IHA Seeks to Inspire Consumers to Buy
By Lorrie Baumann
The International Housewares Association is taking another big step towards building the housewares market by encouraging consumers to buy more kitchenware and housewares products with a new print magazine called The Inspired Home Journal. The first issue of the magazine was distributed at this year’s International Home + Housewares Show and is also available to consumers who visit TheInspiredHome.com, the association’s consumer-facing website, where it’s free if the consumer pays for the cost of mailing it. The digital version is available at TheInspiredHome.com/Journal, and the print magazine will eventually also be distributed on newsstands and bookstores around the country.
“We are reaching out to consumers directly. It’s to encourage the consumer, to motivate and inspire them to buy more housewares for their home,” said Derek Miller, the International Housewares Association’s Vice President, Global Marketing. “If we can present a housewares product in a positive light… we think that’s a good thing for everyone in the industry.”
The Inspired Home Journal is currently scheduled to be published twice a year, with one issue for spring and fall and another for fall and winter. The association will be deciding later about whether to produce the magazine more frequently. The overarching theme throughout the first issue is “Time Well Spent,” with the goal of highlighting people, products, places and ideas that help readers make the most of their lives at home. The publication is designed to be as beautiful as it is informative, with eye-catching, vibrant photography gracing nearly all of the 104 pages.
Its content is inspired by the observation that many of the magazines and websites already available to consumers are focused on recipes rather than on the kitchenware products that are helpful in the execution of those recipes. TheInspiredHome.com and new magazine put the housewares product front and center. “We focus on the consumer, the person who’s going to be in the kitchen at home, or the person who’s cleaning their closet and wants to make things organized,” Miller said.
That will help the consumer who might have been previously unaware even of the existence of a specialty gadget like an avocado tool or a mango slicer. “If we can put a piece of content together that highlights that narrative, we see that as being a benefit,” Miller said. “Consumer media has been incredibly valuable to our industry.”
The idea for the new magazine was born out of the association’s success with TheInspiredHome.com, which is drawing millions of visits annually, Miller said. “We know from click-through rates that they are finding their way to products that they’re able to purchase. We’ve been incredibly successful with our online offerings, and that by offering content in a different medium – a printed magazine – we will be able to extend our reach.”
Consumers who are first introduced to the IHA’s content through the print magazine will be directed in its pages back to the website, where they’ll be exposed to still other products, Miller said. “We’re publishing 20 to 30 pieces of unique content each month on the website, using a base of social media influencers to put out the content. Those people, being social media influencers themselves, really help us to get the story out.”