Home is my happy place

I was talking to a lovely bathroom and fireplace brand last week and in doing so shared my experience of marketing in the home category.

Over the years I have worked with this magnificent list of brands: Sharps Bedrooms, Housing Units, Silentnight, Magnet, G Plan, Moben, Kitchens Direct, Dolphin, Trendsetter, Buildbase, MKM, Bradstone, Simply Paving, Plumbworld, Mobalpa, Karndean, Palio and GreenThumb.

As we chatted, I shared my views and advice on a number of things, so I decided to capture them here for other marketers in the home category to make use of:

Home is my happy place
  1. Emotional connection. All the brands we have successfully built have been rooted in a deep emotional and authentic connection with their customers. Using emotion to build memory structures remains one of the most powerful and effective strategies for brands. Use any excuse you can to explore positive emotions – especially in a recession.
  2. Distinctive brands. One beautifully styled room can look the same as the next on insta. Brands need to therefore build distinctiveness into all their brand assets, including their photography, to be top of mind when customers enter the buying phase.  When you think you’ve made your work distinctive, check again and then again to make sure it really is uniquely yours.
  3. Don’t get bored. Even though you feel like you’ve told your story in the same way, or you’ve had the same logo or colour palette for years don’t change it without hard commercial reasoning. Your customers won’t be bored of it, in fact they subconsciously rely on it at point of purchase. Change it and they have to reconsider the category again – and you probably don’t want that.
  4. Get bored. Find fresh relevance for your brand in other ways. Make new associations, or find new entry points for the brand to ensure customers build their narrative of your brand.
  5. Play the long UX game.  Many journeys in this category can extend into years – but you can carefully curate happy moments into that entire process to keep customers engaged and moving along towards the purchase goal.
  6. The ‘Sale’ never tires. Like most marketers and retailers I really wish we could move away from this mechanic  – but sadly the dreaded discount is still hugely compelling for customers. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy that as a category we can’t break. Jump off if you dare – but you’ll be back within a year.
  7. Expand your reach. Brands win by growing reach; distribution, channel or audience extension should be your priority.
  8. Breath deeply. You can launch an entire kitchen and bedroom range in a new showroom concept in 12 weeks and not break. It does rely on you having a highly talented, committed and driven team on both sides of the relationship, but anything is possible when you go for it.
  9. You get to meet some lovely people. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that collectively everyone involved is creating homes for people, whether it’s a builders’ merchant or a pillow manufacturer, but the industry seems to attract some lovely people and it’s a place I want my business to thrive in.
  10. E-commerce, D2C, retail & metaverse. I’ve started this post by talking about brand and so I’ll end with it too. When you’re building out your strategy, expand your thinking to cover every possible physical, digital and mentally available space. 

I love this category, I have loads of happy memories and here’s to more of them.


About The Behaviours Agency

We are a creative agency that uses behavioural science to make marketing more effective. We have developed our own unique behavioural model that allows us to create compelling brands, experiences and campaigns that lead to real commercial value for our clients. If you want to hear more about what we do and our behaviour-led approach then please get in touch here.

By Sue Benson

Managing Director