HY Shares Secret to How Ideas Catch Fire @ HPBExpo

How To Convert Emotions Into Sales...Indoors and Out—this was the theme that drove hundreds of dealers, manufacturers and architects to attend Hoffman York Partner Dave Brown’s keynote address at the 2018 HPBExpo, the largest indoor-outdoor living trade show in North America for Hearth, Patio & Barbecue products. While Brown’s topic (delivered on behalf of Hoffman York client and HPBA exhibitor Napoleon) spoke to the importance of fireplaces and outdoor living products, the message was clear—whether you’re selling a home or something in it, if it doesn’t evoke an emotional response, you’ve already lost.

Now that we know the challenge, what’s the solution? How does a brand ignite an entire industry to think differently about a fireplace, an aspect of the home that people have been using for more than 400 years? Here are some learnings…   

Understand what people think about your product and how it makes them feel.

Every home has something we call Hot Spots. Hot Spots are areas or rooms within the home where special moments happen most frequently. Knowing which rooms and which elements are essential to creating emotional connections is something manufacturers and builders need to know—that is if they want to maximize sales. This was the premise HY used to help client Napoleon increase demand for fireplaces. Our proprietary research examined these emotional connections within the home and the areas that generate the most positive responses. 

The ability for designers and manufacturers alike to identify and create Hot Spots through key features such as fireplaces, built-ins, outdoor kitchens, and open concept spaces can help better allocate design budget for the maximum positive response.

How do we know this? Research showed that there are three room dynamics that determine a space’s value and appeal: functionality, relaxation and socialization.  We also studied the specific emotions that are prevalent in various rooms and found that amenities such as fireplaces greatly enhanced the emotive appeal of the space. 

Armed with this information, Napoleon was not only ready to drive sales, but grow a category that had long been undervalued and commonly relegated to only one room of the house. 

Research Guide Spread

The Hot Spots research also identified a desire for fireplaces in many rooms, even multiple fireplaces in a single room. Electric fireplaces allow for easier integration into a home’s design without a total renovation, permits or a hassle. This study provided Napoleon with a chance to elevate their brand, putting fireplaces in areas architects a few years ago could only dream of.

Prove your theory.

Change is hard. Change is a gamble. Change costs time and money.  When asking a multi-billion dollar industry to change, you’re going to need indisputable evidence, persistence and perseverance. Overnight success often takes years of planning experience.

Design Guide Cover

To enhance credibility, HY helped foster a partnership between Napoleon and Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA, principal and founder of Visbeen Architects, Inc.  With Visbeen’s expertise, we created a 62-page design guide highlighting four main home styles: traditional, contemporary, transitional and rustic.  Through a variety of sketches and photography, Visbeen gave his expert advice on where and how to best integrate a fireplace when designing a home.

Share your story.

Napoleon and HY introduced Hot Spots at the 2017 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, which left the home building industry asking for more. Brown and the Napoleon team kept the fire burning with a cross-country tour, presenting the Hot Spots research and findings to dealers, builders and architects across the country to groups of 10 as well as hundreds of people. Thousands of miles were traveled dozens of ideas were shared.

With the help of a national ad campaign and sponsorship of the Best in American Living Awards, Napoleon has seen double-digit sales growth, a 32% increase in brand awareness, 46% increase in usage and a 51% increase in overall preference in the U.S.

According to Builder Magazine, Napoleon has elevated from the number six brand in 2016 to the number two brand in 2017.

To learn more about how Hoffman York and Napoleon used innovative research to ignite brand awareness, check out our Hot Spots case study. Interested in elevating your product or brand? Reach out to us at [email protected].

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