducted studies identifying which UNIQUE products/assortments will be most successful with which retailers, thus allowing exclusives by retailer, whether it be by color or design.
Thank you, Rick, for explaining your methodology. Your programs always attract strong audiences in our Innovation Theater and we look forward to your presentation on Sunday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. when you and Janine will present the results of five years of your research that quantifies how consumers have actually been decorating their homes and how that has been changing over time.
For more information please contact:
Rick Babick – Rick@Designres.com – 609-896-1108
Janine Michalek – Janine@Designres.com – 609-661-0632
Learn from experts about how to invigorate your new products and services by enhancing your innovation efforts. Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theaterto hear about the latest research and analysis of home trends and developments for the smart home, kitchen, health care and other categories. 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.