At the end of 2018, Mode set out to build a complete picture of how “premium home goods” brands were connecting with consumers. In doing so, they looked at more than 4,500 data points from approximately 140 brands across 16 different categories—from fans to cookware to small kitchen appliances. What they found was a fragmented collection of brands operating in disparate ways in a consumer landscape defined by noise and complicated buying journeys.
Their study, titled ‘The Way Home – A review of kitchen and home brands navigating their way into the homes of premium-minded consumers’ is a guide to understanding how brands navigate those journeys, as seen through the eyes of brand experts, consumers, and the algorithms that increasingly shape the path to purchase for premium goods.
Talking about why they conducted this study, Tyler Hawes said:
“For over 15 years our agency has been working with brands across industries that very often were focused on the premium-minded consumer, whether they were looking to move upstream or to protect their category leadership. In helping our clients position their brands and analyzing their competitive set we often came across fragmented brand experiences across channels.
As an Integrated Brand Experience agency, this was of particular interest because it introduced many questions and represented a tremendous opportunity. We made the decision to undertake this relatively ambitious study and it has led to some fascinating results for our agency as well as insights for the premium kitchen and home goods category.”
Talking about getting actionable intelligence from the study, Hawes said:
“It’s never been more critical for Premium Home Brands to develop Integrated Brand Experiences that establish clarity, instill confidence and amplify their unique value. The digital experience that presents our findings provides immediate access to how an individual brand performed but also how they fared against their category competitors.
This revenue-neutral analysis provides a unique insight into which brands excelled or faltered in our four key areas of examination which make up an Integrated Brand Experience: Brand Systems, Physical Extensions, Digital Ecosystems, Campaigns & Content. Our corresponding whitepaper offers a more macro view of the industry landscape, key drivers of change, analysis of findings, and key takeaways. We’d welcome a conversation with any company who would like to know more or any who did not find themselves on our initial list and feels they should be.”
When asked what made this study unique, John Pietrafesa said:
“What makes this study unique is the unprecedented way it comprehensively indexes how brands in the Premium Home Goods vertical are experienced by consumers independent of revenue or media spend and they are compared across categories, product lines and through an extraordinary number of data points.”
Talking about the most surprising result, Pietrafesa said:
“One of the most interesting findings from this study was how several well-known and well-respected brands scored with our consumer and expert panels. In many cases our consumer panel expressing surprise – where their expectations for beloved brands didn’t match reality. In essence, we found that they were relying too heavily on product reputation and heritage in lieu of connecting with their audiences through compelling stories and truly integrated brand experiences.
An equally interesting aspect of the study was the discrepancy in execution from channel to channel – some brands receiving universally high marks for one channel paired with universally low scoring for another. The lack of correlation demonstrated a real opportunity for incremental improvements within the brand experience, to build on successes and amplify a distinctive positioning.”