Big Business For The Tiny House

Tiny houses are big business now. Between television program, magazine spreads, celebrity pseudo-endorsements, and a plethora of websites, tiny houses have almost buried McMansions in a big box of irrelevance. From as little as 58 sq.ft. to about 400 sq.ft., the “traditional” tiny house has slowly become a sought-after living arrangement for new college graduates, young professionals. and even baby boomers looking to downsize and simplify a bit. Even with price tags north of $50,000, tiny houses are still the most affordable living options available to some. Of course, that also has much to do with monthly overhead expenses which – with an average of 224 sq.ft. – comes in significantly less than an apartment of 800 sq.ft. to 1,000 sq.ft.

If you consider the mobility of most tiny houses, they are relatively easy to move about and set up a new homestead. None of this is lost on the shrewd marketing agencies and PR firms that cater to big businesses. Consider SPAM, Tesla, DEWARS, NESTEA, and even Google. They have all used mobile tiny houses in the last year to promote their brand and show their cultural relevancy. Have a closer look, won’t you?

During the summer of 2016 DEWARS scotch whisky had built, the first tiny Traveling Scotch Whisky Emporium. (builder: Jeremy Killian of Innovate Tiny) With its rich, wood exterior highlighted by copper accents, the Whisky Emporium is a little house on wheels created to make multiple stops throughout the country bringing neighbors and guests together over a DEWAR’S drink. It is certainly a mix of old and new, where vintage design, aged spirits, and a legacy of travel meets modern construction.

Who would ever have thought SPAM would be so trendy? Just this past summer the company launched a Tiny House of Sizzle Tour in their custom built (builder: Tumbleweed Tiny Homes) tiny house on wheels. After doing a little consumer research SPAM determined that most people enjoy the potted meat primarily in their own homes. So what better way to share the product than to offer up samples in a home? The THOW serves a dual purpose as both a rolling museum and a test/sample kitchen for the crowds it attracts.

Known primarily for its cars, Tesla Motors spent much of 2017 touring Australia with its 100% renewable energy powered tiny house. It features the Powerwall and showcases how a small home can be completely self-powered. At 20 ft. long and weighing just 4,000 lbs., the tiny house is built around a steel frame, clad in locally-sourced sustainable timber, and finished with simple timber walls. Unfortunately, the house is meant for public display and isn’t quite outfitted for actual living.

Representing NESTEA’s “less is more” philosophy is their recently designed, 200 sq.ft. tiny house on wheels. According to NESTEA publicity, the tiny house serves as a metaphor for the simplicity of NESTEA’s teas (including five simple ingredients: tea, real sugar, water, rooibos, and citric acid). The tiny house designed and built by husband-and-wife team Erik and Chrissy Kopplin of KCC Design + Build features clean design in a simple white and green color palette, as well as a fold-down table in the kitchen, a loft for sleeping and a living room couch that converts into a lounger.

In what seems to have been an effort to appeal to tiny housers that are spread into the skoolie and van conversion genres, State Farm showed out with a tiny RoadHouse that has combined tailgating with auto insurance! A hybrid build of a tiny house and a 15-foot Ford F350 Dually pickup truck, the RoadHouse features a real front door and an attached chimney with “smoke,” triggered by a remote. Essentially the tiny house shows up at football events and offers a laid-back, no-pressure, “home team environment” for State Farm reps to show State Farm is there!

A few years ago it was the pop-up shop or boutique. Then came renovated vintage campers. Now it’s tiny houses. What’s next to capture the attention of big business and the imaginations of the public? Let us know what you think of tiny houses as marketing collateral by leaving a comment below or joining the conversation on our Facebook page.

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]


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Mega Tiny Home Communities Coming to Austin - Tiny House Blog - January 12, 2018 Reply

[…] trend. It has even made it into the marketing big-leagues; see Andrew Odom’s recent post, Big Business for the Tiny House. Last year I sat down with Jay Shafer, who built his first tiny home in 1999, and he shared his […]

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