Urban Tree Forge

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Analysis & strategy for a local woodworking studio.

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Urban Tree Forge

  1. 1. Urban Tree ForgeBrand Analysis and Opportunities
  2. 2. Urban Tree ForgeBrand Analysis and Strategy part one- Analysis brands market form language part two- Opportunities seven opportunities to investigate
  3. 3. Urban Tree Forge, LLC is an admirable youngbusiness with a lot of interests. This document ismeant to help clarify each branch of the companyand, in the process, discover opportunities forgrowth of the brand.
  4. 4. Urban Tree Forge Analysis > Brandscity wood by Urban Tree Forge the mill by Urban Tree Forge the studio at Urban Tree Forge Urban Tree Forge is comprised of three main parts: the flagship mate- rial City Wood™, the core business of The Mill, and the artists-in-resi- dence in The Studio. Clearly defining these three brands will keep the business on course by making sure each new endeavour fits into the overall model.
  5. 5. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > Brands > City Woodcity wood by Urban Tree Forge“By utilizing locally available and sustainable natural resources, we areremoving trees from our landfills, and placing salvaged wood back into aproductive life cycle.”City Wood™ is the heart of Urban Tree Forge. It is used for all of theUrban Tree Forge products and is also sold at retail to local crafts-men. This in-house brand of wood is cut from salvaged trees in Pitts-burgh after the years finally take their toll and naturally fell a tree.The trees are scouted out by Urban Tree Forge studio members,neighbors, and landscapers. The logs are cut into slabs and quartersfor various projects or kept whole for furniture and sculpture pieces.City Wood is a wood unlike any other. The trees it comes from av-erage 3 feet or wider in diameter making sustainable, large-scalelumber at a variety of lengths available at a lower price than othersimilarly-sized lumber. Many of these trees have lived in Pittsburghfor 10 generations or more and carry the history of the city with themin stunning grain patterns.
  6. 6. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > Brands > The Millthe mill by Urban Tree ForgeThe Mill by Urban Tree Forge creates sculpture, custom furniture, andmillwork such as flooring, molding, and tree stakes on commissionand for sale in local galleries. The Mill’s body of work is the primaryoutput of Urban Tree Forge.The City Wood™ used in the mill is used to its fullest extent. The larg-est pieces become furniture, sculpture, or large slabs. The quartersof logs and cut-offs are made into small-scale projects ranging fromshelves to jewelry. Even the sawdust made in The Mill is composted tobecome nutrients for the next generations of City Wood™.
  7. 7. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > Brands > The Studiothe studioat Urban Tree ForgeThe Studio at Urban Tree Forge is the collection of artists and crafts-men and women who lease space from Urban Tree Forge. The Studioprovides workspace, use of machinery, gallery space, and office spacefor creative individuals.The Studio is a multi-disciplinary environment with residents workingprimarily with City Wood™ as well as metal and stone collaborativelyand individually.
  8. 8. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > MarketCustomersThe value proposition of an Urban Tree Forge product is a sustainablealternative to other lumber and custom furniture or millwork. Owninga piece also saves “waste” from going into the landfill and supports lo-cal business and conservation. This is a powerful idea that influencescustomers to come to Urban Tree Forge.The primary market for Urban Tree Forge Products are wealthy, lo-cal people who are interested in small scale projects and the greenmovement. Urban Tree Forge pieces range from $1,200 to $70,000and average around $5,000-$10,000. Dipping into a lower price rangewould expand the target market.Many craftsmen and students are drawn to Urban Tree ForgeCity Wood™ because it is cheaper than similar-sized pieces of farmedlumber, better for the environment, and is one of a small handful oflumber providers in the city.Keeping these customer typologies in order will help to serve each better: Local, wealthy people looking for custom pieces Local, average people looking for Urban Tree Forge products Professional craftsmen looking for City Wood and Millwork Weekend and Student Craftsmen looking for City Wood
  9. 9. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > MarketPartnersThere is a strong movement in Pittsburgh to support local and en-vironmentally conscious businesses. Urban Tree Forge has had suc-cessful partnerships with many of these organizations, particularlyFriends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest and the Pittsburgh Tech Coun-cil. The list also includes Hack Pittsburgh, Green Sign Experts, McNul-ty Landscaping, Wilkinsburg Shade Tree Committee, Ritenour Lumber,as well as a number of local galleries.These partnerships serve to expand the Urban Tree Forge business byreaching into the community of environmentally conscious contrac-tors, craftsmen, and public.
  10. 10. Urban Tree ForgeAnalysis > Form LanguageForm LanguageThe form language of The Mill at Urban Tree Forge is fundamentallynatural. Pieces are sculpted along the grain of the wood rather thanstraight lines. Bowties are often added in places that risk splitting.Hard lines are eased giving a fluid, wax-like form to the work. Theproportion of pieces changes based on the stock it is carved from,though, there is a constant thickness to The Mill’s slabs.
  11. 11. Urban Tree ForgeOpportunities Seven opportunities to investigate lower price point products profitable offcuts unique bowties The JM Series Urban Tree Forge t-shirt branded samples business cardsLower the Price PointBy offering a lower price product, Urban Tree Forge can bring more peopleinto the sustainable movement. Many people subscribe to the philosophybut can’t afford even the cheapest pieces. A product line with a price point of$20-$30 would sell more volume, accumulating more interest in the brand.These products could be kitchen utensils, light fixtures, toys, boxes, games,even educational urban forest kits. Because Urban Tree Forge is unable toadd on any manufacturing stress in-house, the design specifications and CityWood™ could be sourced to a local manufacturer. Production pieces couldbe housed in each of Urban Tree Forge’s partners’ spaces, local vendors likeQuiet Storm, Maggie’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Market District, aswell as the Urban Tree Forge Gallery for maximum exposure to the targetmarket of local, eco-conscious buyers.Revitalize “Waste”Not much goes to waste around Urban Tree Forge as it is, however, oppor-tunities exist to make a profit off wood-working byproducts. Quarter roundsbecome shelves, offcuts could be made into limited run products, saw dustsold as mulch along with seedling kits to locals.
  12. 12. Urban Tree ForgeOpportunitiesEmbrace Your Form LanguageCurrently, there is a dichotomy between the soft, fluid curves of The Mill’spieces and the rigid, straight-lined bowties that prevent cracks from splittingfurther. Exploring the form of those butterflies, while still ensuring their easeof manufacture will add value to Urban Tree Forge pieces.Avoid ConfusionAnother step in defining the brands, creating a JM Signature Series withinThe Mill by Urban Tree Forge could help to differentiate molding and flooringwith high-end custom furniture pieces. Currently, two very different custom-ers are funneled towards the same brand: contractors and private commis-sions.Spread the WordUrban Tree Forge t-shirts, screen printed with soy-based inks on organiccotton t-shirts are a relatively cheap way to get more advertising in the com-munity. Giving these out for free with the purchase of a JM Signature Seriespiece or a couple of slabs gives the customer a mobile conversation piece.Lose the StickersBy having shop resident Jennifer Bechack create a literal Urban Tree Forgebrand, samples of City Wood™ could be entirely sustainable by using heatgenerated from a City Wood™ cutoff fire to sear a brand on each sample.Stand OutIn the spirit of the literal Urban Tree Forge “brand,” actual City Wood busi-ness cards and other takeaways could help Urban Tree Forge standout andfurther educate people about the benefits of using urban trees.

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