Last month, while browsing the booths at the International Home and Housewares Show, I noticed a strong theme: simplicity.I often think of Rome cookware as having just the right amount of simplicity to make the products easy for anyone to use, yet with enough twists to the designs to keep them interesting and unique. That's probably one of the real appeals to our line and a key areas of continuity for what we're doing.
Spotted on the showroom floor: Sagafrom's minimalist self-watering plant container; Simple Human's shower dispensers, which edit the visual clutter of personal care products (and their packaging); and tabletop trends kickin' it earthenware-style with rustic and raw designs.
In this economy, is it any surprise that consumers are craving a redirect to simplicity? A recent survey by Euro RSCG found that shopper mindsets in the U.S., U.K. and France are shifting to a desire for "voluntary simplicity" (Financial Times 4.8.09). Whether personal bank accounts are affected or not, there's a sense that the accumulation of stuff is part of what got us into this mess.
Luckily, simplicity is a value that can be telegraphed to multiple marketing opportunities, whether product design, packaging or positioning. To start, offer the consumer an escape — mentally, emotionally, physically, visually — from the disorder of the economic downturn.