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Furniture Lounge

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introduction Background (p. 3)

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Research (p. 4) The Browser (p. 5) Objectives (p. 6) Strategy (p. 7) Current Messaging (p. 9) Execution (p. 10) Media Plan (p. 12) Budgeting (p. 14) Evaluation (p. 15) Appendix (p. 16)

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Furniture Lounge is a quaint Champaign vintage store that prides itself on being the “one stop retro shop” with a specialty in midcentury modern furniture. Downtown Champaign acts as a hub for vintage stores and with each competing for similar customers, our goal is to increase store awareness through increased online presence. We want to make Furniture Lounge top of mind when our target is seeking to buy or sell unique vintage pieces. Currently, Furniture Lounge offers unique, cool products including clothing, jewelry, records, home decorations, artwork, furniture, and other knick-knacks that are considered ‘mid-century modern’. Mid-century modern represents design and style from the 1930s to 1960s, but is still relevant and appealing to specific consumers today. Furniture Lounge is one-of-a-kind because they receive a variety of items daily – most of which cannot be found anywhere else. While competing vintage shops tend to keep unsold items on the shelf for a long period of time, Furniture Lounge is constantly switching around the store’s layout and inventory in order to keep things fresh for both new and returning customers. These aspects are especially appealing to our target market, which we have dubbed “The Browser”. Instead of focusing on a specific demographic, our research led us to focus on a common mindset. It takes a certain type of person to truly appreciate vintage stores for what they’re worth and by targeting those who can enjoy and appreciate it best, Furniture Lounge will be most successful in reaching their goals.


Background Furniture Loungs sells a variety of vintage items including clothing, jewelry, records, home decorations, artwork, and furniture. The store has been open for ten years, but moved from a larger space in Urbana to their current Champaign location in December 2011. In addition, they have a warehouse in St. Joseph’s where larger furniture pieces are stored. Existing customers have remained mostly loyal despite the move and given that the move was cost effective and allowed for ample store space, it was a good business decision. One downfall of the new store, though, is its narrow layout. Since the space goes further back than it does wide, it can be easy to miss from the outside and has less window-shopping space than some of its competitors’ stores. However, other vintage stores in the area, such as Carrie’s and Dandelion, are located more centrally and near one another, whereas Furniture Lounge is more of an outlier. We consider this a benefit for Furniture Lounge because it can be better separated from the competition in downtown Champaign. Another important benefit that Furniture Lounge offers is their changing inventory. The store receives a variety of items daily – most of which cannot be found anywhere else. While competing vintage shops tend to keep unsold items on the shelf for a long period of time, Furniture Lounge is constantly switching around the store’s layout and inventory in order to keep things fresh for both new and recurring customers. Furniture Lounge attracts many of its customers through their website and Facebook page. Photos of many of the items sold in the store and in their warehouse can be found on each of these

sites. The photos offer specific captions with names and prices and space for comments. Customers are expected to comment or contact the owners directly if they are interested in any of the pieces featured online. Within their personal website customers can find a link to their eBay store – the items featured here can be purchased online. Owners Amanda and Scott are very diligent about updating both their personal website and Facebook page with new products and responding to comments, exemplifying superb customer service. Furniture Lounge’s excellent customer service extends to the instore experience. Because Amanda and Scott run every aspect of the business on their own – from doing all of the buying for the store to assisting shoppers during store hours – they are able to extend information on each product and answer any questions without hesitation. This is especially helpful for consumers who are more involved in vintage shopping than the typical consumer since they may have questions that go further than “how much?”. An aspect of Furniture Lounge that can be easily overlooked by a marketing team is the importance of its suppliers. Creating awareness and getting new customers into the store to buy is definitely an objective, but the store relies on independent sellers with vintage pieces to get rid of. In order for Furniture Lounge to remain profitable, they must attract sellers as well as consumers. Fortunately, our research has led us to a target that acts as both the ideal consumer and seller.

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RESEARCH Product Category

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Furniture Lounge can best be classified in the furniture retailing and home décor category. According to secondary research from Mintel, sales of home furniture have been negatively impacted by the economic recession. However, although consumers may not be buying new homes as frequently as they did before the recession, “they are starting to invest in their homes through improvements, albeit with a conservative mindset” (Mintel, 2011). This information is positive for Furniture Lounge because vintage pieces are often cheaper than more modern pieces, which appeals to the conservative market, and because most of their goods are for home improvement. The Mintel report also indicated that, “as Americans continue to downsize and live in smaller spaces, multi-functional, modular furniture will provide convenience and value to those looking for living solutions and space optimization” (Mintel, 2011). This piece of research is important to keep in mind when selecting furniture to sell. Furniture Lounge is already on the right track since convenient and multifunctional pieces are already sold there. Another Mintel report about home decor showed more positive news for the market. In 2011 the category sales were at $30.3 billion, a 6% increase from 2010. In addition, the market is projected to grow to $38.6 billion by 2016. Furniture lounge offers several unique home decor items. Their home decor items offer huge potential to appeal to consumers and increase sales. Additional studies from Mintel showed that “one-third of all consumers purchase home décor on sale, on impulse and to update the look and feel of their homes” (Mintel, 2012). The key factor here is that consumers buy these items on impulse. As we will discuss shortly, our target’s reliance on impulse decisions are what will drive them to purchase the types of items sold at Furniture Lounge.

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One of the biggest takeaways from the secondary research on home décor is that “65% of consumers also seek unique, interesting products for their homes, offering retailers the opportunity to differentiate through exclusive collections or items that are not available at other stores” (Mintel, 2012). This idea of exclusivity and unique décor aligns perfectly with what Furniture Lounge stands for. The goods sold at Furniture Lounge are one-of-a-kind and it is important to recognize that this appeals not only to our specific target market, but to the general consumer as a whole. Primary Research Our primary research is what helped us most in determining an appropriate target market for Furniture Lounge. We began by surveying 80 people currently living in the Champaign-Urbana area and asked them questions about their decorating habits and some specific questions about vintage shopping (Appendix I). From the responses, we gathered that 48.75% love decorating and pick up cool things for their living space whenever they see them and 42.5% decorate at the beginning of the year with just the basics. 5% said they only redecorate when it’s necessary and 3.75% said they don’t decorate. Of the respondents who said they love decorating and picking up cool things for their living space whenever they see them, 87.2% shop for home furnishings and decorations at Walmart or Target, 53.8% shop at Ikea, 41% shop at Homegoods, TJ Maxx or Marshalls, 41% shop at vintage or consignment stores, and 38.5% shop online at eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon (respondents were able to choose more than one option). Additionally, 47.5% of respondents shop for vintage clothing, furniture, or accessories a few times a year.


The BRowser When it comes to shopping at vintage stores, our respondents were likely to shop for a wide variety of items, which is an advantage for Furniture Lounge since their diverse selection of vintage items they offer could cater to a wide variety of customers. These numbers helped us conclude that we should target a mindset, not a demographic. We determined that the typical Furniture Lounge shopper is someone who enjoys decorating and shopping at vintage stores. Because there was a relatively small sample of respondents who enjoyed both of these, we decided to dig deeper and find the attitudes of these people in order to target them. To do this, we organized one-on-one interviews with frequent vintage store shoppers (Appendix II). We quickly learned that the interviewees’ shopping and lifestyle habits were similar – therefore, we grouped these personalities together as our target market and dubbed them “The Browser.” As mentioned, The Browser represents a mindset, not a demographic. These people view shopping as a hobby, they don’t go shopping because they have to, they go because they want to. To them, shopping can be viewed as a social event that they can do with others but they also tend to browse out of boredom. The Browser’s shopping experience is never rushed. They can spend hours in a small boutique picking items up, looking at them, touching everything to better find items they truly love. When it comes to those items they can’t put down, they won’t be deterred from purchasing it by lack of functionality or need – if they love it they will find a place for it. The Browser is a self-proclaimed expert in his or her style. Although specific style preferences may vary from Browser to Browser, they all have

spontaneity and uniqueness in common. Being part of the norm is not important to them, they enjoy standing out, but not in a rebellious way. They are confident in what they like and genuinely want to express themselves in their purchases. Outside of shopping, the lifestyle of The Browser is far from average. They are spontaneous not only in their purchases but in their dayto-day activities. These are the type of people who would plan a road trip the day before or try a new restaurant for lunch 45 minutes away. They go to small art theaters and music festivals. They like to explore the unknown. In order to find these types of places, The Browser will typically search the Internet or trade publications. The Browser is drawn to vintage stores because they offer oneof-a-kind pieces not found anywhere else. There is a sense of adventure in finding, what they consider, hidden treasures in small boutiques. Because they enjoy the act of browsing and purchasing unique items so much, they will get rid of old items they already own in order to make room for new purchases. This is a key reason why Furniture Lounge must target these consumers – they are ideal buyers and sellers. Since The Browser disposes about as much as they purchase, it is crucial that Furniture Lounge target them as suppliers of inventory. The Browser’s sense of style is consistent with the eclectic pieces Furniture Lounge tries to buy, so they make ideal suppliers. In addition, since The Browser is also a constant buyer, they would rather receive money for their old items instead of donating or throwing out the things they want to get rid of. This is why Furniture Lounge is the perfect solution for The Browser’s needs.

48.75%

love decorating and pick up cool things for their living space whenever they see them

41%

shop for vintage clothing, furniture, or accessories a few times a year

47.5%

shop for home furnishings and decorations at vintage or consignment stores

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OBjectives F Q G Q F 6

Based on our research, we have found that Furniture Lounge isn’t top of mind for most people when looking to buy or sell furniture. Most of those asked were also unaware that the store sold more than just furniture if they were even aware of the brand. These factors have led us to make brand awareness a key objective. Make Furniture Lounge top of mind when people are looking to both buy and sell vintage items. We want to raise awareness with local residents that Furniture Lounge specializes in mid-century modern furniture and also sells vintage clothing, home furnishings, and accessories. Currently, many people in the Champaign-Urbana area are unaware of any locations where they can find vintage items. Locations that were mentioned, however, were places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Carrie’s. We want to make Furniture Lounge top of mind to consumers when looking for furniture and vintage items. We not only want to raise awareness of the brand itself and what customers can buy, but we also want to make Furniture Lounge top of mind when people are getting rid of furniture. Many people that we asked said that when they are looking to get rid of pieces in their homes they most commonly post on CraigsList, eBay, or donate their furniture to various charities. Instead of using these other outlets, we want consumers to bring their items to Furniture Lounge first.

Increase social media and website traffic. By increasing social media and website traffic, we can increase consumers’ knowledge of what products Furniture Lounge has to offer. Engaging more consumers on social media will also get people to interact with the brand and not just know about it. By getting consumer to follow you on facebook and continuously go to your website, we can increase the the likelihood of them making a purchase in the future. Increase sales by 10% within the next year. By running this campaign we hope to generate an increase in revenue for Furniture Lounge. Targeting The Browser will increase the amount of sellers and buyers that are choosing Furniture Lounge for all of their home decor needs.

our goals To make Furniture Lounge top of mind when people are looking to both buy and sell vintage items To increase social media and website traffic To increase sales by 10% within the next year


strategy Positioning Strategy For most vintage shops, increasing sales and selling merchandise is the most important goal. While this is also an important aspect for Furniture Lounge, another major goal is to find sellers who can supply the store with inventory. Not only do we want consumers to think of Furniture Lounge when they are looking for retro pieces, we also want them to consider Furniture Lounge when they are looking to dispose of old goods. We want to position Furniture Lounge as the only vintage shop that will give a consumer money for their old goods, and will allow them to replace their old things with unique pieces that they love. From our surveys, interviews, and research discussed in the previous section, we discovered that targeting The Browser is the most efficient method for positioning Furniture Lounge in this way. Furniture Lounge will be able to distinguish themselves from similar businesses by appealing to The Browser’s unique sense of style and appreciation for one-of-a-kind goods. Based on our research we have learned that The Browser had a unique, vintage style even before it was trendy and that is something they value. The Browser likes to stand out from the crowd, but not in a rebellious way. They are confident in their

personal style and are constantly on the lookout for unique items to spruce up their home or wardrobe. We learned that while our target isn’t making high-risk purchases when buying vintage items, the shopping experience is important to The Browser. Our target views shopping as a leisure activity and enjoy spending time searching for items that fit their unique style. Their motivation for purchasing an item is based on how unique the item is, how it fits with their personal style, the quality of the item, and how it will make them feel to wear or display the item. In positioning Furniture Lounge, it is important to recognize the variety of their inventory. The fact that there are rarely two of the same items appeals to our target even more because sifting through multiple products enhances The Browser’s shopping experience. As consumers that value adventure, spontaneity, and change, this type of consumer is willing to sell items that they are bored with in order to buy new items and they can do both at Furniture Lounge. This creates a recycling-like process that benefits both The Browser and Furniture Lounge. The Browser is happy because they can get money for their old items and find great pieces to replace them with, and Furniture Lounge benefits from the new inventory and increased sales.

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Strategy Messaging Strategy

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When it comes to our messaging, we must appeal to The Browser’s love for exploration, adventure, spontaneity, and individuality. We need to make sure that the tone of our advertising is cool, eclectic, and fun. The primary goal of our messaging is to make Browsers aware of Furniture Lounge and encourage them to explore what they have to offer. Additionally, our messaging could communicate the idea of selling their old items in order to make room for the new ones they purchase spontaneously. Internally, Amanda and Scott as well as any other employees, must be available to assist Browsers in their adventure through the store. They should be aware of each piece’s background and show customers items that may not be visible in plain sight. How Browsers see the vintage shopping experience as a social adventure is something we can expand on in our messaging. Shopping at Furniture Lounge is always an adventure because of their ever-changing inventory. Since part of The Browser’s personality is to constantly build on their style, Furniture Lounge’s

messaging can also explain the variety of products available. Not only can The Browser expand their clothing collection, they can also build on their furniture and home decor repertoire. Another aspect of the shopping experience that Furniture Lounge offers The Browser is the opportunity to come across something totally unique and special. Finding a hidden treasure is what excites The Browser and we could include this in our messaging. After considering these options we ultimately decided to focus our messaging on the adventure and the excitement that comes with the recycling process of building upon The Browser’s style. The adventure is different from browser to browser, but also from day to day.

the big idea Every shopping trip at Furniture Lounge is a different adventure


current messaging The Competition Carrie’s is similar to Furniture Lounge in that they sell a large variety of different items. They carry furniture, clothing, home decor, toys and games, glassware, and and a vast array of knick-knacks. All of these items are crowded on shelves, racks, and the floor making it challenging to see everything and items are rarely rearranged. Carrie’s does not have a website and while they do have a Facebook page, it only has 25 likes and does not have any posts or ads. Dandelion, located just around the corner from Carrie’s, specializes in vintage clothes and accessories. They have a very basic website that includes store hours, three photos, and a short description of the store. Dandelion utilizes its Facebook page to post pictures of merchandise and make announcements about the store. They joined Facebook in April of 2012 and have 270 friends, many of whom comment on and like Dandelion’s posts.

Goodwill and Salvation Army are competitors for Furniture Lounge for two reasons. Both sell gently used furniture, clothing, and accessories, but the main source of competition lies in acquiring new items. When people are looking to get rid of items in their home they will often take their items to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army for donation. Both Goodwill and Salvation Army have goals aimed at helping those that are less fortunate, so people feel good about donating their items and can also buy items at very low prices.

Both Goodwill and Salvation Army are international organizations and have many store locations throughout the U.S. For this reason, their websites include information on all of the facets of the organization. There is a section where the user can look up locations in their area, but there is not a separate webpage for the Champaign, IL. stores. Both utilize their websites for announcements and information, but little is mentioned about the thrift stores. Client Messages Currently, Furniture Lounge’s advertising is minimal. Their main advertising efforts are focused in flyers that promote the store in general or announce promotions. These flyers are placed in various locations around Champaign-Urbana and are also posted on the Furniture Lounge Facebook page. Furniture Lounge utilizes their Facebook page to display merchandise and make announcements about the store. They have a website, also, that includes store hours, contact information, and brief information about the store and owners, but has very merchandise displayed.

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EXEcution Flyers

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Flyers are our main method of increasing brand awareness. These flyers feature a dominant photo, each of which was pulled directly from the Furniture Lounge Facebook page. The photos either depict the store or unique items that are for sale. The copy of the ads appeals to The Browser’s adventurous spirit and connects back to the idea that Browsers are willing to pick up an item they don’t need if it perfectly fits their style. Our proposed tagline is “Out with the New. In with the Old.” The ‘Out with the New’ emphasizes that generic, store bought furniture, housewares and clothing are not the only option. The Browser should always remember that while a desk bought from Ikea, for example, may be functional and fit their needs, it cannot compete

with that perfect one-of-a-kind piece they may find at Furniture Lounge. It also reiterates that Browsers should be encouraged to recycle things in their homes they no longer love, and replace them with items that more accurately fit their current taste. The ‘In with the Old’ emphasizes that unique antique items are out there, and finding just the right one brings your home or wardrobe to life. The Browser should always feel inspired to seek out an adventure and potentially come across the perfect vintage item for them. The bottom of the ad features not only the Furniture Lounge logo and address, but also the Facebook and Twitter pages, so that Browsers are able to connect with the store via social media.


Pinterest Furniture Lounge’s eBay page allows potential customers to see vintage pieces, but linking the eBay page to Pinterest would allow Furniture Lounge to be present on a website The Browser already loves. Pinterest is often used to explore and get inspired, not to search for something in particular. This idea is completely in line with what Furniture Lounge is trying to achieve. Pinterest allows Furniture Lounge to be among the many people and stores The Browser already loves. In our example, we chose a “Tis the Season” theme for one potential board (Appendix IX). Boards can be categorized on the Pinterest site to optimize searches for users. “Tis the Season” could be labeled as a holiday board, and therefore any Pinterest users who are not currently following Furniture Lounge but are browsing through the holiday section could potentially see the pins in an area relevant to what they are looking for. “A Night at the Lounge” In order to create buzz and generate traffic into the store, we will be hosting an event for customers at Furniture Lounge. Called “A Night at the Lounge”, Furniture Lounge will open the store

past close (ideally from 6:00-8:00pm) and host an open house for shoppers to come in and browse while enjoying wine and appetizers. For two weeks prior to the event, shoppers will be encouraged via flyers to bring in their used items to be sold and then receive a coupon for a discount on a purchase the night of the event. This event is ideal for positioning Furniture Lounge as a store that buys customers’ old things in addition to selling items in the store. This event appeals to The Browser because it will create a more intimate setting where they can do what they do best browse. By giving out a coupon discount to the people who bring in items to sell, and providing free wine and appetizers are perfect incentives for the Browser to come to the event and actually make a purchase. To clarify, we think it would be best to only allow customers to use the coupon at the event so it encourages them to come in. By opening the store past close and adding food and beverages, the shopping adventure will be enhanced for these people. Our hope is that from this event The Browser will associate the Furniture Lounge with a positive experience and will think of the store as fun and trendy. Therefore, they will be more apt to come back especially when they have items they are looking to get rid of, which is one of our primary goals.”

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media plan F Q G Q F 12

Brand Contacts Model: Contact Points and Potential Ways to Deliver Brand Messaging Facebook: Create online facebook ads. Create a new Furniture Lounge profile picture and cover photo that relates to strategy. The Browser is using Facebook, so it would be beneficial to contact them in this online space. Furniture Lounge posts store information and products that The Browser would find useful. Facebook still remains on our strategy because while The Browser is scrolling through their newsfeed they might come across an amazing product from Furniture Lounge that they just have to have. Pinterest: Develop a Pinterest account with links to the eBay account. Pinterest is a social media website that is all about browsing. The Pinterest user is The Browser. They are not looking for anything particular while they are scrolling through the pages, but every once in a while they come across something totally original that fits their style. And this is why they continue to go back, because of the unexpected and the thrill of finding it. It would be beneficial for Furniture Lounge to post its products on this website because it is where The Browser is located online. Flyers in Gregory Hall and across campus: Develop a series of flyers and place them across the University of Illinois. The University of Illinois has over 40,000 students. The Browser does not have a specific age so it is beneficial to be targeting the college students around campus because of its proximity to Furniture Lounge. The flyers will help drive consumers to the physical store as well as the online space (Facebook and store website).

Word of mouth (WOM) of current customers: Current customers can help drive the WOM and create awareness that Furniture Lounge buys and sells furniture. Downtown Champaign area: Because of the proximity to the store, the downtown Champaign stores and restaurants present an opportunity for Furniture Lounge to target The Browser while they are close to their store. This will require less effort by The Browser because they will already be within walking distance to the store. It is important to place flyers in the stores and areas that The Browser is located in. Downtown Urbana area: It is important to deliver brand messages in Urbana still because Furniture Lounge was previously located in Urbana. Some previous and potential customers need to be reminded about Furniture Lounge as a company that buys and sells retro furniture and home decor Events: Furniture Lounge can target The Browser during large scale, Champaign-Urbana events throughout the year. Flyering at events like Winter Festival at Krannert, Boneyard Arts Festival, Taste of Champaign, and Pygmalion would allow Furniture Lounge to gain awareness and top-of-mind among The Browser during these larger events. The 4 events occur at different times throughout the year, allowing Furniture Lounge to be reaching The Browser year round. Furniture Lounge can also host its own event that will allow buyers and sellers to come together and browse the selection of products available.


Brand Contacts Model: Prioritization of Contact Points 1. Flyering Champaign-Urbana: Flyering across the campus of the University of Illinois, local stores, and throughout major ChampaignUrbana events would help increase awareness. that Furniture Lounge offers a thrilling, adventurous experience that allows them to ‘recycle’ their home decor for a new piece that matches their style. It is cost effective and would reach a large amount of consumers. The Browser is also located throughout these channels so it is beneficial to target them at these events and locations. 2. Pinterest: Pinterest pages can link directly to eBay or store website. It allows The Browser to browse from the comfort of their own home while still feeling excitement and adventurous while looking for new pieces to enhance their style. 3. Hosting an event: Hosting an event in Champaign would build awareness about Furniture Lounge and generate WOM among local residents. 4. Facebook: Furniture Lounge is already doing a good job on Facebook, they just need to maintain a constant flow of content. By updating their news feed regularly they will place content where The Browser already is. Media Channel Roles Flyers: The Call to Action. Reaching The Browsers in various places throughout Champaign-Urbana. Target them at specific events and stores throughout the area.

Pinterest: Visual Engagement. Visually extend the brand with lifestyle content, the Pinterest user is The Browser of the online space, increase word-of-mouth and engagement on social media. Website: The Home Base. Content repository providing product descriptions, purchasing information, and customer service. Facebook: Conversation Center. Core medium for building the conversation with The Browser through product offerings. Develop a sense of community among The Browsers. Allow them to do their browsing without having to leave their house, all they have to do is go on Facebook. eBay: Online Buying Hub. eBay is good functionally for what The Browser is looking for, but by using Pinterest we are bringing the content to where the browser already is.

ffllyer locations Boltini Cafe Kopi Radio Maria Krannert Virginia Theater Art Theater Jane Addams Book Shop Cream and Flutter Black Dog (Urbana) Crane Alley (Urbana) Canopy Club Espresso Royale The Bread Company

Ippatsu Salon Smoke Shack Undercover The Red Herring Strawberry Fields MTD Bus Shelters Illini Union Starbucks UIUC Quad Savoy Theatre Destihl Guido’s 7 Saints

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Budgeting F Q G Q F 14

Costs for Flyers and Coupons Printing: Fedex Office Print & Ship Center Phone: (217) 344-2085 Website: http://local.van.fedex.com/il/champaign/office-0137 Printing 8.50” X 10.98” Color Flyers for Year Round 8.50” X 10.98” Color Flyers/Coupons for Event Total: $749.98 (not including tax)

Supplies: Party City Phone: (217) 355-6837 Website: www.partycity.com

Quantity 1500 500

Price $449.99 $299.99

Quantity 5 5 5 5

Price $11.99 $10.99 $10.99 $10.99

Costs for Event Wine: Binny’s Beverage Depot Phone: (217) 355-0625 Website: www.binnys.com Wine 2010 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Gascon Malbec 2010 Furst Riesling 2011 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc Total: $224.80 (not including tax)

Appetizers: Order by phone & have delivered from: Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano Phone: (217) 356-4300 Website: www.biaggis.com Ask to speak with the Event Coordinator, Rebecca Benzel. Appetizers Quantity Stuffed Mushrooms 50 Fried Ravioli 50 Shrimp Cocktail 50 Chicken Pietro Skewers 50 Total: $400.00 (not including tax and delivery charge)

Supplies Pearl Premium Plastic Wine Glasses 10oz 18ct Pearl White Square Premium Plastic Dessert Plates 6.5 in 10ct White Lunch Napkins 50ct Teal Fabric Tablecloth 84in Avocado Green Fabric Tablecloth 84in Total: $243.66 (not including tax) Walmart Phone: (217) 352-0700 Website: www.walmart.com

Quantity 10 18 18 4 1 1

Price $9.99 $5.99 $5.99 $3.99 $9.99 $9.99

Supplies Mainstays 20” x 48” Folding Table, Black Total: $58.92 (not including tax)

Quantity 2

Price $29.46

Break Down of Costs Printing: $749.98 Wine: $224.80 Appetizers: $400.00 Supplies: $302.58 Total Cost: $1677.36 Price $1.00 $1.00 $3.00 $3.00


evaluation To make Furniture Lounge of mind when people are looking to both buy and sell vintage items. We can easily measure increases in the amount of items that Furniture Lounge is buying by comparing current numbers to past years or months. It would also be beneficial to keep track of who sells each item to Furniture Lounge to look at the different types of places that they are receiving items from. Even if we don’t necessarily see an increase in the amount of items purchased, we might see an increase in the amount of sellers, showing an increase in awareness. To increase social media and website traffic. One way we can measure an increase in brand awareness is by tracking the number of people that visit the Furniture Lounge website, eBay pages, and Facebook page. If we see an increase when comparing the web traffic prior to and after our executions we will know that our brand awareness objective has been met. We can

also monitor in store traffic and sales to estimate increases in brand awareness. Pinterest interaction can be easily measured through monitoring the number of comments, likes and ‘repins’ each pin receives. To increase sales by 10% within the next year. We can easily measure sales increase by comparing sales to those of past years or months. Since there are several other vintage stores in the Champaign-Urbana area, it may also be helpful to look at competitors sales. Many local residents were not aware of Furniture Lounge, but shopped at places like Goodwill Salvation Army, Carrie’s, and Dandelion. We will be able to measure the success of “A Night at the Lounge” by determining how many people had coupons and how many purchases were made that night..

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Appendix I. Survey (p. 17)

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1I. Interviews (p. 18) III. Brand Compass (p. 20) IV. Brand Architecture (p. 21) V. Gap Analysis (p. 22) VI. Tone of Voice (p. 23) VII. Engagement Brief (p. 24) VIII. Ads (p. 25) IX. Pinterest (p. 28) X. Media Schedule (p. 29) XI. Infographics (p. 30) XII. Sources (p. 33)

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Browser Interview Script 1 H = Haley, interviewer C = Caryl, interviewee. Female, 49 years old

H: So how much does price play in the decision? C: It does play an important role but sometimes I can’t help myself when it’s something I really love

H: How often do you shop for vintage clothing, furniture, or accessories? C: I would say twice a week

H: Do you feel like your interior decorating is ever finished when it comes to your home? C: No not really, because I feel that if you want to redecorate, kind of by rearranging things and by adding a couple different things you can change the look

H: If you have items that you want to get rid of, where would you take them? Would you donate them? Would you sell them? Would you be more likely to throw them away? C: Probably take it to a consignment shop H: Can you name any of those specifically that you would take it to? C: Plato’s Closet if it’s younger type clothing, Double Exposure, which is a store in Barrington, or there’s a place in Libertyville I go to as well H: If you wanted to seek out another place, to get more money for what you were selling how would you search it? Would you look online, newspapers, driving by? Like what would catch your attention to go to one of these places? C: Word of mouth from other people who also like to shop for vintage or there’s publications that I’ve read that lists all different consignment, antique, resale shops in Illinois. The shop that I go to in Barrington gives it to their customers H: When you sell things that you already have, do you find that you’re selling them just to clear out space or do you find that you sometimes sell things in order to buy new things? C: Exactly, to buy new things. If I get sick of some of the things I have then I’ll sell them and then get something else H: So in the past what were some types of items that you’ve bought from vintage or consignment stores C: handbags from like the 1950’s and 60’s, some clothing lines kind of like active wear or lounge wear that they’re not making anymore that you can’t get, occasionally things for the home H: Like what types of things for the home? C: Little decorative knick-knacks H: If you find something that you really love in a vintage store how likely are you to buy it on the spot? C: Very likely

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H: Do those odds increase if you know it’s an item you can’t get anywhere else? C: Yeah, I would say so within a reasonable price

H: Would you buy something you like even if you can’t think of somewhere to put it? C: Yes. H: What are your shopping experiences like? C: I shop when I have had a stressful day and I just want to relax and I think I can relax more in a vintagey type place because I can browse and see things that I used to see when I was younger and I like to roam around H: Are you more likely to shop at smaller boutiques than larger chain stores? C: I’m more likely to shop at a consignment or vintagey type store because I’m not as tied down to the price factor as I would be in a regular store since I can afford them more things are usually cheaper. H: Do you usually spend a lot of time at one store or do you go in and out quickly? C: No I can’t [go in and out quickly]. Like when I’m at Goodwill I’m always there for a minimum of 2 hours, I can’t get out of there. H: What are the types of things you consider before buying something? C: If it has poor quality H: Can you describe your personal style C: Sort of like comfortable but casual-chic. I can wear casual chic but I’ll put a pair of big hoops or a crazy purse. I like to accessorize, those are things I look at those stores H: Is it easy for you to make decisions on what you like? C: Yes very easy. I know my style, I know what I like and it doesn’t take me really any time at all to decide. H: Imagine that you had a full day to yourself, how would you spend it? C: I would get my nails done, I would go somewhere I’ve never been for lunch, I would walk around an area that I’ve never been to, I would love to go by a beach, I just love an adventure and try anywhere new. H: Great, well thank you for your time!


Browser Interview Script 2 J = Jill, interviewer B = Bethany, interviewee, female, 25 years old

like that, but it would depend. But I would definitely try to find a place to put something that I liked and even consider getting rid of something to make room.

J: How often do you shop for vintage clothing, furniture, or accessories? B: All the time.

J: What are your shopping experiences like? Do you only shop when you need something, or do you shop for fun? B: No, I shop for fun most often.

J: If you have items to get rid of where would you take them? B: Recently I’ve been using CraigsList a lot. I think it’s really easy because I can just take a picture and put it online. If it’s something I don’t think anyone would want to buy necessarily, but I think it will still benefit people, I’ve been using Salvation Army, Goodwill

J: Are you more likely to shop at small boutiques or larger chain stores? B: I like boutiques because I feel like you can find that you won’t find in other places, but it depends on what I’m looking for. If I’m looking for something specific I might know that a chain store would have it, but for unique items I would definitely go to a boutique.

J: Would you consider selling items in order to buy new things? B: Of course!

J: Do you spend a lot of time at one store or do you go in and out quickly? B: I think that I tend to spend a lot of time in one store and try to see everything I can see.

J: In the past, what were some items that you have bought? B: I’ve purchased a lot of accessories from thrift stores, like jewelry, and various knick-knacks. I’ve also bought some furniture - I think a lamp, a bookcase, and an end table are a few things I’ve gotten recently. J: If you find something that you really love in a vintage store, how likely are you to buy it on the spot? B: Likely, as long as I have transportation. J: What if it’s something you know you can’t get anywhere else? B: Then I am especially likely to buy it on the spot. J: How much of a factor does price play in your decision? B: A decent amount, but I mean if it was something that I really liked and it was reasonably priced I would buy it. I might even find ways to cut money in other areas. J: Do you feel like your interior decorating is every finished? B: No, especially not right now. (She just moved into a new home with her fiance) J: If your home is fully decorated, how inclined would you be to add other pieces? B: Oh all the time! It’s never finished! And then there’s holidays and seasonal things - things change.

J: What do you consider before buying something? B: How much I like it, where I might put it, and that’s about it. J: Describe your personal style. B: I like things that are timeless, that I can have for a long time, but still have some unique quality. J: How confident are you in your style - can you make decisions on what you like easily? B: I think I am pretty confident in my style, I can usually decide pretty quickly if I like something or not. I don’t worry that much about what other people think of things that I buy, I buy things for me, because I like them. J: What do you like to do for fun? B: Right now I’m pretty busy getting settled in my new house and planning my wedding, but aside from that I like to shop, travel, eat, hang out with my friends. J: Imagine that you have a full day all to yourself - how would you spend it? B: I would wake up and make some eggs for breakfast and probably spend a solid amount of time drinking coffee, looking on Pinterest and playing with my kittens on the couch. Then I might do some shopping, perhaps in an area I’ve never been, and then find a cool, new place to eat dinner or have drinks. J: Well that concludes my questions - thanks so much for your time!

J: Would you buy something you like even if you can’t think of somewhere in particular to put it? B: Probably. It would depend - like a picture frame, sure, I could definitely find a place to put that. Like an extra chair? I don’t know that we have room for things

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Brand Compass Brand -Carry several different vintage pieces -Much of Furniture Lounge’s merchandise is furniture, but they also sell artwork, home decor, clothing, jewelry, and other vintage items -Everything stays true to the brand image of ‘mid century modern’ -Mid-century modern represents design and style from the 1930s to 1960s that is still relevant and appealing to specific consumers today -The store opened ten years ago and has had multiple locations in the ChampaignUrbana area. In addition, they have a warehouse in St. Joseph’s. -Brand presence is on multiple platforms, but awareness could be increased -Website is used minimally and doesn’t display merchandise -Facebook is their most utilized platform - used to display new or seasonal merchandise, make announcements about the store, and to inform customers about promotions and events -Furniture Lounge has Twitter and Instagram accounts but they are rarely used -Advertising is minimal and includes basic flyers with general information posted in the Champaign-Urbana area and on campus as well as postings via Facebook Category According to Mintel research, -The home decor market “is projected to grow to $38.6 billion by 2016.” -“In 2011 the category sales were at $30.3 billion, a 6% increase from 2010.” -“Consumer spending remains cautious, particularly in the home decor category -- many buying items on sale and researching items to find lowest prices.” -This can work in Furniture Lounge’s favor because their items are lower cost -“65% of consumers also seek unique, interesting products for their homes, offering retailers the opportunity to differentiate through exclusive collections or items that are not available at other stores.” -Works in Furniture Lounge’s favor because all of their items are unique and customers can easily find one-of-a-kind items to differentiate their personal style from others’ -Based on our preliminary surveys, Champaign Urbana residents looking to decorate tend to go to big box stores, such as Target and WalMart before considering small boutiques such as Furniture Lounge. -Furniture Lounge’s direct competition are the vintage/thrift/decoration stores concentrated in the downtown Champaign area. However, based on our surveys people cannot pinpoint a specific store in this category that they would patronize. -Carrie’s -Dandelion -Salvation Army -Goodwill

Society -According to an infographic found on Mintel, the typical reason for purchasing furniture is to replace an existing piece that is worn out, or moving into or buying a new home. Regardless, consumers are not frequently purchasing furniture and this is a challenge for the furniture market. -Current economic distress in the U.S. has caused consumers to spend money more cautiously, which may pose a problem for Furniture Lounge since many wouldn’t see their merchandise as necessities. -With the role of the TV series Mad Men being so popular, there has been an interest sparked in the ‘mid century modern’ lifestyle and mindset. This will likely attract consumers to Furniture Lounge and similar stores. Target -Our target is a mindset rather than a demographic, which we have named The Browser. -These can be people of any age who have an interest in decorating their living space and building on their unique style with one-of-a-kind, vintage items. -The Browser is confident and comfortable with their style, although it may be different from the norm. -How The Browser shops: -View shopping as a hobby - they don’t go shopping because they have to, they go because they want to -Shopping can be viewed as a social activity (something they do with others similar to them) and may also browse out of boredom -Not rushed in their shopping experience - like to pick items up, look at them, touch them, use their senses -Self proclaimed experts in what they like, what they want, and in their style -If they LOVE what they see, they won’t be deterred by lack of functionality or need - they will find somewhere for it -Enjoys boutiques or small shops with unique items -View their living space as a constant project -They enjoy the adventure of looking for interesting items and have fun with the shopping process -Other attributes that might be present in The Browser: -Value spontaneity - might take a spontaneous road trip -Go to art theaters -Purchase food at a farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s or Strawberry Field’s - Foodies - go to small dives and like to try new places -Like to experience new things -Like to discover little-known bands, designers, writers Disclaimer - Every Browser is different. These attributes will not necessarily be present in all Browsers, this list serves as a tool to create a mental image of who The Browser is.


Brand Architecture Brand Vision -A one stop retro shop. “One stop” retro shop does not align with our target’s mindset. This slogan indicates convenience, and that is not what our target is after. Along with this, the only information this slogan gives is that the store is retro. We don’t know anything else about it, it’s very generic and this is a problem because there are many surrounding retro shops. This slogan also does not address the sellers of furniture, a target that they want to increase awareness on. -Opportunity in the market: Most furniture stores offer traditional products that are very similar. Furniture lounge offers unique, fun products. In addition they offer more than furniture, including clothes, records, decorations, and more. They receive new items daily and have something that will appeal to just about anyone who is willing to look.

-Product attributes: unique, vintage, offer a wide array of products. -Functional benefit: have an abundance of new products, always something to look for in their store. -Emotional benefit: Furniture Lounge provides the target with the thrill of an adventure. The excitement that they have when they find an amazing, unexpected piece that fits their unique style. -Brand essence: quaint store with unique offerings, that provides something for everyone. Furniture Lounge provides The Browser with one-of-a-kind items. Their inventory is changing everyday, whereas other vintage shops search for multiples of the same item (EX: old movies, old video games, a certain style of clothing) and keep unsold items on the shelf for a while.

-Target: ‘the browser’ mindset. Someone who enjoys looking and finding unique things to accentuate their home with.

Key Differentiator Fun, Adventure, Stylish, Unique, Retro

-Salient insight: the people who fit our ‘browser’ target mindset enjoy the adventure of habitual looking for and finding items in unique, boutique stores like Furniture Lounge.

-Brand values: quality, unique, retroism -Brand symbols: red couch, wood paneling -Brand personality: eclectic, fun, and cool -Things we must always strive to include: fun, adventure, uniqueness -Things we must never include: mundane, conventional, cold, pretentious, mass produced, boring

-Key societal trend: Mad Men has made mid century modern cool again, but our target thought it was cool before the show. People who are now interested in mid century modern because of Mad Men may not take the initiative to change their home decor just because it is trendy. The Browser is not actively trying to be different. They know what they like and if others appreciate it, great, if not they don’t care. Therefore, the influence of Mad Men does not really impact their style or purchases.

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Fun, eclectic, cool

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Engagement Brief What is the reason for the brief? Our target audience, The Browser, does not automatically think of Furniture Lounge when they are looking to donate or sell their furniture, home decor, or clothing. The key finding about The Browser is that they are Furniture Lounge’s ideal buyer and seller. However, currently Furniture Lounge is not top-of-mind for these consumers. Our goal is to raise awareness within this target in order to put Furniture Lounge as top-of-mind.

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What are the measurable objectives? We would like to increase sales, awareness, and number of sellers. We would measure sale increases through monitoring in-store and online sales and comparing them to sales in months and years past. To measure awareness, we could track clicks on their website, eBay, and Facebook pages. Part of our media plan is to create a Pinterest account and the number of items repinned from the site could also measure awareness. By keeping a log of the people who call or come in to the store looking to sell items, Furniture Lounge can monitor an increase in customers interested to sell. What is the source of business to meet our objectives? Many of Furniture Lounge’s current customers fit in our Browser target. We need to focus on retaining these customers as well as reaching out to other Browsers who do not currently shop at Furniture Lounge. It is important that we convince Browsers to shop at and sell items to Furniture Lounge instead of other stores such as Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Le Shoppe, and Dandelion. Because The Browser target is based on a mindset, this group includes a variety of demographics and therefore will be large enough to meet our objectives. What is the insight or opportunity presented by the category, brand, society and/or audience? How will we leverage this? Based on our research on The Browser target market, our key insight is that these consumers represent Furniture Lounge’s ideal buyer and seller. As an audience who lives an adventurous and spontaneous lifestyle and browse in small shops as a hobby, there is no question that Furniture Lounge will meet their needs. Targeting The Browser will be most efficient for Furniture Lounge because these people are constantly willing to get rid of old items in order to make room for new things. Through this sort of recycling process, The Browser represents both ends of Furniture Lounge’s audience spectrum - the buyer and the seller. The Single-Minded Thought Upon Which The Idea Will Be Based. It’s all about the adventure and the excitement that comes with the recycling process of building upon The Browser’s style.

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What facts do we have to support our strategy?

The Browser will sell old items to make room for new ones. The Browser sees vintage shopping as a social adventure. Exploring and finding unique places and/or items is what The Browser enjoys most. They love the thrill of the unknown and finding hidden treasures in small shops. The Browser knows what they like and are always willing to add to their collection. All of these aspects will be tied into creative and media plan. An insightful description of the targets and their relationship to the produce or service. Our target views vintage shopping as a hobby, they are experts in their own style, and they’re ready to buy items they love whenever and wherever they may find them. Outside of shopping, they have a variety of interests. They like to go out to eat, not to chain restaurants but to unique and interesting places. They annually attend Pygmalion, not because their favorite bands are there but because they like different, live music. They like exploring new places and enjoy entertainment that is less mainstream. With the communication, we’re looking to appeal to their individualistic, spontaneous side. What tone of voice will be unique for the people we are talking to? Fun, eclectic, cool What is the framework for our channel selection? To engage with The Browser we will post flyers with relevant messaging in locations where they would typically be found. (List of places on page 13). Aside from continuing to use Furniture Lounge’s website, Facebook page, and eBay store, we will also target The Browser by creating a Pinterest account. Not only does Pinterest appeal to The Browser’s love for building on their style and finding new things, but by linking pictures of items from Furniture Lounge to the eBay account, our target can also purchase directly through this channel. Finally, we will be hosting an event for customers at the Furniture Lounge. Called “A Night at the Lounge”, Furniture Lounge will open the store past close (ideally from 6:00-8:00pm) and host an open house for shoppers to come in and browse while enjoying wine and appetizers. For two weeks prior to the event, shoppers will be encouraged via flyers to bring in their used items to be sold and then receive a coupon for a discount on a purchase the night of the event. Practical Considerations We must avoid printing messages that are similar to the competition’s. Many of the competition sell similar things and are targeting similar people, so Furniture Lounge must stand out among the crowd. What are some great examples and ideas to bring this brief to life? (Mood board on page 23)


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Sources Bethany S. (personal communication, November 7, 2012) Caryl S. (personal communication, November, 16, 2012) Mintel. (2011, October). Home Furniture - US. Retrieved from http://academic.

mintel.com/.

Mintel. (2012, April). Shopping for Home Decor. Retrieved from http://academic.

mintel.com/.

Mintel. (2012, August). Furniture Retailing. Retrieved from http://academic.mintel.

com/.

Piombini, Kristin. “10 Ways to Optimize Your Pinterest Profile.� PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media.

group 4 Monica Behrmann Jillian Grachan Kristen Gray

Ragan Communication, 05 Dec. 2012. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

Rebecca Pierce

g Haley Sandroff Joe Saplis

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