Author: Katie Warner (Katie.warner@hainesmcgregor.
Our homes are havens of comfort and security, but also places where we explore and develop our identities. Every little detail is a reflection of our personality, a distillation of choices made throughout our lives.
Meet someone for a short period of time and you only get a glimpse of who they are. Enter their home and you get a much more comprehensive view of their identity, made up of repeated behaviours and choices, some deliberate, some subconscious. It is an accepted fact that the way we dress and the lifestyle choices we make reflect our social status. In a world obsessed by brands and the concept of living an aspirational lifestyle, the way we style our homes has become a creative means of self-expression for all to see.
The plethora of ‘home’ shows and magazines promote the dream of building a grand design of your own, letting you see how the ‘other half’ live. Transforming your existing space with a makeover is made all the more possible with inspiration from sites such as Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram – they plant the seeds of desire and allow you to reimagine your home. Advertising, online shopping and inspirational showrooms at all price points from Ikea to BBItalia sell the idea of the perfect house. Homes are being passionately converted from merely functional, comfortable locations into luxurious, aspirational spaces to be admired and flaunted. They begin to take on the look and feel that was formerly only associated with luxury retail and hotel styling, with endorsements from celebrity interior designers to guide and encourage purchase.
So sophisticated has the consumer become that the level of finished detail becomes more and more important to distinguish the great from the good, newer and more innovative materials being used in ways never imagined before. For many, it has become essential to adorn one’s space with the latest, trendiest and most exclusive of furnishing and fittings in order to fit in with and impress peer groups.
The spaces we inhabit go through many changes as we progress in life. As young adults leaving home, we want our choices to shout about our values and identities, an expression of things that differentiate us from our family. This is about experimenting with design and interior style, embracing trends or rejecting them in favour of something that defines us more closely. Becoming a couple changes the home again into a place of shared identity where compromise is key and this is reflected in the choice of practicalities. As a family space, the home takes on a more functional role than an aesthetic one, priorities of everyday needs taking the forefront.
Our homes hold such emotional significance, it is no wonder that marketers are constantly persuading us to re-evaluate our choices of colour, pattern, fabric, decor. Everyone wants to create the perfect home, an extension of personal attitudes and feelings, a visual indicator for ‘who I am’. Ultimately they tell the story of our lives and as such, reflect the people who live in them.
If you want to understand your target consumer, it is vital to understand both the underlying motivations that drive them as well as the lifestyle brands they associate with and aspire to and their position in the market. At Haines McGregor we use a range of techniques to interrogate and unearth hidden truths, delving into deeper subconscious drivers, understanding the codes and symbolism that affect point of purchase, tapping into the psychologies that encourage individuals to make choices – invaluable insights for building a successful brand.
To see more of our work with home and lifestyle brands, click here.