In continuing to read coverage of the ICFF in New York this week I happened upon the New York Times column on the Fair, in which the columnist Penelope Green essentially followed Ellen Lupton, the curator of contemporary design at The Cooper-Hewett National Design Museum, as she browsed through the show.
This post wanders around a bit as well, but the article got my immediate attention when it began with Ellen noting that “The relationship between you and your furniture is not a one-night stand . . . Sometimes it lasts a lifetime.”
Hmmm, the same can be said for our favorite brands. Those that have followed this blog, know how we feel about package design and its role in brand equity for the long haul. It is certainly not a one night stand.
She went on to say ” home life is rarely just sunshine and freshly made heirloom beds. It can be dark and complicated. People kill each other, they have affairs. they steal each other’s money. Domestic life is hard.” Again I wondered about the comforting role of the lifelong relationship we all build with the brands we love. Does this continue to give us comfort in uncertain economic times?
I also wondered about brand loyalty and the switching, or not, that might take place during various types of economic cycles. There is significant anecdotal evidence that suggest consumers who establish relationships with brands during tough times keep those relationships for a long time.
According to Wayne Hurlbut in a recent article atsmallbusinessnewz.com,”Depression survivors were very loyal to certain businesses and reliable products that delivered on their brand promise. There was no margin for error, as a bad brand represented a major cash loss. It became a commonplace for those who lived through the Great Depression, to retain loyalty for their entire lives, to brands that kept their word on quality and reliability.”
Finally, as Ellen continued to wander through the show she came across a fascinating product called ModKat, a kitty litter box unlike any I have seen. In fact their website says they were given the ICFF Editor’s Award for the Best Accessory. Folks at the show obviously thought they were on to something. As they say, it looks like a great little private area for your feline friend to do their business.