I want to share this interesting shopping experience I had this weekend that proves how vital a solid brand platform that speaks to your target market will convert to sales.

The last few months I’ve been researching furniture stores online and offline for a new sofa. I wanted a certain look and style. I was not in a hurry. I wanted this purchase to be well thought out since buying furniture (or any important purchase) can be stressful for me because I want the experience of buying to be positive, easy and cost-effective. Don’t even get me started with buying clothes!

When it comes to furniture there are way too many choices! I tend to be an analyzer when planning this type of purchase. I want it based on my needs; not an impulse or other factor.

I spent plenty of time reading Yelp reviews, Google reviews, and checking out the LA Times Sunday paper for specials. I searched Z Gallerie, Urban Home, Living Spaces, Sears, Overstock and Wayfair (Joanna Gaines loves them!)

Nothing impressed me. The reviews were very helpful, though.

What I found mostly was a “retail” experience rather than a “brand” experience, until I came across Ashley Furniture. Here’s what I mean…

Before heading to their store, I visited their website. That’s when the whole shopping experience turned into a brand experience. This company was by far the most stellar, comprehensive brand I have seen in years. Far, far different from the other stores I mentioned.

Here’s what Ashley had that no other furniture store even came close to:
  1. Compelling brand story about the two men who created the company several decades ago and their journey to excellence.
  2. A comprehensive overview of all aspects of the company and why they have won numerous awards for quality control, manufacturing, leadership, community involvement, giving back to local and national causes, and more.
  3. No page on their site to purchase furniture. You were directed to their locator for the store nearest you. It was all about the mission, the message and creating an emotional resonance.
  4. A flagship mainstream annual HUGE fundraiser event “Ashely for the Arts” that gave back to dozens of schools and other children related causes.

After being amazed while reading their site, I was convinced I wanted to purchase my sofa from this company because they were furniture experts who would take care of me in a professional manner. Plus the product would not fall apart after a year because they manufactured all their own products with a high level of quality control.

I found nothing of the sorts with all the other retail stores. I drove over to the store and spent about an hour looking and evaluating. I found my sofa. Done. It’s being delivered Friday.

They had me at “Ashley for the Arts.” They did branding all the right ways by building a platform; not just a product or service. They humanized the brand. Were brilliant at storytelling. They focused on the quality of the product and their standards.

What did you learn from my experience?

What can you examine about your own brand to take it up a few notches to have your ideal client feel like I did?

What brand experience do you offer?

Have a stellar week! Be courageous. Live your creative life.