A new month, and a new event for us at Bear Icebox. This time, I had the chance to spend a day at the National Association of Home Builder’s International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas on Feb. 2.
We’ve provided PR service to the building, construction, and real estate industries for years now and this was a great opportunity to get a glimpse of what’s ahead in 2023 — as well as avoid frigid February temperatures in Chicago.
Here are some quick reflections.
But before we get into this…was I the only one humming, “Home, home on the range,” at the title of this blog? I know Las Vegas isn’t QUITE the range, but Nevada has some ranches, right? Speaking of homes, let’s dive right into some of the top trends I spotted walking the floor and talking to folks attending this year’s packed NAHB show.
1. Kohler celebrated 150 years in style
I was in awe of the Kohler booth. Stunning. Ginormous. It included a museum on the history of Kohler complete with a nod to the advertising executive who came up with “The Bold Look of Kohler” slogan.
There were toilets of all colors in the exhibit. There were even chocolate ganaches!
You don’t need to be embedded in the building industry to understand how iconic and high-end Kohler products are, but this was an excellent reminder of their industry leadership. It was a bold exhibit. And I couldn’t get enough of it.
2. Samsung goes big on sustainability + customization
Net zero emissions is a common theme among organizations looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Many companies have made pledges to be “net zero” by a given year as they look to more sustainable manufacturing and energy solutions in their facilities.
Samsung is taking that message into the home, evident in their branding at the show. Sustainability wasn’t the only focus…there was also a major emphasis on “Bespoke” living. “Bespoke kitchens,” “Bespoke homes”, “Bespoke laundry rooms”. Consumers want something that feels custom and unique to them, which shines through Samsung’s messaging.
3. Modified, sustainable wood paneling for siding
This isn’t a new thing, but it’s something that caught my eye. While walking alongside a client of mine who is a builder in Chicago, Chris Donatelli, we stopped by several manufactures of this material. The key is the tracking that goes underneath the wood surface. A photo below shows what it looks like. Essentially, there is a cap in between the wood panels and the exterior wall which allows for water to flow through and reduce the risk of water damage from storms and rain. It lasts a long time (one manufacturer advertised for 75 years) and it’s straightforward to install (the wood panels snap into the tracking). Plus, it has a sleek modern look and feel. Elevated design and features does come with a hefty price tag, so the material is probably more reserved for luxury homes at the moment.
4. There ain’t no party like a Houzz party
Houzz has gained a strong market share as a site for builders, architects, designers and others in the industry to share projects and connect with consumers or B2B partners. It’s also full of images showing off fancy, sleek and sexy homes that could become addictive to scroll through.
But, at the show, Houzz was advertising Houzz Pro, its project management software for the building industry. This tool signals a larger trend in the industry (as others) to streamline scheduling, managing, and tracking home renovation projects for the professionals in charge of it.
Project manage the house so you can have a party in it when the project is complete!
I’m sure there were plenty other interesting trends to take away from the NAHB show, but these are just several that caught my eye. If you attended the show and want to discuss further, I’m all ears (or, better put, all eyes). Email me at email@example.com – I would love to hear about your biggest highlights from the show!