Let’s all sit down and learn from a chair.
Before I start, I should tell you something: this was supposed to be a project compilation blog post. One of my first picks was the jobs we did for furniture businesses such as Julian Nyland, The Bramble Company and Steven Shell London.
Then it dawned on me: they pretty much sell the same items, yet they have very different ways of doing so and each approach works to their advantage. One has established themselves to be one of the finest solid wood furniture specialist, one has been around for 25 years with clients around the world, and the other one continues to strengthen its position in a niche market.
Which begs the question: how does one sell a product, let’s say a chair, differently than others? What makes customers pick one over other similar ones? Here are three things that I found.
If you have the finest materials, let it be at the forefront of your marketing communication. Learn how to best showcase it through the right treatment, and let the rest be the undertones. Working with Julian Nyland, we know from the start that a clean look would be the way to go. It worked perfectly with the images of their products which had edgy, unexpected shapes while using minimum finishes that brought out their solid wood texture.
The more, the merrier.. or is it?
If you have enough resources, find ways to diversify. Even with one product, you can invest in providing variants that have different colors, finishes, flavor, or fragrance. Give the customers the urge to choose by giving them options. But beware, because having too many too choose from causes a sort of paralysis in the decision-making process, which leads to avoidance behavior – i.e. choosing to do nothing at all. The Bramble Company’s products had quite a lot of variants, so we chose to present them in a simple way that was not overwhelming for their audience.
If you have a good authoritative figure, use them to connect to your audience in a personal level. This method has been used in centuries by advertisers who hires celebrities as brand ambassadors or endorsers, but Steven Shell takes it to the next level: he puts his quirky personality into every product. As a result, Steven Shell is equivalent to his products and vice versa. Staying true to the owner’s adventurous spirit, dynamic layout was combined with iconic character poses and quotes. We didn’t even have to put any furniture on the cover of their catalog; that’s how strong his brand is.