Subscription television services often report booming business in times of an economic downturn. It’s simple: to save money, people do not go out as much and spend money, they stay in and make the home a bit more comfortable.

A new study from Datamonitor shows consumers aren’t stopping at upgrading just their home entertainment, though, they’re cutting down on take away meals as well, while increasing expenditure on cleaning, home maintenance, and DIY home improvement projects.

It’s good news for Woolworths, who recently announced it would take on Bunnings in the massive hardware market.

“The launch of Woolworths’ hardware brand Masters later this year is acknowledgement of the fact that Australians are paying more attention to their homes than ever before,” Datamonitor’s consumer markets analyst Katrina Diamonon says.

Masters might want to take note of the study in planning their pricing strategy as well, with respondents varying wildly in their approach to selecting products for the home. Most intriguing was how consumers defined ‘value’, with the study showing younger consumers (18-34) were more likely to associate value with promotions and discounts, while older consumers tended to define value as superior quality.

“Household care manufacturers must avoid becoming synonymous solely with lower prices,” Diamonon warns, “as this may only alienate the broader segment of shoppers who assess value based on wider expectations.”

Australian retailer Howards Storage World believes one of those expectations is a brand that appeals to you as a member of a particular gender. The Australian franchiser has long known women dominate its customer base, and have just recently undergone a more feminine makeover.  

Howards have just released a new logo, slogan and store fit-out aimed at making their female customers feel a little bit more comfortable when they step out of the house to buy something to store in the house.

“Our customer and franchisee focus groups kept delivering us the same message – we needed a more contemporary identity that appealed to our target market of females. One that will hold us in good stead for our future plans,” Howards marketing manager Dominic Panetta says.

Key parts of the Howards update

  • A curvy logo and softer colour scheme that acknowledges the brand’s predominantly female shopper
  • A new slogan: ‘simply organised’, to better reflect the organisational solutions that the business delivers, and
  • Enhanced customer experience in-store, with the introduction of a customer information and consultation hub ‘The Organisation Station’and product communication points to highlight new and sustainable products.