What would it look like to integrate social media more with marketing home products?
Diesel jeans, the makers of ludicrously expensive denim for the 18-25 year-old market, recently used Facebook as part of an interesting branding initiative –customers try on clothes at the store, and if they like the look, they can get a picture snapped of them in the new garb at one of the company’s photo-booth style kiosks. People can even log in to their Facebook account from there for instant photo posting to their wall. Finally, friends can “like” or comment on their friend’s purchase (example comment: “You’re spending HOW much on those?”).
I think it’s a great idea – you have a tech-savvy and designer-label-craving audience built for you in the Millennials (or Gen-Y, whichever you prefer).
Though each person is a unique snowflake, generally, as a whole, this generation would think nothing of sharing shopping preferences or a great butt shot with hundreds of digital acquaintances.
So would this generation share its home buying and product selecting just as freely as they would with retail decisions? You bet. According to the NAHB, Millennials are buying homes earlier than previous generations. They are also buying before getting married and are willing to buy higher density/smaller homes. And they’re checking out homes online and reaching out for opinions to boot.
There are already a few software tools dedicated to helping consumers either buy or rehab an existing home. Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr all have iPhone-capable applications for color selection. Colorjive, Colorcharts.org and Smart Draw (links below) are great tools for creating, but not necessarily for sharing. You’ll have to manually share your creations – none of them have an instant “share” button like the Diesel Jeans kiosk.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see home product marketing take this turn in the not-so-distant future. After all, it seems as though the missing piece is simply a share button.
Check out a review of the Diesel process here: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/facebook/do-you-like-how-i-look-in-these-jeans/.
Colorjive is a fun tool. Users have to create an account, and then you can upload a photo of your house, play around with the selection tools, and then save up to three different versions for free (paid version is much, much more dynamic). It’s not a precise tool (so you won’t generate color codes needed to hop on over to your nearest big box) but you can an idea of what your house will look like in only minutes.
The CBN Color Selector on Colorcharts.org is a complex and powerful software program that lets you visualize the appearance of thousands of colors. Like the color? You can instantly generate the precise CBN code so you can order the color mix from the big box or a dealer right away. The really cool part is that you can test out colors on different surfaces as well – colors will look different on stucco than they will on wood, after all! 30-day trial is offered for free.
Smart Draw is another deep, powerful program that also keeps its eye out for those of us who might not be a structural engineer. SD has quick-load templates, dozens of house/room/floorplan designs and ready-made renderings of furniture, appliances, fixtures, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, landscaping, and more. Best of all, if you need help, they have free tech support.