10 Minutes with…Mike Rush

Mike Rush 360PRIn 360PR’s 10th year, we are celebrating by sharing some of the things we’ve learned along the way in a “10 minutes with…” series featuring interviews with our practice leaders! Last time we chatted with the Account Director of our Parenting practice, Caroline Pierce.  Now we’ve sat down with Mike Rush, Account Director of our @Home practice, to learn more about him and some of the trends he has spotted!

Nesting has certainly been a pervasive trend the past several years.  What other trends are you leveraging for 360 clients in the home goods space?

Many of 360’s @Home clients are focusing on energy- and cost-savings, helping homeowners build the castle of their dreams while not breaking the bank.  Savings benefits are being communicated in a variety of ways — through tools such as online savings calculators, Facebook coupons and DIY tips.  As a team, we’ve been exploring consumers’ tertiary uses for home products, too, which can help create buzz – like running a humidifier to create white noise and a quieter sleeping environment (in addition to reaping all the other benefits of using a humidifier).

How much have eco-trends affected the home space?

It’s not just about recycling, ENERGY STAR, and eco-friendly packaging anymore.  After what seemed like a green-washing epidemic, there’s been a more meaningful discussion of tangible eco-benefits that hit close to home, like low-VOC paint.  Many 360PR @Home clients are turning to qualitative research to get to the root of eco-trends in their specific industry.  A recent survey Honeywell Air Purifiers, for example, found that only 1/3 of Americans have actually considered how indoor air can be affecting their health.  A scary thought given the EPA has found that VOC levels on average are 2-5 times higher indoors than outdoors.

How have media responded?

HGTV, in particular, has groomed a new generation of home experts and stars.  There’s Mike Holmes from “Holmes on Homes,” David Bromstad from “Color Splash,” and Sabrina Soto from “Get It Sold,” who recently signed as a spokesperson for both Target and Claritin.  Magazine editors at the home magazines have also become the faces of the morning shows – Sarah Humphreys at Real Simple and Elizabeth Mayhew from House Beautiful are two of my favorites who both regularly appear on TODAY.

What are some of your go-to sources for the newest home products and home design trends?

Urban Daddy is my source for off-beat home design trends and products – just last week I was tempted to buy a Merriam Webster Dictionary hollowed out with a flask for whiskey inside and I don’t even like whiskey!  I’m also an avid reader of all the home magazines.  Suzanne Kasler and Thomas Paul are two of my favorite designers.  Top designers are teaming with retailers for exclusive lines – like Suzanne’s collection of furniture and accessories available through Ballard Designs.  And I love the style that Martha Stewart brings to The Home Depot (if you haven’t checked out HD’s upscale spin-off site HomeDecorators.com, you should).

What’s your newest can’t-live-without purchase at home?

Hands down it’s my Cuisinart Griddler. Prosciutto Jarlsberg paninis are the best on it and it’s a life-saver for grilling chicken!