I realized I wanted to buy more dishes, as it seems the dishwasher fills up every 6 hours in my house these days. So I popped on Amazon, as I usually do (you are welcome Jeff), and started to fill my cart. Then I hit pause, much like the world has. Do I really NEED dishes? Or is this just a temporary state? In 6 weeks will I have a cabinet full of dishes that I don't need because I won’t be making dinner and lunches for a quarantined quintet?
Want vs. Need
We are in the age of not what we want, but what we need. The same is true in my home as in my office. In our business, we serve designers and architects, owners and contractors, and we get them what they want. But their demand has shifted too, and we are starting to see people request just what they need.
Sample delivery is one of the key engines that drives the CaraGreen business, and we pride ourselves on efficient, accurate delivery of what designers want. But now that they, like many of us, are relegated to home offices, they cannot arbitrarily request what catches their eye and then set aside what they don’t want, because there is no design library to house the rejects.
Material Bank has grasped this concept and offers designers a way to peruse selections with a Pinterest-like pinning feature, choose the samples they want delivered and return those that they are not interested in - overnight. Unfortunately, many companies may not be in Material Bank and may not have the resources in place to offer this “take-back” strategy. Thus we are in an era of providing what people NEED vs. WANT. And maybe what we want will shift closer to being just what we need, instead of the oft-American way of overzealous hoarding and more, more, more mentality, where if we want it we get it, whether we need it or not.
We've got what you need.
CaraGreen has always been customer-focused, shifting to meet the needs of an ever-changing market. We’ve tried to stay at the forefront of the building materials industry and keep our finger on the pulse of what is changing and how we can adapt and better serve that change. We see the market shift to an individual and their surrounding space right now, not a communal environment with common areas to collect unneeded materials. That space is now your own and you have to be thoughtful about cluttering in with unwanted materials. We own our own ecosystem right now. Companies have become virtual collections of their individual ecosystems. We are the sum of our parts. We are Damon’s kitchen, Kristine’s couch, Maddie’s office, and Rob’s homemade co-working space.
So, too are our customers. These spaces accommodate what we actually are working with. Designers have room for the samples that WILL be used in their projects, not those they may have a use for someday.
We see requests are more curated and actual, not a quick glance and relegation to a future arsenal of design ideas. Sample selection has become NEED vs. WANT, and we think that is a good sign for all of us and hope that this model is here to stay.
So as we redesign the space around us and reconsider our backdrops based on all of our virtual meetings (don’t have the liquor cabinet in the background during 1st grade Google Meet - noted), we are collectively a new generation of companies that are the sum of individual spaces. Our spaces are precious and limited and they should be filled with only what we need right now. And maybe we want it to stay that way.