IHA Realigns Marketing; Eyeing Consumers

IHA_logo_bwROSEMONT, Ill.–As part of its recently completed strategic plan, “Vision 2020,” the International Housewares Association will start marketing the category to consumers, particularly with efforts through social media. At the same time, the association has realigned its staff resources to execute the plan.

Derek Miller, formerly vice president, international, will now head show marketing efforts and operate under the title of vice president, global marketing. Perry Reynolds, formerly vice president, marketing + trade development, will lead the member services and trade development efforts. He will operate under the title of vice president, global trade development.

“These changes allow IHA to unify the domestic and international efforts that formerly had been split between the two managers and their departments,” said Phil Brandl, IHA’s president and CEO.

“We’re not out to promote the IHA or the show, but to help consumers know what the housewares industry offers,” Miller said. “Ten to 15 years ago, so much of the industry revolved around price. Now, the companies compete on design, which is great for the consumer.”

Much of the consumer marketing efforts will be social media driven. “We’re in a different age today than 5-10 years ago,” Miller said. “There’s a lot we can do to engage the consumer.”

The IHA is already working with Google, which owns YouTube, to ensure that popular YouTube influencers (popular personalities) attend the March show. “Some of the biggest YouTube influencers have tens of thousands of subscribers that don’t know about the housewares show,” Miller said. “Through social media efforts, the show—which actually takes four days—can live 365 days.”

Miller added that the show will remain strictly for trade—consumers will not attend.