Friedmans Home Experience
When a business' brand finally reflects the integrity of its owner...
In some categories, it's easy to fall into the trap of sounding like everyone else. Expectations lead to comfortable, familiar, me-too branding. Friedmans Appliance Center had fallen into that trap. In business for almost 40 years, this family-owned appliance, bath & bed superstore in Southern California was wrapped in a brand that in no way reflected what was happening inside the wrapper: a magnetic family atmosphere, an elevated experience, and loyal, repeat customer base. Everything that made shopping there special was absent from the marketing communications. After witnessing firsthand what made Friedmans like no other, we went about the task of nudging the owners out of their comfort zone, and into trusting in change for the better.
The new brand, which dares to speak like a person and celebrates the joy of elevating one's home, met with a full-on embrace from the owners and staff. And, in the first few months post roll-out (new name, tagline, signage, trucks, print, TV, videos), they had their biggest month since the 2008 financial crisis, with a 33% increase in sales.
Friedman Home Experience. You could live here.
It was a dramatic before and after. The linchpin to re-branding success was getting the owners to leave their old logo behind. Remember, they'd had it for over 30 years. It had the feel of the microwave oven specialty store it used to be. The familiarity of it was comfortable for them, but it was in no way reflective of the elevated experience inside. Change wasn't easy. Nonetheless, we were able to take them from 1980s into the 21st century with a focus on clean lines and a warm, welcoming pallet. All that's good, right and true in home appliance is under their roof, and it can be under yours.
The logo wasn't the only challenge. How do we showcase a huge product line while keeping the focus on experience? The website became a welcoming, guided tour through the store with clean design and sophisticated pallet that doesn't get in the way. And at each opportunity, the user is given a reason to physically come into the store. Lines like, "Witness refrigerators in their natural habitat." give a nudge and a wink, being inviting without being pushy.
It was necessary to create ongoing print that would get the prospect to see that something different is happening inside Friedmans. It was accomplished by making something different happen in the print. The Friedmans print is now as welcoming an experience as the store. Long copy, engaging headlines, storytelling, a consistent graphic look, and actual reasons to visit, And the image of the store's facade waves a flag, reminding the reader that this is more than just a big box or online shopping.
A little something extra to go with all of the holiday specials. We knew we'd be doing a lot of videos for 4th of July specials and vendor-specific offers, To balance the "sale" messages, we launched a series of interview videos with the owner, the managers, the salespeople, and even the truck drivers...We just let them talk about why they loved working there. The result is a candid, unvarnished reflection of the great people you deal with at Friedmans. We like them all.
From signage to delivery trucks, it all had to change. And since Friedmans is a better kind of retail experience, from shopping, through purchase to delivery and follow-up,, the devil is in the detials. For instance, for the first time ever, the truck drivers got their own business cards. The resulting morale boost has been impressive. When one of the drivers received his business cards, he approached the owner and asked if he did a great job at delivery and installation, and his work helped drive referral business, could he get a commission? Color the owner thrilled.