Collaboration can be such an effective tool for small businesses to build their brand, particularly in today’s competitive marketplace.
To take your business to the next level consider these 4 tips as a foundation in your brand strategy.
First, it is necessary to find brands that are complementary and have the same values as your own business. Then you want to leverage that synergy between the two which can increase your audience reach.
Most recently, Images and Details did just that with the 4th edition of our pop- up, Ancien et Moderne in Paris. We brought together heritage brands in the luxury home sector such as Savoir beds, Rinck, and Maison Leleu utilizing a theme of “Ode to the Orient Express” to create synergy and tell a story. Savoir beds partnered with Voutsa fabrics to create bed toppers. Rinck collaborated with Fromental wallcoverings and Hector Finch Lighting to create a boiserie wall that replicated a train car on the Orient Express. The result: one of the most talked about collaborative projects during Maison Objet and Deco Off! Design inspiration and storytelling at its best!
Second, utilize each others’ social media networks, such as Instagram and LinkedIn, to share your stories and double your engagement and exposure. Check out Savoir bed’s, Rinck’s, and Voutsa’s Instagram feeds. Third, you want to share assets such as photography, marketing materials, and events. Maison Leleu and Rinck are both heritage brands with strong French ties and rich stories to tell. To expand their network and spread their brand story, they co-hosted a cocktail party inviting key clients, media and the French Interior Design Society. Savoir Bed and Lasvit collaborated on an event with Luxe Magazine. Voutsa partnered with NYDC to invite their clients and press to see the space and meet the participants. Each spread the word in a more cost-effective manner. Invitations, e-blasts, and photography were co-oped and shared by the various participants. The market and PR teams worked together to attract the different media – French, American and British which was much more effective and efficient. This increases your chance of exposure exponentially and on an international level. Each brand has to remember to be responsive and leverage that exposure to help grow their respective brand.
And finally, if you can get your product on a new sales platform it can be a great way to increase sales distribution through larger luxury retail channels. Voutsa Textiles worked with Savoir beds and created a custom topper that is now being featured in Savoir showrooms. This became a win-win for both brands.
A Dream Client
Downtowns have always been an integral part of the community. With such a fast-paced society and a technologically driven culture taking over, it is more important than ever that we support our downtown retail shopping scenes.
Retailers who can capture their target audience and provide them with properly merchandise products and services are still thriving today. One example is Kirby and Company, founded by Elaine McCleary in downtown Darien, Connecticut. Not only is she a brilliant merchant, she knows how to market the store appropriately for her target audience. After working in the local retail environment of Juliska, McCleary identified the need for gifts and accessories and capitalized on it with her first retail shop, Kirby and Company, established in 2014. Targeting people who love color, family, happiness, and friends. After spending time getting to know her customers and utilizing the analytics of digital marketing, Elaine noticed a void in the marketplace for young women from ages 8 – 26, going from backpacks to first apartments. A place for girls and young women to buy affordable gifts and décor for themselves and friends along with a space that was speaking to them and not down to them. With the success of Kirby and Company, Elaine had the push and the perfect solution to open a second store called Kirby Girl. In marketing terms, she definitely provides the customer with a unique value proposition and offers just the “right” product and the “right” price in the most appealing way. She makes her clients “feel good” about what they are purchasing.
From our perspective, as the PR and Marketing firm, Kirby and Company along with Kirby Girl are a dream client. They came prepared with the right marketing tools including a message, audience, graphic materials, keywords and more; giving us the opportunity to communicate a well-prepared message to the media. For their recent launch of Kirby Girl, they created vibrant yellow and white striped wall for selfies, a logo and tagline with a story, hashtags, and fabulous photography. With all of the right ingredients, we were armed with the right ammunition for a successful press launch. We created a day for press to preview the space prior to opening including influencers, bloggers, journalists and stylist who were like kids in a candy store (literally with Kirby Kandy!). Investing in great photography is “key”. Case in point, photographer, Julia Dags captured the joy and color of the store. Elaine’s memories of her grandfather’s saying inspired the “Stay on the Sunny Side of the Street”, this saying reinforces her brand and her mission to empower her target audience- young woman or the young at heart. She successfully captured not only the media’s attention but also the hearts of the community. Local stories have started to be published, check them out in Serendipity July/Aug 2018, Lemon Stripes, Prettypinktulips, Darien News, Neirad, New Canaan & Darien Moms.
Kirby Girl is on the road to a sunny future. Cannot wait to see what’s in store this Fall.
Creative Brand Launches
Create brand appeal that speaks to the audience you are targeting. Produce quality tools and materials that proudly represent the company and your agency.
In preparation for a launch, whether it is a product, company or community, research and planning are key to a successful outcome. Understand the perception consumers, designers and media have of the brand and learn who you are targeting. Then tie that research into the overall goals and objectives of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Most recently PETER FASANO launched a new textile and wallpaper collection and the objective was to introduce it to trade (designers) and media outlets catering to the interior design industry. The overall brand image and verbiage should flow across all tools and materials for any launch. Every aspect of the packaging needs to be thought out and unified in order to be able to have the most impact. For PETER FASANO it was thinking about tangible tools that will represent the quality of the brand and display the new collection.
As Summer was approaching, we focused on what was an appropriate Summer item people will be able to utilize but also has the ability to be customized. A tote bag and water bottle came to mind as items we thought would resonate and allow us to display the patterns and prints in a unique way. This was a creative way for the designers and editors to keep thinking about the collection all Summer long. The tools have garnered positive feedback, editorial request and created social media buzz. Marketing materials like these continue to allow the brand to be involved in conversations in the marketplace.
At this year’s LCDQ, Images & Details brought together five of LA’s top interior designers, Jamie Bush, Amy Meier, Christo Prevazanos and Todd Nickey & Amy Kehoe for a roundtable discussion of their custom fabric collaborations with our client Peter Fasano, hosted by Domino editor Robert Leleux at the new Hollywood at Home showroom.
The west coast-based designers shared the inspiration behind their individual patterns and what it was like to work hands-on with a guru like Fasano, who has been creating fabrics and textiles for over 30 years. Guests were able to examine the custom fabrics close-up, which provided a distilled version of each of the designer’s personal styles.
A slide show, created by Fasano about his 30 years in fabrics and textiles, played to laughs and gasps from the audience, and afterwards he talked about the satisfaction he feels in helping these talented artists bring their visions to life in a medium so integral to the creation of a room’s aesthetic. The designers agreed that although challenging at times, the rewarding experience allowed them to capture their personal style in a new and different way.
This year’s Holiday House featured many great and talented designers and friends of Images & Details. It raised over $500,000 for a great cause, too. Our client Rachel Laxer brought her extraordinary taste and imagination to Holiday House this year with a room themed around Valentine’s Day. Our friend Stacey Bewkes of the fabulous Quintessence blog wrote a lovely 3-part piece on the art installations in the house, including Rachel’s, and the room design has also already been featured on Forbes.com and Houzz.com, among others.