There’s discussion in the K&B industry (Kitchen and Bath). And it’s about you, the K&B consumer. The question is when it comes to your appliances, how brand conscious are you? Manufacturers would love to know.
Here’s what I observe in my clients and my industry in total.
Higher end consumers want name brands that are commensurate with their real estate value, their neighborhood and even their “circle” – meaning friends, family and don’t forget the neighbors. In the condo market, you will see appliance brand names used as selling features to higher end consumers as well.
In the mid to upper end, consumers are doing a lot of research online and looking at consumer reviews. Smart.
Then – I’ve also seen the consumer who picked out an appliance because of the handle it had, even if it meant downgrading their original perceived brand quality expectation. They will select good looking aesthetics over quality interior working component parts.
The Interior Design Advocate™ wise design consumer advice falls here:
Resale or Me-Sale. If you are thinking home resale within 6 years, be wise and select appliances that your buyer will expect in your home market value. If you are doing this for you and you only, buy what you like, what you believe in, what you can afford and by all means, do your research.
Choose Your Retailer Carefully. Above brand, we say carefully select the retailer from whom you are purchasing. The grim reality in kitchen appliances today is that so much product is flying off the lines overseas. Months can go by in even a high end brand when all seems well. Then suddenly, their x-model cook top has a faulty starter or their refrigerator water line has a leaky valve. A few years ago, we did a high end kitchen install and within months, nearly every appliance needed a service call. It was astonishing. Thankfully, the retailer stood by the customer to make sure that every problem was fixed.
Brand name is no longer a guarantee. Certainly, the aesthetics are completely no help – hiding a multitude of sins. So I say to the wise design consumer, Google the retailer, not just the brand. Find out how they handle the problems when they occur because they do occur. Will the retailer stand by their products and more importantly, will they stand by you? Will they even issue an RTV – return to vendor – if all else fails?
What do you think? Have you had a great or poor experience on the appliance end in your kitchen renovation?