[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]I have worked with dozens of commercial and residential furniture dealers, rep groups, and manufacturers over the past decade. It’s a highly competitive landscape where a company’s reputation can make all the difference in the world.
If you want penetration into a marketplace and a brand that is memorable, you will need to engage in a couple of key marketing efforts. In a crowded marketplace, having a consistent message and an ongoing marketing strategy is the key to differentiating your commercial or residential furniture business from the competition.
Email marketing works
In the commercial furniture industry, email marketing is all about brand awareness. After reviewing hundreds of email campaigns, statistics show the A&D community reacts very positively to project photos. Having case studies and project highlights in your email campaigns with links to your website is a great way to get the A&D community to take notice.
Adding new project photos to your website and sharing them via email and social media will attract attention. I recommend building a reliable partnership with a local photographer who specializes in architecture. When a project closes, be sure to get photos done as soon as possible.
Creating beautiful email campaigns has never been easier. Many of our clients create and send their own campaigns using our industry leading email software in just a few minutes. It’s an affordable and easy way to attract the attention of key players in your area. Send emails to the A&D community, brokers, project managers and end users at least once per month gain top of mind awareness.
Culture is important
One of the things we noticed from working on dozens of websites and hundreds of email campaigns is that culture is important. Apps such as Facebook and Snapchat are successful because it is a platform for you to share your personal story. Your business has a story too, with real people. Be sure to include cultural pieces in your communications such as events, promotions, fun activities, awards, and so on.
Put some effort into your team page
After reviewing traffic reports for numerous commercial furniture websites, I noticed something interesting about the team page. It was the most popular page on the site. You’re welcome to speculate as to why that may be, but I suspect it is because people work with people. We need to see faces to build trust. Use the About or Team Page of your website to include bios, fun facts and professional photos.
Don’t skimp on professional photos of your team.
Avoid bar shots or cropped vacation photos. Hire a professional photographer and get your entire team involved. The good news is you can use your new photos on your website, email campaigns, RFP responses and presentations. It’s money well spent!
Be creative with the RFP
I have designed and reviewed hundreds of RFP responses and noticed something important. Even if you’re not the low-cost provider, a good looking RFP response will turn some heads. Look for ways to make the deliverable more memorable. Which binder are they more likely to pick up from a table full of presentations – the spiral-bound black and white Office Max version, or a binder that has custom graphics, a creative cover, and unique packaging?
Take your brand seriously
If you don’t take your brand seriously, why should potential customers? Everyone on your team that interfaces with clients or prospects need to be brand conscious. From how you answer the phone to social media etiquette to RFP responses, it’s important to have a unified message.
Creating a cohesive brand is much harder than it sounds. Having a strong “elevator pitch” is a great place to start. Make sure everyone, especially the sales team, is speaking the same language when it comes to your brand. Look for consistency in logo usage, colors, typography and templates. It’s extremely helpful to have a style or brand guide on everyone’s desk to keep your brand in check.
Get everyone onboard
There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t include every department in conversations about marketing. At the very least your sales and design team should have regular discussions about ongoing marketing efforts. This creates an atmosphere of transparency and ownership. The goal is to have interdepartmental support of the marketing plan.
If your office furniture website has a blog (and it should) assign someone the task of writing a blog post each month. Create social media champions and networking ambassadors. Everyone on the team should be pitching in to make the company more successful.
The biggest struggle for most office furniture businesses is the lack of time and resources. I admit that all of my advice above requires everyone to put in a little more effort. In an industry where everyone wears multiple hats, time is hard to come by.
However, you would be surprised by what you can accomplish with just a couples per week. At the very least, try to implement one new marketing strategy per quarter. Once you get that off the ground and start seeing results, add something else to the marketing mix.
In closing, I would say take a look at your competition. If they have a lackluster brand or marketing strategy, you would already be ahead of the game if you started something new today. If your competition is racing ahead with email and social media marketing, the gap will only get worse if you do nothing. Be sure to schedule some time with me if you would like to explore some ideas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” enable_gradient=”true” color_overlay=”rgba(30,115,190,0.11)” color_overlay_2=”rgba(238,238,34,0.11)” gradient_direction=”left_t_to_right_b” overlay_strength=”0.8″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”padding-4-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]
[icon color=”Accent-Color” animation_speed=”Slow” size=”small” icon_size=”” animation_delay=”” image=”icon-check”] Schedule a Free Marketing Review
You probably have a lot on your plate, but don’t let that stop you from scheduling a free marketing review of your commercial or residential furniture business.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”20″][vc_raw_html]JTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwY2hhcnNldCUzRCUyMnV0Zi04JTIyJTIwdHlwZSUzRCUyMnRleHQlMkZqYXZhc2NyaXB0JTIyJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyJTJGJTJGanMuaHNmb3Jtcy5uZXQlMkZmb3JtcyUyRnNoZWxsLmpzJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGc2NyaXB0JTNFJTBBJTNDc2NyaXB0JTNFJTBBJTIwJTIwaGJzcHQuZm9ybXMuY3JlYXRlJTI4JTdCJTBBJTA5cG9ydGFsSWQlM0ElMjAlMjI1NTczNDQlMjIlMkMlMEElMDlmb3JtSWQlM0ElMjAlMjI1Y2I2OTU1Yi1iNjJjLTQ5MTYtYjBjOS00YmQzM2Y3ZDZlODIlMjIlMEElN0QlMjklM0IlMEElM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0U=[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]