The entirely new Flexsteel.com is a head-turning departure for a single of the industry’s most reliably traditional furnishings models. Styled like the great, clean up web-sites of life style-driven specialty stores, it is the initially volley in a major refresh that will no doubt call to thoughts the time that Oldsmobile invoked fathers. Undoubtedly, like the storied automotive maker, Flexsteel will not be the to start with common stalwart that has aimed to attract a new era of customers with a sleek new glance and frame of mind, executives say. But when all is mentioned and performed, the initiative guarantees to be significantly far more in depth than a revamped web page might counsel.
For starters, you will find no tagline in this article destined to develop into a pop tradition catch-phrase. Alternatively, says Sharad Mathur, vice president of promoting for Flexsteel, “Glance for our model refresh to be a great deal more…subtle. As we have been building our new brand name tips, we have been performing closely with sellers throughout the place, discovering what it takes to bring in a youthful viewers now. The consensus was very clear: Our dealers don’t need to have pics and funny taglines. What they do want are clear and simple structure components that mix seamlessly into their retailers, and that’s pretty distinct from how home furniture brands have presented their manufacturers at retail in the previous.”
Also incredibly diverse is the collaborative approach Flexsteel has been quietly enterprise all over the manufacturer refresh system, communing closely with unbiased vendors across the country prior to the big reveal set for this Oct. “We are on the journey with them,” describes Laura Crowley, owner and normal supervisor of Crowley Home furnishings, a three-retail store chain centered in Kansas Town. “It is really not ‘here’s what we’re performing, just take it or go away it.’ They are fascinated in what is actually crucial to us for the reason that they want to make certain we occur out with a terrific conclusion-end result, and in the end, we are likely to carry that manufacturer out to the purchaser. From a advertising standpoint, it really is interesting to see a standard household furniture model taking the finest of that environment and shifting into a new, far more way of living-pushed era. It really is a truly exciting combine and I am fired up about shifting forward.”
“Their new site is so considerably more upscale than it ever has been,” notes Tom Balistreri, proprietor, and vice president of merchandising at four-keep Colder’s Home furniture and Appliance located in the Milwaukee location, incorporating that he far too has been in close interaction with the Flexsteel crew. “They recognize that we’re the conduit to the consumer, and that as a countrywide manufacturer, they will need to have a steady presentation. You are unable to have a attractive web site, and then shows that are a mess in-retail outlet, with no matching level-of-invest in supplies. We have talked at length about that, and the great importance of gallery refreshes, to make sure that we are supplying the shopper the right knowledge of the Flexsteel brand name.”
It All Matters
According to Mathur, the essential term all through the brand name refresh journey has been “consistency,” in every thing from the most obvious—a revised brand, new hold tags and in-retail outlet signage—to the not-so-apparent, like e mail signatures and PowerPoint templates for both of those inner and external audiences. “From letterhead to market sheets, each interaction is an opportunity to make our manufacturer,” he suggests. “And it all matters because we are attempting to catch the attention of a youthful audience. Consumers are again turning into brand conscious, and that’s particularly legitimate with younger buyers. Gen Y cares about what firms stand for, they treatment about liable tactics, they care about the search and come to feel of models. They will not do business enterprise with you just mainly because you have been around for 100 yrs.”
About that emblem: “Older generations are likely to not shell out a whole lot of awareness to a logo’s coloration or how lengthy it is really been around,” Mathur relates. “We had multiple variations, there was no consistency corporately or at the retail outlet level and none of them intended nearly anything to most people today. Theoretically the different symbol versions referenced blue steel springs, but individuals could not genuinely figure out what the brand meant. Overall, the Flexsteel brand name appeared like it was stuck in the ’80s. We resembled IBM…old, dated and standard blue.”
In an work to look extra up to day, “with a clean glance indicative of specialty shops, the kind that make individuals feel, ‘I can see this household furniture in my property simply because this corporation understands me,’ Mathur has started producing customer personas to support everyone detect Flexsteel’s concentrate on shopper and what they seek. Even much more significant, he developed in-depth manufacturer tips, for use both of those by sellers and the company staff that obviously lay out what Flexsteel stands for, its voice (consider extra conversational than corporate), imagery (spaces with a lived-in feel whole of natural light-weight) and the over-all tone. As hinted at by the new website, that tone is one of a valuable, decorating ally for merchants and buyers, just as dependable and common as it has constantly been, yet pretty at household in the digital age.
Although Flexsteel is moving to recast perceptions about its image as a very classic worry, nothing at all has improved in phrases of what made the corporation effective in the very first put: High quality items that will final thanks to that proprietary blue metal spring™ frame, a patented ribbon of steel that revolutionized upholstered household furniture production when it was introduced in the 1920s. And that legacy, vendors say, is why Flexsteel is a brand name poised to appear into its own.
“They are repositioning the manufacturer in an appealing time,” Balistreri factors out. “During the pandemic, I used a lot more time on the salesfloor, and I was truly impressed by the number of young men and women that have been acquiring properties. They are keen to shell out far more, and they are eager to wait, to step up to a greater quality of item at a time when Flexsteel has been modifying their merchandising to develop into a whole lot much more trend-ahead and younger looking. I imagine expending far more time at dwelling has only accelerated that craze, simply because lots of of them had obtained home furnishings to fill a void. It was functional, it’s possible it looked really good, but it didn’t maintain up and they recognized it also was not that relaxed.”
Crowley agrees. “We’ve definitely found a modify all through the pandemic and we’re selling much more significant-good quality furnishings than we most likely at any time have. I feel individuals have been burned a very little bit when they purchased anything that was off-model and not genuinely the good quality they required. Customers now are additional intrigued in top quality products and solutions, where they are created, what is likely into them, and which is genuine no matter their age category. So, when you can discuss to the brand’s historical past, even though also getting suitable in fashion, I feel which is kind of a magic blend. I am truly energized about what they are performing.”
Source Flexsteel Industries, Inc.