Unlike my other business-starting articles, this one is slightly different because it’s ongoing, and the brand is still in its early stages in the grand scheme of things.
The story begins September 2017 when one of my friends decided to move to London and pursue a career in interior design. He was already an experienced CAD technician but felt limited creatively, so took a step down financially for the opportunity.
This has turned out great for him, but at the time I saw it as career suicide and was unhappy he would be no longer live in my hometown.
Additionally, I was doing a project for a (pretty shitty) interior design agency, who I thought my friend would be able to work with. They also could manufacture furniture, but their ability to manufacture was very limited. In my head, my friend could bring his creativity to this business, helping bring modern designs to an otherwise ageing brand.
Of course this didn’t happen, but nonetheless I did my market research for interior design and bespoke furniture. Despite producing a website design and detailed market research, the interior design agency never began work with us.
Fast-forward to March 2018 and I was at a meeting with my biggest client, who are a washroom manufacturer. They’d recently done a refurbishment project for a hospital which including creating a bespoke reception desk, in addition to other furniture.
They noticed that reception desks could be a potential future product range, so wanted me to add it to their website; but I refused.
Not only because people aren’t likely to buy a reception desk from a washroom company, but also because I saw a lot of potential in creating a whole new brand for bespoke furniture creation.
As a washroom manufacturer, their manufacturing capabilities are very diverse. From marble-effect vanity units to traditional changing room benches, the materials they are familiar working with are varied; making almost any furniture possible to create.
I already had the market research from last September, so I knew the industry was huge, but because this was a national business (not a local interior design agency) I decided to start again.
First thing I noticed was that a lot of manufacturers doing high-end designs (which we could also do) weren’t in the UK. Meaning they were expensive, and wait times for the furniture were long. So, there was definitely going to be demand for a UK based, more affordable brand.
I also noticed that all of their branding was similar; Serif fonts, black/grey text and white backgrounds on the website, square layouts, and minimalistic branding.
So I started designing a website that went against all of these industry tropes. The first section of the homepage was bright orange, there was a distinct lack of white space, a bolder font, and a more vibrant design. I created the design and put “COMPANY NAME” where the logo would sit.
We showed the design to our client and they loved it, my brother would then come up with the name and logo design.
Within two months of presenting this concept the website was live, along with the marketing campaign I’d planned, and we were receiving enquiries.
Whilst the first 2 months of marketing were successful, the scalability of the marketing campaign worried me. Sure, we were getting enquiries, but they were unpredictable and it was difficult to pinpoint what was working within the marketing.
So, I decided to start again with the data I’d gathered over these 2 months. Straight away we saw a difference, but unfortunately not the right kind; enquiries dropped 70%.
Whilst the enquiries had dropped exponentially, the ones that were coming through were easy to analyse and understand which ads and searches they were from. Not ideal, but the scalability was definitely there.
This additional data also provided valuable information on new potential product ranges consumers were interested in. We didn’t even need to manufacture these new products, just render them and market using the render images to see if it’s worth further advertising.
Because of the additional scalability the revised ad campaign delivered, the advertising continued to grow in effectiveness (now reaching almost a 400% increase in enquiries since the launch month). The quality of clients we target also improved, with the brand now supplying furniture for industry leading names and iconic London based buildings.
Ultimately our furniture brand is proving the importance of data driven results. Every aspect of the brand is powered by data generated by the ads and market research:
- The branding and website was created through rigorous market research.
- The products we sell have expanded due to the data from our Google Ads.
- The quality of our clients have also improved by the data generated by Google Ads (through looking at search terms which ads appear for, creating extensive negative keyword lists, etc) and the website (prioritising case studies that attract wealthier potential consumers).
Using marketing data and research techniques we have been able to create a brand which shows the potential to overtake its own parent company in importance.
Whilst I wish we kept the brand for our own selfish use, it’s amazing to help build a brand that shows so much potential.
One response to “Why I Started a Furniture Brand”
[…] while back I revealed my part in starting a commercial furniture brand. Following that brand’s success, I chose to launch another to utilise those same products but […]