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Home Furnishings Industry Leaders Launch Innovative,

Multi-Channel Consumer Campaign

 

World Market Center Las Vegas Introduces Layered Platform that Aims to Jump Start the Industry and Inspire Consumers by Rebuilding Personal Connections to ‘Home’

 

August 3, 2009 - In an unprecedented initiative to unite and energize the $133 billion home furnishings industry, World Market Center Las Vegas, along with leading industry groups, is launching “Is it Home yet?™” campaign. Designed to position home furnishings as a needed and desired enhancement to the family’s home and lifestyle, not a luxury, the campaign will simultaneously ignite consumer interest and increase retail traffic and sales. This broad based initiative is being launched by World Market Center Las Vegas, in collaboration with the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) and Western Home Furnishing Association (WHFA) who will drive retailer participation among their 10,000-plus member stores. The industry wide initiative is further endorsed by other leading trade associations including Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), WithIt (Women in the Home Furnishings Industry Today), the Home Furnishings Independents Association (HFIA) and the American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD). In the mattress/ bedding realm, the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) also endorses and supports the concept of the Is it Home yet™ campaign. The campaign also marks September as “National Home Furnishings Month” culminating in a highly promoted 10-day sales event at the end of the month. The $20 million multi-year program is financially underwritten by World Market Center Las Vegas, which has awarded the creative contract to Ogilvy North America.

“Is it Home yet?TM” campaign is designed to provide an entirely new and unified platform for the benefit of the home furnishings industry, empowering manufacturers and retailers to market their businesses, brands and products more cohesively. The first phase of the campaign will be supported by advertising, branding, education, promotions, sales events, policy efforts, public events, social media outreach, and consumer research. The marketing program aims to motivate and inspire consumers, by connecting people’s investment in their home, to the intrinsic and emotional value home décor and furnishings can add. September was chosen as the ideal launch window for this initiative due to consumers’ focused attention to their home, family and holiday planning, and because it marks the start to the critical fourth quarter retail sales period.

“Is it Home yet?TM” is a consumer-facing marketing strategy designed to reach people at multiple touch points that will ultimately benefit the entire home furnishings industry,” said Robert Maricich, president and CEO, World Market Center Las Vegas. “This is a rare opportunity to bring together the entire industry for the benefit of raising awareness and positively changing the way people view purchasing home furnishings. Through this campaign, we will offer our partners the tools and resources they need to reach consumers through in-depth industry analysis and creative content that will reinforce transforming a house to a home. This initiative aims to unify the marketing efforts of home furnishings retailers and brands in order to deliver a powerful and emotional ROI to consumers.”

“World Market Center Las Vegas has introduced a new approach to marketing that unites the home furnishings industry and speaks to the consumers in a new way – something that has been missing from the industry’s landscape,” said KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brad Thomas. “This initiative intends to engage all constituents and help breathe life into an industry that faces a number of challenges as a result of the challenging housing and consumer environment. By building strategic partnerships with key associations and multi-media organizations, the campaign is positioned to reach a broad audience.”

The campaign is targeted toward the household’s core furnishings decision maker— the ‘every woman’— who turns to the Internet as her number one source for information about the home, according to Market Research Insight data. The advertising plan, which consists of print, outdoor and digital components, will have messaging that will be relevant to ‘her’ through content and behavioral targeting. “Is it Home yet?TM” takes a two-pronged approach to generating awareness: a national media plan that will reach consumers who are looking for content about refurnishing their homes; and retailers, that will be provided with a tool kit to help them activate the campaign in their own local markets. The core of the national media campaign is an innovative digital program anchored by owning and designing the “Room Design” section of MSN’s Lifestyle network, which will run from August 24 to September 30. A robust display and search program will run on MSN and several display advertising networks, and through Google AdWords platform. The national print advertisements will run in Elle Décor and Metropolitan Home. In addition, outdoor billboards will run in several key markets. The brand is expected to be further leveraged by retailers in their existing advertising spend for September, which will significantly multiply the frequency and reach of the message.

Ogilvy North America was tapped for creating this unique home furnishings industry campaign. Representing many Fortune 100 clients including American Express and IBM, Ogilvy was the developer of “The Fabric of Our Lives” campaign for America’s Cotton Producers and Importers and the “Real Beauty” campaign for Dove. Having studied and analyzed the home furnishings industry, Ogilvy concluded there is a void and a significant opportunity to own a collective voice in order to increase the industry’s brand-share and access a greater percentage of consumers’ disposable income.

“For years, families have thought about investing in their homes to make them more saleable," Doug Scott, president of Ogilvy Entertainment said. “The goal of this campaign is to remind people that home furnishings helps shape the way we live, and that making an investment in what’s in your home is also a long-term investment in your family. We want to help make the old adage ‘home is where the heart is’ a palpable reality.”

Scott added the positioning of the campaign, “Is it Home yet?TM” is designed to engage the audience in thinking about furnishings and decorating her home as a continual process – not a single event – and as such believes the phrase is both timely and timeless.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of this initiative in cooperation with World Market Center, which brings together retailers and manufacturers and presents an incredible opportunity for consumers to connect with home furnishings information, education and product to make ‘her’ home more comfortable, inspirational, beautiful, and warm,” said Steve DeHaan, executive vice president of the National Home Furnishings Association. “Through this campaign, manufacturers and retailers will have an opportunity to work toward the same common goal, with a unified message that reinforces the incredible value for consumers.”

In addition to the campaign’s own advertising, participating retailers across the country will have special access to a kit with marketing tools, including print advertising templates and other components that they can adapt to promote themselves during National Home Furnishings Month and beyond. Moreover, during the last 10 days of September, there will be “Is it Home yet?TM in-store promotions to help drive traffic and build sales in retail stores. By visiting the MSN Room Design micro-site, consumers can access a robust Store Locator powered by National Home Furnishings Association’s 10,000 strong store database, plus World Market Center’s participating registered retailers. Through this Locator, consumers can identify participating home furnishings retailers within their geographic region.

In celebration of National Home Furnishings Month, there will be a 10-day industry-wide event supported by retailers, and designed to engage consumers. This first annual event will include a sweepstakes throughout the month of September in which five lucky winners will be awarded weekly with room makeovers valued at $5,000. Consumers will be able to visit the campaign’s website, www.HomeYet.com, beginning on August 24 for more information including the sweepstakes rules and regulations.

About World Market Center Las Vegas

Opened in 2005, World Market Center Las Vegas (WMCLV) is a dynamic new international hub for the home furnishings industry, providing marketing, branding, sales, thought leadership, education and information resources to the industry. A $1.1 billion state-of-the-art, integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom complex, WMCLV hosts the preeminent semiannual Las Vegas Market, bringing together over 50,000 industry retailers, designers and manufacturers. WMCLV’s world class complex showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and other home furnishings industry’s segments. In addition, WMCLV is the home of the Las Vegas Design Center, featuring a vast array of showrooms open daily to interior designers and consumers.

For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas, visit www.LasVegasMarket.com.

 

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