Generational Sales and Brand Strategy.

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Per their own in-house research team, ad agency EP+Co learned that 84% of furniture buyers experience regrets, an interesting and actionable insight.  

EP+Co client Havertys Furniture, initiated a “Regret-free Guarantee” that fits that insight like a glove. It’s a strong, committed move. And it supports the existing tagline “We Furnish Happiness.” It is however, an example of good insight, poor brand craft.

Let me explain. The first mistake is trying to own “happiness” as a brand claim. It’s too broad a promise. Also, it’s not endemic to the furniture business. (Coca-Cola spent billions positioning around happiness. Don’t get me started on that mistake.) A creative director might argue “Furnish” in “We Furnish Happiness” is a furniture word. I would not.  While the Regret-free Guarantee, packaged as a brand differentiator, is a smart move, it’s also nonendemic. Anyone can guarantee. So neither happiness or a satisfaction guarantee are tethered directly to furniture.

It’s easy for me to sit on the sideline and throw darts. Especially after less than an hour of analysis. But science is science. Consumer pre-disposed to purchase, then repurchase, and purchase again is not tactical. It’s a long-term effort. Brand loyalty is the holy grail.  Little mistakes lead to tactics-palooza. Then agency-palooza. Then CMO-palooza. Brand strategy, well-defined and well-executed builds loyalty. And generational sales.

Peace.