Seeking out experiences rather than purchasing more stuff has been a trend lurking in the corners of psychology for the last few years.
Research in 2014 by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor from the University of Cornell, concluding that “experiences are the glue of our social lives”, mattering much more than the latest i-gadget.
Why do experiences matter?
Experiential purchases enhance social relations more readily and effectively than material goods
Experiential purchases form a bigger part of a person’s identity
Experiential purchases are evaluated more on their own terms and evoke fewer social comparisons than material purchases.
Studies also suggest that the anticipation of an experience is also crucial. Thomas Gilovich’s research showed that people reported being mostly frustrated before the planned purchase of a ‘thing’, but mostly happy before they bought an ‘experience’.
As that happy feeling is tied up with a memory, it lingers longer. Colin Strong, head of behavioural science at market research group Ispos, calls it the ‘hedonic adaption’, claiming that the hedonic payoff of experiences is much greater than material purchases.
The Experience Consumer
We are now seeing how this trend is affecting our spending habits and the way we consume, such as a 55% increase in ticket sales to events and live experiences, as research by the world’s largest event technology platform, Eventbrite, found.
And according to Barclaycard, which processes about half of all Britain’s credit and debit card transactions, their figures for April 17 show a 20% increase in spending in pubs compared with the same month last year. Spending in restaurants went up 16%, while theatres and cinemas enjoyed a 13% rise. Meanwhile, department stores suffered a 1% drop, vehicle sales were down 11% and spending on household appliances fell by 2.5%
Clothes retailer Next claim their first fall in profits in eight years is due to the experience economy, and Ikea’s head of sustainability, Steve Howard, is of the opinion that consumption of many goods has reached a limit, referring to this limit as hitting ‘peak stuff’
Building a Brand Experience
Fuelled by social media, the experience economy is a trend that will continue to grow. Instagram accounts used to be about our new car, handbag or pair of shoes, but now that seems slightly vulgar compared to our friend’s yoga holiday or sky-diving weekend.
Building a product brand that taps into the experience economy involves going beyond a ‘sell and forget’ mentality. When Meile launched their revolutionary steam oven, they also developed a set of cookery courses for their steam oven customers. After completing a hands-on steam oven cookery session, attendees proudly tweet, instagram and facebook the results to all their contacts, turning them into a very effective sales force for Meile, without even a mention of a Meile product.
This report identifies consumer needs and expectations with regards to the performance levels of worktop, assesses worktop usage within the kitchen, and evaluates the price versus performance ratio for worktops
The study is the result of an online survey carried out with 1000 UK homeowners
This research has been undertaken in partnership with Wilsonart, the UK’s largest manufacturer of laminate worktops.
Available to download from June 2018
If you are a Surface category Insight Partner, this report will automatically be added to your account
TREND-MONITOR went tile trend-spotting at Cevisama, the Spanish tile industry’s annual exhibition in Valencia
Once a year, Spain’s tile manufacturers come together at Cevisama to exhibit the best of what the ceramic tile industry has to offer including textures, glazes and colours. Covering over 10,000 sq m of exhibition space and attracting 86,000 buyers, also on show was bathrooms, as well as complementary sectors such as natural stone, raw materials, roof tiles and bricks, materials and tools for laying and installing tiles, and machinery used in the ceramic tile industry.
We spotted eight dominant tile trends among the exhibitors.
Tile Trend #1: Go Geometric
Triangles are the way forward, with manufacturers working the trend for geometrics into many of their designs. Favourites included Gayafores’ Melange, a wood-effect porcelain tile featuring triangles in blue, natural or black, and Caleidos by Undefasa, a striking hexagonal porcelain wall and floor tile in five matt colours.
The peril of using pastels is that your home can feel a bit sickly sweet. Fortunately, advances in technology mean manufacturers can now create a wider range of colours. The result is that pale can now also be playful.
Lenos by Onset is an excellent case in point. A new addition to the Harmony Signature collection by Peronda, this porcelain wall and floor tile is available in multiple pastel shades.
Surface embellishment was another strong trend at Cevisama , with tile manufacturers delivering an ode to artists. Cue hand-drawn sketches: think chalk marks, pencil and paintbrush strokes used either large scale or as an accent.
Stealing the spotlight was Cas Cerámica’s Carson Relax, a ceramic wall tile with an original art design by American graphic designer David Carson. No less noteworthy was Maritima Alboran by Grespania, a ceramic wall tile featuring a hand-drawn effect in a matt or satin finish.
The mark of the maker is not exclusive to conventional art forms. Underground by Dune is a porcelain wall tile available in a range of patterns that can be mixed and matched to create a graffiti effect. It’s available in matt, satin or a mixed gloss-matt finish.
Lines never go out of style and at Cevisama they were everywhere: running vertically or horizontally across the surface of tiles, and criss-crossing to create more drama. Some designers opted for the subtlest of suggestions, while others allowed their lines to stand out – quite literally – using texture. Examples include Mileto by Saloni and Arame by Metropol Ceramica.
Designers certainly don’t seem to have felt hemmed in by lines. Instead, they’re feeling inspired. Eleusine, the work of Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto for Peronda, is a natural-stone wall tile inspired by the shadows of lines cast by the sun on a wall. Elsewhere, Osaka by Gayafores is a porcelain wall tile sporting a rough hewn linear effect that can be used to create striking textural patterns.
Even if you are not familiar with the name of Terrazzo flooring, you’ll have seen the product: a specked surface first used in Italian palazzos and later in offices and public spaces because of its distinctive look and reputation for durability and affordability. It’s made of chips of stone or resin set in concrete and polished to create a smooth surface.
The classic Mediterranean look of Terrazzo has taken off in the last couple of years, conjuring up a sense of relaxed style that’s inspired everything from furniture and furnishings. Terrazzo itself now comes with a twist; metallic accents and unusual colour choices have been thrown into the mix
Nostalgia is no longer the preserve of furniture manufacturers: the makers and shapers of the tile industry are turning back the clock too. The Concept collection by Cas Cerámica is an excellent case in point, comprising satin-finished ceramic tiles in five retro designs that give owners the opportunity to create dramatic effects on both walls and floors.
Nostalgic prints remain popular because they’re versatile. Take Forma, for example: it’s a relief-effect porcelain wall tile by Apavisa, available in two finishes and four colours, and used to striking effect in the bedroom below.
The latest ceramics are in full bloom, featuring flowers either as a feature wall or as a strip effect. At Cevisama, there was barely a brand that didn’t embrace the trend, with collections featuring everything from ditsy buds to statement blooms.
Proponents include Mainzu’s Livorno Sonata collection (think big, bold and exotic) and Futura by Pamesa, which is more traditional in its appeal but no less noteworthy.
Of course, there was a counterpoint to all this boldness; after all, florals can be as much about tranquillity as they are about making a statement. Cas Cerámica made a case for a more muted aesthetic with Forever, a handcrafted tile with a homespun feel.
While 3D-effect tiles are by no means new, progress in production methods means that manufacturers have evolved the aesthetic to create designs that skillfully draw in the eye. Coming up trumps is Apavisa with Nanoforma – a 3D porcelain wall tile in six colours including seductive silver (shown) – and Natucer with Dual, an extruded porcelain wall tile with a micro crackle glaze, available in six neutral colours.
Wilsonart UK has partnered with research firm JM Blake Associates (now part of Trend-Monitor) to carry out consumer research that is designed to “identify who is buying laminate work surfaces in the 21st century and for what reasons”, with more than 1,000 consumers who had recently bought a worktop questioned through face-to-face exit interviews with retailers and online questionnaires.
Close to half of those questioned said they were purchasing a new worktop to replace surfaces in an existing kitchen, rather than as part of a completely new kitchen installation. Furthermore, only 15% of surfaces purchased were being used for utility rooms, garages, home offices and bedrooms, with the remainder being bought for kitchens.
According to Wilsonart, laminate was the most popular choice of material, followed by solid surface. Slightly more than half of those questioned said they had researched surfaces online, with only 3% having purchased from an online-only retailer.
The survey also found that surface performance, the best material type for a budget, and being suited to certain kitchen designs were the most important factors for consumers when purchasing a new surface.
“Wilsonart has always focused research on design, trends and styles but we wanted to find out about the consumer purchasing motivation,” said Wilsonart UK marketing communication manager Ruby Kiernan. “Who is buying, where are they buying, what are they purchasing and what other uses do consumers have for our products.”
She added: “Most consumers are seeking knowledge, design and customer service hand-in-hand with a competitive price. Notably, though, of all the buying decisions, being the cheapest is at the bottom of the list of reasons to purchase, supporting our theory that confidence has grown in the market and consumers buy on design, not price.”
TREND-MONITOR went bathroom trend-spotting at ISH 2017, which was held at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre between 12th and 16th March 2017
ISH Frankfurt is the world’s largest showcase for innovative bathroom design, energy energy efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies. Over 2,400 international exhibitors, including all market leaders, launched their latest products, innovations and technologies onto the world market at ISH, which has been running for over 50 years.
Here’s our top eight bathroom trends from the exhibition …
At the Surface Design show in February, Houzz, the online platform for home renovation and design, presented their top 10 kitchen surface trends for 2017. Here’s what the Houzz community are doing with their kitchens.
Trend #1 Dark Blue Cabinets
Not such a big leap from the dominant greys we’ve been seeing for the past few years, Dark Blue is growing in popularity, with Dark Green following closely on behind.
Again another popular surface gets a face-lift as the industrial trend becomes less popular in UK homes. Concrete is becoming smoother and lighter in colour as the technology behind implementing this surface into the home is developing.
TREND-MONITOR went trend-spotting at The Surface Design Show which was held at The Business Design Centre, London on 7th – 9th February 2017.
The Surface Design Show exhibits the latest materials in architecture and interior design and for the past 10 years has been the only event in the UK focusing solely on interior and exterior surfaces – connecting architects, designers and suppliers to innovative surface design trends and materials.
TREND-MONITOR went kitchen trend-spotting at Living Kitchen, which was held in Cologne between 16 and 20 January 2017
With more than 200 exhibitors from around 20 countries, LivingKitchen is the benchmark for the global kitchen industry and the international trade fair for kitchen furniture, kitchen appliances and accessories.
Our top six kitchen trends show that technology and personalisation lie behind many of the looks seen at this biennial kitchen exhibition.
TREND-MONITOR went trend-spotting at 100% Design in Olympia London which was held between 20 – 23 September 2016 to assess the latest trends coming out of the design industry.
As the largest and longest running design trade show, 100% Design is a key event for industry professionals in the UK and takes place each year in Olympia London. First staged in 1995, the show is the commercial cornerstone of the London Design Festival, with over 27,000 visitors to the show across the 4 days in September. A diverse audience of architects, designers, specifiers, retailers and developers visit the show, as well as multi-national companies looking to source directly for their latest projects.