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From Home Furnishing Business

Tipping Point


By: Bob George

The term Tipping Point entered the business lexicon several years ago to describe an occurrence in the consumer sector. Made nearly famous by author Malcom Gladwell, the concept applies to the business sector as well. Simply put, tipping point is the instance of a previously rare happening becoming rapidly and dramatically more common.

For several years, Impact Consulting Services has conducted research on the topic of sustainability and specifically sustainability in the home furnishings industry. We have reached the magic number that indicates 50 percent of all consumers would be interested in buying green home furnishings.



The question now becomes what will it take to make green or sustainable or eco-friendly an established fact in the industry? According to Gladwell,  author of the Tipping Point “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” He notes these gifts specifically as connectors, mavens, and salesmen.

In his book, Gladwell defines each of those people as follows:

Connectors: “… people who know large numbers of people and are in the habit of making introductions.”

Mavens: “… ‘information specialists’, or people we rely upon to connect us with new information.”

Salesmen: “… are ‘persuaders’, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills.”

What category do you fall into?

As an aside, I, as principal of Impact Consulting, was involved in a campaign several years back to set a minimum sofa cushion density of 1.8. It worked, and the industry is better for it.

We at Home Furnishings Business have provided the information. Let’s get started.


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