Final west elm paper


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Final west elm paper

  1. 1. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileySMHM 3850Promotional Campaign ProjectTLC PromotionsOverview TLC promotions main objective is to get the West Elm’s company name out there to thepublic. Many people are aware of the West Elm store, but the company itself lacks advertisingtheir brand name more to their consumers. With all efforts we want to reposition this companyand get the name out there to open up a broader consumer base through HGTV and local homebuilders such as: Landon Homes and American Legend Homes in Texas. We think this will bethe best thing for the West Elm company considering the fact that West Elm is an eco-friendlyenvironment, which needs to be stressed a lot. The home builders we choose are also consciousof the eco-friendly environment as well. This is what sets West Elm apart from its sister storesPottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. When our consumers can get a better insight on what setsWest Elm apart from their sister store, we can establish a more effective way of advertising toconsumers to boost sales.Situational AnalysisCultural Context One of the world-wide pressing issues and concerns has been saving the earth fromglobal warming by using less fuel, a decrease in the release of fumigations into the air, lessrelease of harmful chemical wastes, saving the water, and sustainability by exercising recycle,reduce, and reuse (United States Environmental Protection Agency). West Elm quickly realizedand targeted a market that many home furnishing retailers have not yet thought about andbecame one of the first home furnishing retailers who are providing sustainable products andmaking aware of this necessary cause. The “green”, eco-friendly, and sustainability movementsinfluence the general public to participate at least in smaller ways in daily lives such asdiscarding soda bottles into recycling bins, and that makes people feel like they are making adifference, so why not own furniture, decorative accessories and textiles that are made fromsustainable products/methods as well. It makes the consumers have a positive purchaseexperience and also allows them to feel like they are part of good cause, which they are. WestElm’ adaptation of blog’s represents the company’s young, unique, artistic and luxuriousaesthetics and connects the West Elm brand with mature young demographics( Context West Elm produces a wide range of products from decorative accessories to furniture thatcan be utilized in any room of the home. Their designs are known as contemporary modern, 1
  2. 2. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily Wileyhigh-design aesthetics at affordable prices that offer a major value (Speed, 2011). Their productsare packaged with clear instructions and sustainable efforts to support the quality of theirmerchandise. The current promotional strategies include catalog distributions, limited time onlysales ranging from 20%-15% off promotions (West Elm®), and at the end of each season theypromote bigger percent off sale and clearance items. West Elm does not have many brick andmortar store locations, but the few that exist allow customers to get a true feeling of what thecompany is all about. Through the use of big windows, natural light gives a bright warm invitingenvironment; products are displayed spaciously from each other, eliminating clutter andconfusion, allowing customers to shop more conveniently. The store sales staff present theproduct image as well; they are mostly young, trendy dressers, and helpful when it comes toproduct knowledge or just overall customer service. West Elm’s main advertising strategy hasbeen catalog distributions and a rare billboard here and there, which are usually located neartarget segments in popular areas like Uptown Dallas. The targeted consumers are young womenprofessionals, thus creating a very narrow segment. West Elm needs to expand to biggerdemographics and can do so through brand repositioning. TLC Promotions propose to partnerwith HGTV, sustainable home builders, and advertise in more trendy fashion oriented magazinesas well as through newspaper inserts to increase West Elms consumer base and profits. Thebrand’s quality and value will be emphasized through these media outlets, hoping to gaincustomers from current competitors of IKEA, Crate and Barrel, Target, and Pier 1 Imports.Strengths o Sustainable products o Good quality for the value o Aware of what customers desire and expectWeaknesses o Poor brand communication o Failure to promote products through multiple media outlets o Small target marketOpportunities o Expand target market to older consumers and include women and men o Use new media that will create brand loyalty and social understanding o Re-position brand in consumers mind, re-callThreats o Competitors following same sustainable efforts o Mimics of good quality/low price products o Customer loyalty towards competitors brands 2
  3. 3. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileyIndustry Analysis West Elm is a competitor in the home furnishings market. They primarily developed theirbrand image through catalogs and their ecommerce site. In order to build their brand image, theylooked at competitors’ weaknesses in their promotional campaign which included “disorganizedand chaotic or… overly rigid and sterile” catalogs (AIGA Design Archives). West Elm tried toamend these problems in their catalogs and ecommerce sights by coming up with a new catalogformat and allowing the photographer the freedom to compose the images to go with themerchandise. West elm also uses a multitude of promotional coupons and sales on theirecommerce sight to promote their products. West Elm has been featured in many differentmagazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Family Circle, Lucky, andWoman’s Day. West Elm’s promotions through magazines are great for exposure to their targetmarket. This leads their target market to their ecommerce sight, to a West Elm brick and mortarstore, or to a West Elm catalog to achieve their shopping needs. However, this does not aid WestElm in spreading awareness about their merchandise and what they stand for to people who donot necessarily read Better Homes and Gardens (West Elm). In terms of consumer demand, thehome furnishing industry saw a decrease in the demand of high quality furniture, with agingBaby Boomers choosing not to spend money on expensive, high quality furniture but rather ondisposable furniture, it causes the home furnishings market to diminish (Lindenwood Associates,2011). In order to stay afloat in this industry, West Elm has to maintain their low prices andmarket this concept in order to attract customers.Market Analysis West Elm’s current target market is focused on women between the ages of 20 – 30 whoenjoy a contemporary style on a budget (Strasburg, J.). In West Elm’s marketing plan, they makea point of being affordable, design conscious, eco-friendly, and worldly, by taking inspirationfrom around the world (West Elm). They do this through their e-commerce site and othermarketing mediums in order to successfully pursue their target market. West Elm is a completelifestyle brand that targets “young design conscious consumers” that are looking for furniture ataffordable prices to put in their “apartments, lofts, or homes” (All Marketing Lists).Competitor Analysis Home furnishing retailers are competing to provide the best quality product formaintainable low prices in a diminishing home furnishings market. Major competitors includeIKEA, Crate and Barrel, Pier 1 and Target. IKEA is one of West Elm’s main competitors, due totheir offering of disposable, trendy furniture at low prices. IKEA’s marketing strategy is to “offera wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as manypeople as possible can afford them” (IKEA). This concept in itself provides a lot to compete withfor West Elm. IKEA is also doing very well despite the economic downturn, as evident by their“recent posting [of] a 10.3% jump in its net profit” from the year 2011 (Abbas, 2012). Ikeassuccess is partially due to the awareness consumers have of their products and prices, somethingthat West Elm has a problem with. Another competitor of West Elm is Crate and Barrel and itsCB2 line. Crate and Barrel’s advertising consists mainly of simply print ads, catalogs, and salescirculars, but they are looking to expand their marketing by about 10 million a year at the 3
  4. 4. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily Wileybeginning to start targeting younger shoppers (Mcmains, 2012). Crate and Barrel appears to bedoing slightly better than West Elm due to the fact that their prices are slightly lower than WestElm, which West Elm could compete with by offering “products that still have style but can besold at a lower cost” (123HelpMe!.com, 2012). This market is competitive due to the strugglesthese companies have to face concerning the economy, and the companies who can offer quality,trendy products at low prices and still stay afloat will ultimately be the most successful.ObjectivesTLC Promotions objectives for re-positioning West Elm are to let general consumers know thatthe company offers more than catalog sales circulations and to expand the consumerdemographics from young single professional women, to sophisticated and educatedprofessionals and families. Also through brand promotion, TLC Promotions will promote andraise West Elm’s social ideal and awareness of sustainable products. Through new mediaapproaches the West Elm brand will be exposed to a whole new market segmentation. The goalof these promotions is to gain brand recognition and make consumers aware of the sustainableefforts and connect with a broader target market, all within a 12 months’ time period with anexpected increase in annual sales by 30%.StrategyMarket Segmentation West Elm’s new target market will include Gen X consumers that are in their late 20’s –40’s and focus on women and men, resulting in a much larger market segment. TLC Promotionswants to focus on a target market that includes middle-aged professionals, eco-consciousconsumers and households with 2 or more people whom are more causality to purchase productsfrom West Elm based off their lifestyles. The accessibility of this target market is the secondlargest demographic accounting for over 50 million in the U.S. According to a survey by Vertis,33% of Gen Xers plan to purchase furniture and 42% plan to purchase decorative accessorieswithin the next year ( These consumers have witnessed many up’s and downs withinthe economy, but studies show that they are spending more per household and are very brand-oriented (Baca). Since the recession retailers have encountered conscious consumerism fromcustomers and now must work harder to position their products in the consumers mind. Gen Xconsumers are more likely to spend discretionary income on moderate price pieces that havemore quality than an inexpensive, low quality piece. Surveys show that consumers with anincome of $50,000 and above are substantiality impacting the home furnishings market the most(Unity Marketing, 3) and are placing a premium on goods with qualities of timeliness, usefulnessand versatility (Loechner). As you can see, Gen Xers are the ideal new target market for WestElm and will generate a large amount of revenue based off their purchasing habits. 4
  5. 5. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileyPositioning Strategy The West Elm brand will differentiate from competitors by offering sustainable productsthat are long lasting and affordable. West Elm stands apart by “being clear about their standardsand can speak about the story behind their products” (West Elm We Care). With this simple anddistinctive positioning strategy, consumers will be able to identify the West Elm brand easily andover time become loyal customers. TLC Promotions plans to position the brand as good qualitywith moderate prices, which allows West Elm to fall right in the middle of the positioning mapshown below.Brand Communication Through the use of new media, TLC Promotions has allowed West Elm to stand apartfrom its subsidiaries and be seen as a unique, quality/affordable, environmentally friendly homefurnishings brand designed for women and men. West Elm’s new mission is: To enhancecustomers lives at home. West Elm will no longer be dependent on William Sonoma or PotteryBarn customers. The brand will incorporate great design and also be affordable while alsomaking a positive impact on the environment (West Elm We Care). TLC Promotions plans topersuade consumers through reason-why ads and testimonial ads by partnering with HGTV tocommunicate social justification. The overall goal is to create a “love bond” through affectiveassociation between consumers and the West Elm brand.Execution TLC Promotions plans to re-position West Elm by partnering with HGTV and localsustainable home builders like Landon Homes or American Legend Homes in Texas. Print adswill be featured in magazines such as Elle Décor and Esquire. Incorporating T.V. commercialson HGTV and merchandising products on the show Red Hot & Green as well as in the GreenHome giveaways will help bring awareness to consumers of the West Elm brand. All of these 5
  6. 6. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily Wileymedia outlets are related to the home or the target market, essentially working together as awhole. Here are some examples that TLC Promotions plan to incorporate:Elle Décor Magazine Page o Gen X consumers read an average of 4 magazines on a regular basis ( o Elle Décor is a popular magazine targeted toward women in this segment o West Elm will be featured in Elle Décor for each changing season to display new trends and products year-roundEsquire Magazine page 6
  7. 7. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily Wiley o Esquire targets men and is one of the top 10 most popular men’s magazines o Help gain brand recognition by male consumers o This outlet will feature blogs and eco-friendly products at least 4 times a yearNewspaper Insert o Ability to select geographic segment o Inexpensive advertising method o 24% of Gen Xers read the newspaper everyday ( o Inserts will be positioned when sales promotions are running or as percent off couponsEvent Sponsorship with Parade of Homes 7
  8. 8. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileySponsorship on HGTV o Sponsorships are a popular means to expose a brand, even in economic downturn o Connect a brand with emotional experiences o This outlet will be used throughout the year, depending on what events are happening and when the T.V. season is for a particular show o The average weekly viewing of T.V. for Gen X is 24 hours ( West Elm will test their advertising effectiveness by creating advertisements that have asense of understanding their audiences, which are their consumers, meaning who they plan totarget. When we place our advertisements in such media we want to make sure when placing ourads in newspapers and magazines our ads incorporate validity, reliability, and trustworthiness.How we plan to carry out these key concepts is making sure West Elm’s advertising effortskeeps in mind the message they are trying to convey in validity. We will explain what makes ourproducts relevant to what we proclaim in our ads. Basically why we think buying our eco-friendly products cannot only benefit the consumer, but help the business remain successful andkeep their consumers interested in buying their products. Through reliability we will find ways toback up how effective eco-friendly products are in a household, especially when we want to alsocater to households of two or more people as well. Lastly, most importantly we want to ensureour consumers understand our business concept, and make sure it makes sense to them why westress a greener environment within a household in our household appliances and furnishings. 8
  9. 9. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileyReferences123HelpMe!.com. (2012, April 7). Retrieved from Williams Sonoma Business Case Study:, A. (2012, January 26). Furniture. Retrieved from What is Ikea Doing Right?: Design Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2012, from West Elm Brand Development: st-elm-brand-development/1All Marketing Lists. (n.d.). Retrieved from West Elm Marketing List:, Suzanne. (2007). The Gen-Xer trend to spend. Retrieved from, F.A. Bridge Line. (2003, September 1). Mid-priced but high-profile, West ElmFurnishings come home to a DUMBO headquarters. Interior Design. Retrieved from (n.d.). Retrieved from Student Info: Associates. (2011, March 14). Retrieved from Knock On Wood? Not Likely To Help Save The Furniture Industry From Itself: furniture-industry/Loechner, John. (2010). GenX and Millennials Driving Recovery. Retrieved from, A. (2012, March 20). Adweek. Retrieved from Crate & Barrel Review Enters Final Stage: final-stage-139095Sokol, D. (2010, July 1). The Life of the Party. David Stark expands from event design to pop-upshops, tableware, and a book. Interior Design. Retrieved from, J. (2004, July). Williams-Sonoma’s West Elm finds home. Retrieved from 9
  10. 10. Shawna Justus-HenryJinah KimAshley NelsonEmily WileyWest Elm. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2012, from We Care: Elm. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2012, from In The Press: Elm. (n.d.). Retrieved from 10 Things To Know About Us: _WhoWeAreWest Elm. We Love® Shane Powers. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from Elm. We Love® Stephen Antonson. Retrieved February 2, 2012 from (2012). Generation X’ examined in major study: Media Habits, beliefs about morality, religion,work, technology revealed. Retrieved from Home Furnishings and Décor Market. Retrieved from (2012). RAB Instant Background Report for Generation X Market. Retrieved from 10