Finding new customers, that is what 57 percent of high-end and luxury home furnishings marketers report as their number one business challenge in a recent survey conducted by Unity Marketing. No other issue comes close.
Their search for new customers ends here: It’s the HENRYs — high-earners-not-rich-yet consumers — especially the young HENRYs, aged 24-44 years.
In a new book Home for HENRYs: Meet the New Customers Home Décor Marketers Are Searching For, marketing expert Pam Danziger reveals where home marketers can find their best and brightest new customer prospects and how to connect with them: Young HENRYs – high-earners-not-rich-yet consumers.
Pamela Danziger has written a little gem of a book that is guaranteed to give any brand manager in the home furnishings space half a dozen insights, plus a treasure trove of useful ideas on an initial read-through.
Pam takes readers on a deep dive into the income profiles, buying patterns and psychographics of the a group she characterizes as the “home-hungry HENRYs – your now and future best customer prospects.” She explains how the emergence of these high-earning HENRY’s as a demographic juggernaut can be good news for home goods retailers. It’s essential to rethink the meaning of what luxury and value mean to this new generation.
Unity Marketing’s market research, plus interviews with industry experts and examples of what innovative retailers are doing now to capture market share, make this book a must-read.
— Russell Bienenstock, Editorial Director/CEO, Furniture World Magazine
Danziger explains, “Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the most important market for home furnishings and decor. And not just any Millennials, but those called HENRYs with high levels of income and the need and desire to furnish and decorate their homes. These high-earning Millennials, along with trailing-edge GenXers, aged 24-to-44 years, are the best new customer prospects for purveyors of everything for the home.” Today HENRY households number roughly 27 million households and have incomes between $100,000 and $249,900 per household.
What’s more, the HENRYs are a rapidly growing demographic segment. Each year since 2010 over a million households have been added to the HENRYs’ ranks. Ove the past five years, the number of HENRY households has increased by 23.1 percent, five times faster than the national average, which increased only 3.9 percent in the same time period.
Forget Millennials! Narrow the field. Informed marketers of products and services for the home are concentrating on HENRYs! Home for HENRYs: Meet the New Customers Home Décor Marketers Are Searching For is an insightful, research based must-read for any marketer of products and services for the home.
HENRYs have a unique point of view and their own set of motivations; they define luxury and status differently, they define home differently and they buy products, services and objects for their home differently.
Danziger’s book explains and illustrates why HENRYs are essential to increasing sales. She segments HENRYs and provides invaluable guidance, with numerous examples, for all marketers of products and services for the home.
The book is a call to action for all home brands to catch-up and refocus or fail.
What HENRYs want for their homes
To target the young HENRYs and their home decorating needs, the essential question all marketers must ask is what do HENRYs want for their homes?
In her new book, Home for HENRYs, Danziger reveals three key trends shaping the future of the home furnishings market based upon shifting values in the mindset of the HENRYs, particularly the young HENRYs on the road to affluence.
Smaller Spaces – Bigger Living
The ‘tiny house’ trend is more than a movement popularized by HGTV. It’s also an emerging trend across the entire younger generation of consumers.
Today people are seriously evaluating their lifestyles, what they need, what they own and most importantly, what they really need to own. It’s a mindset focused on doing more with less and many young HENRYs are adopting the ‘tiny house’ mindset, even if they haven’t yet moved into tiny houses.
It’s a focus on quality of life, not quantity of possessions. It means they are making strategic compromises based on value. Here are some ways they are expressing it:
- Spending $50 on 8 place settings of dishes, but $500 for a KitchenAid stand mixer;
- Buying a $20 boxed wine to be served in Riedel stem wine glasses at $20 each;
- Paying $.49 per sq. ft. for laminate flooring and a $300 area rug at IKEA, but $500 on a Dyson vacuum cleaner and $2,000 on Natuzzi leather sofa.
“Confusing?” Danziger asks. “Not to HENRYs! What distinguishes the choices above – KitchenAid, Dyson, Natuzzi, Riedel – is strong branding around a powerful quality message. Without it, a product becomes a mere commodity. So home marketers need to make the value proposition crystal clear, otherwise HENRYs will opt for the cheaper choice.”
Function and Style
It’s substance over style for HENRYs. When weighing purchase decisions, HENRYs favor options that give them the utmost in practical utility and function over a choice that just looks good, but lacks quality and substance.
And if a choice offers both function and style to the highest standards, HENRYs will pay the premium. They favor choices that don’t require compromises, but when they have to choose, they opt for maximizing the functional and practical utility over style alone.
Danziger says, “That’s why IKEA is moving aggressively to enhance the quality and function of its home décor offerings. Known for its ‘look for less’ furnishings, IKEA determined its furniture needed a serious makeover to improve quality, so that its furniture is more durable and delivers more comfort along with style.” It’s a strategy custom made for HENRYs, she notes.
Lust for Luxury – But It’s Luxury in a Brand New Style
Especially among the Gen X and Millennial generation affluents, the old style of luxury has negative connotations. For them, old luxury reeks of over indulgence, conspicuous consumption, elitism, extravagance, status seeking and, most especially, reflects income inequality and the excesses of the 1%. Brands need to market luxury in a new style that reflects the next generations’ values.
Mistakenly, too many luxury brands call the HENRYs aspirational, which implies their aspirations align with their old style of luxury. Aspirational the young HENRYs may well be, but not necessarily for the old luxury that the brands are selling.
Rather, HENRYs are aspirational for an authentic lifestyle and true happiness, which research shows comes by what they do and experience, not what they have or own.
Danziger explains, “The shifts in consumer psychology call on brands to tell new stories. These young HENRYs reject their parents’ and grandparents’ ideas of luxury in favor of concepts that are more practical, functional, inclusive, democratic, responsible, and, ultimately, more affordable.“ In Home for HENRYs, marketers will discover the most powerful new luxury stories that connect with young home-hungry HENRYs.
Consumers crave connections –they are drawn to brands with a story or experience to which they can relate. This is true particularly of the HENRYs, the young, high-earning consumers that Pam Danziger delves into in her impactful new book, Home for HENRYs: Meet the New Customers Home Decor Marketers Are Searching For.
For home products marketers seeking to tap into this lucrative market, Pam’s book delivers actionable insights, with details on who HENRYs are, as well as how they buy and what they want. “Luxury…isn’t a product or a price point, but a mindset,” Pam says.
This easy-to-read book offers the real-life examples, research and purchasing triggers that make this an essential guide.”
—Andrea Lillo, Fashion Editor, HFN
More about Home for HENRYs
Home for HENRYs: Meet the New Customers Home Decor Marketers are Searching For, explores not only the attitudes and buying power of young HENRYs, but also how top online and brick-and-mortar retailers and marketers are responding to the needs and desires of this new home consumer, across a wide range of home categories including RH/Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Noritake, Miele, CordaRoy’s, La-Z-Boy, Ekornes, Sensulalite carpets, Lovesac, Jonathan Adler, Wayfair, One Kings Lane, PIRCH, OXO, Interior Define, and others.
Readers will find themselves quickly immersed in the thinking of these new consumers who typically fit one of FIVE lifestyle profiles, specifically X-Fluents, Aspirers, Cocooners, Butterflies and Temperate Pragmatists, each of which have a very different set of motivations and priorities for home decor. In this insight-filled book Danziger offers suggestions for how to reach each of these groups and more.
Danziger is an internationally known writer and researcher specializing in the luxury consumer market. With this new book focused on home furnishings, Danziger begins a series of compact books focused on specific market segments.
Home for HENRYs is published by Paramount Market Publishing Inc. (www.paramountbooks.com) which also published Danziger ’s best selling books, Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need, Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, and Shops That POP!.