04 Aug Marketing for YOUR Brand: Interiors
From paint pots to carpeting, cookware to furniture, an interiors brand creates a product that must walk the fine line between fitting into your consumer’s actual lifestyle, and being aspirational and desirable.
But people won’t just spot your product and decide on a whim to get a brand new bathroom or carpet in their home; an interior purchase is often an investment, rather than an impulse buy. Your marketing strategy has to reflect this. This means you’ll be targeting consumers who are planning on making a big decision, and are consequently interested in researching any and every possibility before making a final choice. Thus dialogue will often be with a savvy shopper with strong ideas as to what they want, as well as what they need.
Your marketing should position your brand and your product as covetable, functional, durable and worth the time and money spent on it, whatever your price point.
At RONIN, we handle PR and marketing activity for numerous lifestyle and interiors brands, and have picked up some tricks along the way, so we’re going to share some tips for marketing your brand!
- Be social
Luckily, interior brands are perfect for most of the major social media platforms. Get a brand Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest page, and work on creating and sharing useful advice, inspirational ideas and updates on your new, exciting product launches.
Create mood boards of colours, textures, decoration ideas and tasty recipes on Pinterest, and share them on Facebook and Twitter alongside tips and tricks from the experts at your company and relevant industry retweets. Don’t be scared to deviate a little – the idea is to find content that is off-brand but on message.
It’s always worth contacting bloggers, especially for something as lifestyle-orientated as interior design. It’s no secret that bloggers love a free item or experience. For example, when we helped a client arrange a series of demonstrations to promote their appliance and homeware brand, we invited some bloggers along to try out the products first hand and it went down a real treat. This helps you make a connection, and, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, so hands-on experiences are a great idea.
- Be visual
Although customers will want to know that your interior products work, the aesthetic is equally important. From cupboards to frying pans, everything must be stylish. So make sure your content is highly visual, showing off your brand and products in the best possible way. Of course, taste and style is subjective, so try to choose images that demonstrate all the different aesthetics your brand offers, from contemporary to classic.
For example, create a showroom online with a variety of close ups and lifestyle shots to demonstrate your product in different settings. These pictures can then be shared on social media, and sent to journalists for copy calls about interior design trends.
We often add new and archived images to Pinterest, as it’s the perfect social media platform for interiors imagery, with users pinning pictures to boards about their dream homes. We also love a fun graphic; for example, this year is our client Stoneham Kitchens’ 150th anniversary, so we’ve been celebrating the anniversaries of other British companies with quirky happy birthday messages to be shared across social media.
And although the world is increasingly digital, don’t neglect your physical visual image. It can have a major impact, as one of our clients, KABT, realised when we refreshed its image with brand new ads, brochures, shop signage and van wraps.
- Be helpful
As aforementioned, shoppers looking to make an interiors purchase are hunting for information and advice about the home. Providing an expert opinion will show that your brand is a thought leader in a crowded industry.
Compose thoughtful, useful content to be shared in the press, on your website and across your social media accounts. Top tips pieces and short, shareable articles describing interior design or market trends are a great way of giving existing followers and newcomers who may be browsing #kitchen for ideas an introduction to your brand, whilst being genuinely helpful.
When compiling the email newsletters for our interiors/lifestyle clients, we include a list of expert tips on, say, incorporating lighting in your kitchen, from an experienced member of staff at the company. Unsurprisingly, these are often the most clicked-through links.
- Be different
Made in the UK? Family owned? Ultra modern? Totally Green? Whatever your USP is, shout about it, and incorporate it into all your marketing material. It will strengthen your brand story, which is important to today’s consumers, especially in an industry as personal as homeware and interior design.
Stoneham Kitchens is a 150 year old, family-run business. All of its furniture is made bespoke, to order in the UK. It is this which makes the company unique. As a result, all marketing activity has been shaped around this; for example, Stoneham invited local schools to participate in two celebratory art and design competitions, to redesign the Stoneham logo, or to design the kitchen of the future; the winners were announced at the Grand Designs Live 2014 show in May. This added even more excitement and interest to the Stoneham stand, and also encouraged local students to get involved with the story of the brand, and with a career in design and British manufacturing. The competitions combined an exploration of the rich heritage of Stoneham, whilst also showing that the company is looking forward to the future of design, and the kitchen industry.
- Be present
Generally speaking, people don’t tend to have a subscription to kitchen or bathroom magazines, or the like; they will instead buy every relevant magazine they can get their hands on for the months during the planning stages of their home improvement project. Therefore, it’s important to get your brand in the press regularly, to stay present and at the forefront of the minds of customers, old and new.
Offering thought leadership pieces on new trends and producing great images that reflect the trends featured in interior design and home magazines shows that your brand is ahead of the curve, and an authoritative voice in the industry. In the world of interiors, trends move fast, so keep an eye open all the time; one of our clients, an online crafts marketplace for buying and selling homemade products, launched during the crafts revival. We tapped into this trend in messaging and ad campaign, with the slogan “create your mark”.
Don’t forget about trade magazines, too; the interiors industry has lots of specific trade magazines, such as kbb review and Jewellery Focus, who will be interested to hear about new product launches, technology and manufacturing processes. This content will be of interest to fellow designers, suppliers and distribution outlets
- Be personal
Make advice personal to the experiences of your actual customers, and the real life problems they face. This is far more relatable, and will also improve the quality of your content.
Storytelling is hugely important, and interior brands can get personal by sharing successfully completed projects in the form of case studies; happy customers would love to tell the story of their home. According to the Metro, 2/3 of us like to look at properties and snoop in other people’s houses – so-called ‘property porn’ – so there is a big market for this kind of content. Share it on your website, social media accounts and look for press opportunities, as real homes and case studies are often featured in national home and interior magazines.