Explaining it is “meeting customers where they shop,” online home furnishings retailer Wayfair is launching its newest brand with the help of some traditional print media: Printed catalogs and billboards.
According to Jordan Graham of the Boston Herald, “Birch Lane, a reasonably priced and classic furniture brand, will launch today online and through a catalog, the first print branding for Wayfair, an exclusively online retailer.”
Approximately a half million Wayfair customers will receive the new catalogs, in what the company hopes is a “connection between Wayfair’s online shop and traditional furniture stores,” Graham writes. The catalogs will be bolstered by billboard campaigns in three cities to start, including Boston.
The move is surprising to some, including Emerson College marketing professor David Gerzof who said “a catalog is a surprising choice for an e-commerce company.”
We don’t think it’s surprising at all. Given the number of online companies embracing print, it’s a smart business move.
Publishers speak of the gravitas of print, insisting it’s not a publicity stunt or a vanity move to put out a printed catalog or magazine. It’s an importance way to cement your brand as relevant and credible while cutting through the digital clutter.
“As a fairly immature brand, there is so much upside in more people knowing who we are,” said Nancy Go, vice president of brand marketing in Gordon’s article.
Brand awareness is critical for them right now, with a pending IPO in the works and a corporate move to new Back Bay digs. This launch must be solid and successful, and a digital brand needs a strong print presence to do that.
We wish them all the best, and look forward to our copy.