Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some Bedroom Inspiration

I am in the midst of reevaluating, rethinking and repositioning my business( like everyone else this time of year and in this economic climate). I came across this survey and it sparked some thoughts on an opportunity that might be out there waiting for you.
Hearst Home Group publishers of House Beautiful, O At Home, and Veranda among others recently did a survey hoping to understand the American consumer’s current and future design aesthetic; document the buying process for home related products—from inspiration to purchase and quantify current decorating and renovating activity in the American home. In so doing, Hearst identified a number of marketing opportunities for savvy home furnishings pros.

Among the survey’s key findings, “Affluent consumers are in decorating mode,” says Hearst Home Group Director Jeanne Noonan Eckholdt. According to Eckholdt, the survey found that “decorating is slightly higher on their agenda than renovating. And, the master bedroom is where the action is, in more ways than one!” (In the coming year, decorating activity in the master bedroom will increase by a whopping 74 percent over last year.) “Consumers’ desire for escape from a fast-paced, crazy world has driven them back into the comfort of their master bedrooms,” Eckholdt related. “More than ever, they want to make it a sanctuary from the rest of the world. Help them accomplish this, and you’ll gain a loyal customer
The survey showed that only one in 10 (11 percent) likes their master bedroom as is. Here’s the good news-some 42 percent seek new window treatments for the master bedroom of their dreams. But don’t just think in terms of the windows.

From Hearst Home Groups's Survey 2008

The Opportunity-In general, the study found that most consumers were NOT happy with the rooms that they lived in the most. They are ripe for marketing messages that communicate how they can resolve that. You can be the person to give them an end result they are happy with. Sell yourself not PRODUCT. Secondly, the survey found that most consumers will pay more if they believe the product will last longer; so market quality and exclusivity. The survey reiterated that consumers decorate over time. Build loyalty; develop longer-term relationship incentives to keep them coming back over a longer period of time. You can also appeal to consumers’ interest in unique items by incorporating limited-edition items or limited collections.

HOW?- Consider moving into positioning yourself in the soft furnishings niche. Do the research and get yourself up to speed on bedding, accessory and soft furnishings trends and resources. Check out retailers that own the market share to see how they are marketing themselves. Look for resources -Etoffe Makara, Fleur de Lis, Austin Horn and others- the high end bedding companies that don’t have minimums for designers so with a small upfront cost in sample books you can be in the category. Or forge an alliance with a quilter or workroom willing to help you create a semi custom private label line.
Position and market yourself as a bedroom expert. Look to develop packages using the tried and true good, better, best concept of window treatments and bedding. Name them cleverly using buzzwords that are touchpoints for your consumer- Spa, Private, or Sexy, romantic… Here’s my favorite example of a bedding package.
Bedrooms by Brynne has the following packages:
"All About The Love," package for couples getting married or couples just celebrating their love.
"The Upgrade," for those who are wishing to wash that old lover right out of the bed and have recently ended a relationship and are looking for a clean start or an upgrade.

"Bedroom In A Box," which acts as a blueprint guide for clients for a flat fee delivered in a lovely box. After one consultation for measuring and assessing the clients bedroom needs and one edit consultation, the "Bedroom In A Box," is delivered which includes a presentation style floor plan and furniture plan, samples of selected fabrics for furniture and window treatments, flooring samples, specs of furniture, decor elements found locally and online, and sources for carpenters, painters, drapery makers and artisans. This is the perfect option for clients who are on a budget and wish to project manage the room themselves in a discerningly timely manner.

Let me know if this has struck a chord and if you are considering getting into this niche;already have and how you're doing it. Finally, take a minute to answer our survey about business in 2009 and then look for the results early next year.


  1. Very good start here. Informative and interesting, enough to keep me reading a bit more than I do on most blogs. This appears to be a new blog, will you be adding a profile? I kept wondering who the "we" are that I was reading about in your posts. Keep up the good work. :-)

  2. Great information for everyone. Thanks for the update.

    Karen Erickson