As a manufacturer in today’s furniture marketplace, you understand the importance of your brand. But sometimes struggle with how to increase brand exposure. When it comes to developing and implementing strategies to increase brand exposure, you’re faced with three major challenges.
- How do you allocate resources to successfully orchestrate online initiatives that make a real and lasting difference in the authority and power of your brand?
- How do you get buy-in from upper management to build those initiatives?
- How do you drive more leads to your dealer networks to both strengthen those networks and expand your networks?
It all comes down to developing and executing a clear and consistent brand exposure strategy that delivers the right ROI. In this guide, we’ll explore how to do that.
Increasing Brand Exposure Among Dealers
Following the lead of major online players like Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon, more brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling the pressure to expand their online presence in order to survive. This takes many into scary, uncharted waters. Some go willingly and proactively, having foreseen the massive shifts in how people buy furniture. Others are being dragged into this brave new world as they see their showroom sales drop year over year. They are looking for ways to utilize new technology, improve the online buyer’s journey and increase their visibility across social media and searches much like you are. They’re also struggling to keep their website furniture lines updated and allocate the necessary monetary and human resources to manage their online presence.
Online-only furniture dealers have embraced the Internet. But they still face similar struggles. Without a physical flagship, they start with no inherent visibility and have to work to carve out their space online. Working with brands who already have brand exposure facilitates that process. They’re looking for manufacturer partners who can make it easy for them to keep their website updated and deliver the best customer experience. The more powerful and authoritative the brand, the easier it is for them to sell more of it.
Understanding that you share in these struggles sheds light on how you can stand out among other manufacturers and earn that prized showroom space. When your dealers win, you win. They want to carry more of your lines. They invest more time, talent and money into your furniture lines. You create a very lucrative symbiotic relationship.
You’ve always attempted to do this; but with new market pressure and improved technologies, you will find more low-risk, high reward solutions to enhance the buyer’s journey for both dealers and their customers.
To increase brand exposure with dealers:
Be Present Earlier in Their Customers’ Journeys
Increase brand exposure through social media, search and display ads. Create content that not only appeals to dealers. It appeals directly to the consumer. Help them learn about furniture solutions, solve problems and make decisions directly.
The buying experience has changed as more customers have regular access to the Internet. At one time a salesperson in a store helped the customer discover new brands and learn about them. Now customers do their own research online. And they do a lot of it. This all happens online long before they even choose a retailer from whom to buy.
Customers don’t discover brands while walking around a showroom. They see awe-inspiring images on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Friends share their purchases. They find what they’re looking for through searches. Being in these places is being present in these customers lives at an early stage. If customers don’t find you here, they will see other brands during this critical time in their decision-making.
Create Enhanced Digital Representations of Your Products
Not only does this increase brand exposure among brick-and-mortar furniture dealers. Your brand becomes increasingly attractive to online retailers. Better visuals are easier for your brick-and-mortar and online dealers to integrate into their own websites.
Online 3D furniture visualization allows both retailers and consumers to see accurate and complete online representations of your products. This not only supports your dealers; it helps you more effectively manage your online brand presence. If you’re not in control, then amateur photography and poor product representations overtake the market. This is not to say that you don’t want to see a happy customer who has taken a selfie with their new chair from your brand. But you need to have control over the look of your brand.
Automate the Delivery of Your Product Catalog
The average retailer is spending $60 thousand each year trying to keep their product catalog up to date. It’s very manual and tedious with a high risk of error. Your brand can beat the competition by delivering an up-to-date product catalog to every retailer in real-time. Simply changing how you maintain your catalog and automatically communicate changes to dealers can cut 10’s of thousands of dollars out of the product catalog update process. This more efficiently connects the end-customer with your latest products.
And speaking of connecting to the end-consumer, let’s look at how you can seamlessly support your dealers in the B2C journey.
Create a Seamless B2B2C Journey: Your Content to Dealer to Customer
When you reach customers earlier in the journey, you build brand awareness among people who don’t tend to gravitate toward brand names. You reach people who may even shun brands because they don’t want to pay a “brand premium“. Often these individuals don’t understand the quality and/or value that your brand delivers. Reaching them earlier in the journey gives you an opportunity to share why your brand is worth paying a little more.
Once they realize it, your brand can seamlessly guide a customer to one of your dealers to make that purchase now. Failing to capitalize on this critical moment, a moment when the customer wants to find a dealer and buy now, leads to lost opportunities. Creating a clear path means more sales for dealers and revenue for you. Those seamless channels toward retailer product pages also become vital SEO backlinks, which help improve how those products rank in search results.
Now, let’s look at how to use a multi-channel approach to increase brand exposure among dealers, so they can see what you have to offer.
Using Multi-Channel to Increase Brand Exposure
In digital marketing today, targeting the right customers with the right message is paramount. Dealers and end-customers alike face many online and off-line distractions. Targeting gets their attention and holds it longer so that you can guide them to buying decisions. But it’s also important to cast a wide net. People today are using 2-3 social media sites regularly. They utilize search and they visit many websites. They check their emails. These give you several impactful opportunities to increase brand exposure. In the online world where brands seem to come and go almost overnight, having your brand in many strategic locations gives your brand the permanence and reach you need to increase brand exposure and demonstrate that you have staying power in the mind of the consumer.
This is important to increase brand exposure whether you’re a new brand or you’ve been around for over 100 years.
Some of these multi-channel locations include:
Building a Better Website
Your website is your home base. It’s where you support dealers by:
- Keeping them informed
- Educating them about product lines
- Establishing yourself as an authority and valuable partner
- Driving leads to their websites
- Helping them navigate the online B2B2C process
- Showcasing your product lines
- Providing up-to-date collection information and releases
- Improve the customer experience for both dealers and the end-consumer
To start, create a fast, responsive and mobile friendly website. Employ intuitive navigation to help dealers and their customers locate content and resources. Clearly designate portions of your website for curious end-consumers and dealers so that content very clearly connects the right message with the right audience.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential here. SEO isn’t just about becoming more visible in searches. It’s about making sure that the right content is visible to the right audience. Let’s see how manufacturers like you are doing this.
Investing in the Right SEO
SEO is a combination of on-page and off-page factors. It requires extensive research but also the technical know-how to deliver results. Today over half of the website visits come in through search results. So being represented in these search results is essential to increase brand exposure as a manufacturer. When dealers have questions related to a brand, your website should be the first thing they see. It should deliver those answers and establish your brand as an authority in that dealer’s mind.
Likewise, when the end-consumer is looking for what’s going to be “hot“ in home furnishings next year or what the most scratch-resistant wood is for a coffee table, your brand can be there to answer these questions and lead these consumers toward making a dealer purchase.
Brands like yours are expanding their websites from purely functional spaces by building out their content assets like blogs and videos to reach these two broad groups. Content allows manufacturers to establish themselves as a resource for the latest trends in materials, color, and style.
Dealers need this information to know what to sell in their showrooms. The end-customer wants this information to know how to wow their guests and feel great about their spaces. By creating content that people are looking for online, you build the authority of your website over time to scale the ranks and dominate in searches.
Implementing 3D Furniture Product Visualization
Dealers and customers alike need to see accurate representations of products. In years past, this may have meant sending dealers a huge paper catalog. But today, with current technology in hand, you can create accurate online representations of each piece. Visuals sell and, better yet, increase brand exposure in the marketplace. Let’s look at some numbers that prove it:
- 84% of online communication today is visual
- 67% of customers say that images most influenced their buying decisions
- Both B2B and B2C customers engage 650% more with pages that have visuals
- Visuals increase sales by 71%
Create More Display Ads
Manufacturers use display ads to increase brand awareness and seamlessly lead searchers to their products on dealer websites. Geo-target customers in each dealers’ area to drive traffic to physical showrooms and your product pages on their websites.
In addition to showing display ads to a target group of people who may be interested in your brand, use retargeting display ads to target people who:
- Have purchased your brand before
- Have visited your website before
- Have visited the website of a competitor
- Have shown interest in a specific item
Display ads appear in certain searches in addition to the partner websites of your advertising platform to broaden your brand presence and remind people of their interest in your brand.
Increase Your Social Media Presence
Does social media really translate to increased sales? Let’s see.
- 46% of consumers make buying decisions based upon images they find on Pinterest
- 88% of consumers buy things they pin
- A Shopify survey found that 78% of Pinterest users consider the brands who use Pinterest “helpful“ as they share their brands through the platform
- 93% of people pin something because they plan to buy it
That doesn’t always happen. But that intent is important. When you reach these customers through many channels, you encourage them to complete that transaction.
- 78% of Facebook users first discovered a purchased brand through Facebook
- The average Facebook user clicks 8 ads per month
- eCommerce click-through rates on Facebook continue to rise as brands are getting smarter about targeting consumers with highly relevant ads
- Building an organic Facebook presence can increase brand awareness by as much as 67%
- Facebook users say that learning about new brands is one of the top 10 reasons they use Facebook
Social media ads and building a social media following are great ways for manufacturers to become more visible to both the dealers and the end-consumer. As awareness grows, so does demand. Dealers want to partner with you and sell more of your lines.
Streamline and Segment Email Marketing
Segmenting your email list and automating the email process allows you to keep qualified leads informed and inspired to buy and buy more thanks to relevant content, promotions and unique stories from your brand and the people behind it.
A permission-based email delivers the highest ROI on any marketing channel with an average of $44 revenue for every $1 spent.
Increase Brand Exposure
Increasing brand exposure is two-fold. You need to be more visible to the end-consumer. And you need to create demand among dealers. In many ways, these two objectives overlap. Creating demand among the end-consumer increases visibility and makes your lines more attractive to dealers. They want to put more time and money into promoting your line over other less involved brands. To achieve this, be present earlier in their customers’ journeys and guide consumers toward dealer websites through multiple channels. When you do this, everyone wins. Streamline your product catalog and automate updates so that every dealer in your network is on-point when it comes to representing your brand. Invest in a multi-channel strategy that creates brand awareness and a sense of permanence that build confidence in the authority of your brand.
To learn more about how we can help you do a cost-benefit analysis and establish low-risk, high-quality solutions to strengthen your dealer network and brand, contact us today.