Decorating Den Interiors Vice President Offers Tips at AHFA Marketing Meeting
Addressing the American Home Furnishings Alliance 2015 Marketing Meeting, David Haseley, vice president, merchandising and marketing for Decorating Den Interiors, offered a variety of tips fitting the conference theme: “Upfront Marketing: Staying AHEAD-Not Just on Top-of Your Game.”
“Customization and personalization will combat the commoditization of home furnishings that often comes from the Internet,” the industry veteran said, who was invited to speak to the Washington, DC gathering, in part, because he represents one of the largest buying groups regularly attending the High Point Market.
“While buyers today may be further along in the research process than previously because of the Internet, the wide array of information, however, can have the effect of making consumers more confused instead of confident,” Haseley said. “Educating the consumer and providing the right solution can be an opportunity for home furnishings sales people to set themselves apart.”
He said that educating the consumer begins with listening well. “Good listening can lead you to understand their needs and desires, and then craft compelling solutions. It is critical to bring new ideas to the table, something they weren’t previously considering. Listening also builds trust.”
“Another disadvantage of the Internet is that it has commoditized many home furnishings product,” Haseley said. “Customization and personalization counter that. In our case, not only are the products customized, so is the room design. That cannot be commoditized.”
“Convenience also can set you apart” he added. “We come to their home or office, like a store on wheels. The less a consumer has to run around town, the better it will be for them. Also, if the consumer can deal with the same person through all the stages of the project-ordering, delivery, installation, and resolving issues, that can set you apart.”
Haseley also noted that consumers often want a multi-use room. “The Internet or big box stores can’t compete with an experienced home furnishings professional who is knowledgeable about many products and listens to the consumer.”