In early March, I spent a couple of weeks in Chicago. I attended the 2018 International Housewares Association Home and Housewares Show (IHA). I had a fantastic time meeting a lot of people, mingling with creatives, entrepreneurs and industry experts in the interior design and housewares field. It’s always a busy but stimulating time.
A client of ours released a new product at IHA. I was in there to support our client and to get the marketplace excited about innovative new product developments. This client is a large US wholesale brand. Their products appear in the middle/upper demographic in the US, with retailers such a JC Penney and Macy’s.
Whilst a successful brand, our client was needing a re-invention of their product offer. They wanted us to renovate their brand through product. MC&Co were given a 6-month window from brief to the final delivery of samples and marketing strategies. It was a creative journey from trend research and trend interpretation to final results and market leading product. Working within the 23 different moods we report on, MC&Co’s team identified which moods were relevant within the global home lifestyle genre for our client’s market. We arrived at some great choices and concluded:
- The most commercial trend for our client was the Island Life theme because:
- This is both an existing trend and an evolving trend.
- This fits both our client’s wholesale customers and their target consumers.
- We deduced that the outdoor dining and tabletop products would be the most profitable items to focus on.
Below is one of the mood boards we use in starting to create product;
MC&Co. uses a scale of 1 through to 10 to establish the commercial value of all trends. We apply this science to products within trend/brand relevance. According to our Trend Intelligence system, Island Life is a romantic style with feminine sensitivity and a youthful attitude. It is a vibrant, colourful and engaging expression of today’s fashion. It has a commercial value of 8 on our scale, making it worthy of interpretation.
Using our trend science, our client could be commercially comfortable for us to lead in this direction.
The material requirement was for Melamine. With this material, we created some amazing effects which emulated the latest stoneware glazes. A reactive ‘crackle’ glaze was chosen as a feature. This is where there is a thermal mismatch between the body and the glaze put onto the items. The glaze shrinks more than the body during cooling, producing an exciting looking crackle effect.
We accentuated this effect with some expressions of reflective Japanese Shibori work.
Traditionally used to produce patterns on fabric, it looks amazing on tableware, as you can see from the images.
And the result from all of this? One very excited client. Their new range of Island Life outdoor tableware has received strong interest, not only from their US-based outlets but also from global markets. The profit potential which we have delivered is considerable.
And this was just one of four trends we delivered to brief. The other three were:
- A Boho trend inspired collection
- An American Conventional collection, which is a very enduring style
- Another enduring trend, French Country House.
All 4 product ranges have been successfully released into the US market.
Our mission at MC&Co is to help businesses commercially differentiate. If you want similar success and to grow market share through utilising our Trend Intelligence process, we welcome your enquiry.