Carving a niche for a niche brand
In 2004, Cumberland Furniture was a 60-year-old company that made high quality products, with a brand that needed a refresh. They came to Peopledesign for help getting on the radar of furniture specifiers–busy architects and interior designers. We started by interviewing and following their target audiences, developing communication plans for key audience segments that filled their needs and honored their preferences for using media and finding information. We proposed their new theme “Modern American Classics,” which suited Cumberland perfectly. We found a photographer who could balance the company’s sense of humor with their serious design aesthetic, creating this series of striking images as part of the first awareness campaign.
These advertisements helped create significant awareness of the Cumberland brand in the minds of architects and designers. Annual industry publication statistics of brand recall among this target group for Cumberland grew from being too small to measure, to staying in the top 10.
We planned an 18-month lifespan for these advertisements, but the success of them led us to extend the campaign for more than three years.
A new website reinforces the brand-building and audience outreach work. The site is supported by an easy-to-use content-manager that Cumberland’s brand managers can use in house to make any necessary changes as finishes and fabrics are updated, to add new products or delete discontinued ones. Cumberland customers and reps alike praise the site as being among the best in the industry.
In 2007, Cumberland challenged us to create a new campaign, just as impactful as the first. We thought of it this way: If the first series was studio portraiture, this second series is landscape painting. We found the right photographer for this new aesthetic, creating these expansive images on location.
The site continues to evolve, as does Cumberland, as it remains among the premiere niche brands in their market.