Even if you’ve got a leading brand, you might need another

The Spirit logo embossed on the cover of their product brochure

The business

Westbridge Furniture is one of the largest upholstery design companies in the UK. They supply some of the biggest names in retail. Marks & Spencer, John Lewis Partnership, Next home, and over 200 independent retailers make up their books.

With a passion for design and a keen eye on trends, they’d designed a premium product range. They planned to engage retailers and stimulate consumer interest at the NEC Interiors Show.

But there was a problem. Westbridge’s strong brand awareness for the supply of ‘white-label’ furniture would inhibit the business’ ability to sell an independent premium range.

With industry new product failure rates of 80-90%, the stakes were high. And the odds weren’t stacked in Westbridge’s favour.

Homepage of the Spirit website designed and built by Intermedia shown on an iPad
Facebook post showing a social video created to promote the Spirit product range

The thinking

They needed a standalone brand identity and premium positioning to capture the range’s extravagance. And more importantly, to justify its price point with retailers and consumers.

Working with Westbridge’s managing director and senior sales team, we consolidated their vision. We explored retailer buyer behaviour and motivations. And examined consumer emotional benefits and lifestyle aspirations. Identifying which would resonate with customers and lead to sales.

Consumers fell into four discrete demographic profiles. After consulting their design team about product categorisation, there was a clear-cut case for sub-branding.

We identified 50 vital retail buyers and owners. Primary research suggested they were cautious. They’d established views of what would sell. They were risk averse when it came to stocking new, unproven brands. However, if we could get retailers to see the range, and show them how Westbridge could support their sales activity, then they’d likely order stock. Getting them to the show was mission critical.

To create enough awareness and interest in the new brand, it would need a solid foundation.

Agency designer sketching an advertising concept for Westbridge following the branding process Advert concept showing a settee on a street created to promote Spirit's 'Downtown living' products Advert concept showing a settee in a field created to promote Spirit's 'New Country living' products
Product photography showing a yellow settee from the Spirit range used in their ecommerce website design and brochure
Open copy of the Spirit product brochure showing the layout designed by Intermedia Total Marketing Solutions Product photography showing a settee in a cottage from the Spirit range used in their ecommerce website design and brochure Open copy of the Spirit brochure showing product photography taken by Intermedia Total Marketing Solutions

The impact

Having considered a variety of names, we settled on ‘Spirit’. And, four sub-brand categories to reflect how consumers lived; covering ‘New Country’ to ‘Townhouse Chic’.

Intermedia made Spirit tangible through the creation of an elegant logo and colourways, reflecting the range’s luxury and quality.

Westbridge wanted to do more than wow retailers with beautiful design. They needed to give them confidence in the products and arm them with Point of Sale ‘ammunition’ to sell the range effectively. So, we created a sophisticated 32-page brochure with high-end product/ location photography. Its body copy gave Spirit a credible back-story. And its superior print quality reinforced the premium positioning of the brand.

We targeted retailers with a personalised direct mail and email campaign, inviting them to the Interiors Show. Each ‘teaser’ piece showcased hero products ahead of the official launch.

As part of a comprehensive pull communications’ strategy, we also created a dedicated website. Westbridge’s IT team had an exacting specification. Part of which was building a bespoke content management system [CMS]. The CMS would allow their team to make quick, hassle-free changes without needing to call us. As the range expanded post-show, so could the site.

Nearly all retailers targeted got to the show and visited Spirit’s lavish exhibition stand. Supported by impressive range merchandising, the Westbridge sales team did what they did best. They engaged consumers and converted many retail buyers into customers.

The Spirit range continues to be a favourite among premium retailers and consumers with discerning taste. The Westbridge team believed in their product, and with our help, built a successful brand which added millions to their top line.

Worker upholstering a chair in the Spirit factory photographed for their ecommerce website and product brochure Worker cutting fabric in the Spirit factory photographed for their ecommerce website and product brochure Worker building furniture in the Spirit factory photographed for their ecommerce website and product brochure

We let our clients do the talking

“Spirit was a major milestone in our development. It was good to work with a digital marketing and creative agency that was prepared to put so much time and effort into its success. The collaboration between our teams has meant we’ve secured orders from every one of the furniture retailers targeted. Spirit couldn’t have been in safer hands.”

Managing Director, Westbridge Furniture Designs

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Have you got a product launch in the pipeline?

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