Livingspace is a high-end retailer of modern European designer furniture in Vancouver. It carries a number of well-known international brands that would be considered the “Mercedes” and “BMW” of the furniture world. Their clientele consists of interior designers, architects, and individuals who may well spend $50,000 to $200,000 on furniture for a home or office. Livingspace experienced steady growth and success for most of the 90’s and into the first part of the new decade. This growth was fueled in part by the condo-building boom in Vancouver, as well as the high tech boom in the city and in Seattle. It was further aided by the strong exchange on the US dollar. Smart clients in the States could save considerably on designer furniture by buying from Livingspace in Canada. Because of the boom in construction and high-tech locally, Livingspace had grown accustomed to having customers come to them. Their furniture was perfect for modern environments such as condos. The store needed to do very little in the way of marketing and communications to be successful during these years.

When the market began to slow several years ago, and the exchange rate dropped, they did not have any programs in place to reach out. Furthermore, the advertising they did was not well-branded: it looked similar to their competitors and to some of the brands they carried. These problems were exacerbated by the fact that their principal competition in the field of designer furniture was becoming increasingly aggressive in the marketplace. Livingspace realized that they needed to approach things differently, and hired us to develop a new marketing plan and new communications for them.

Our task was to maximize awareness of the store and its location, clearly differentiate itself from the competition, create a leadership position within this segment, and get on the “shopping list” of high-end consumers. Creatively, we developed a distinct look and new positioning line for the store. We extended this look through a multi-layered leadership image and tactical campaign that included vertical magazine, direct mail to the store’s customer base and potential customers, a major website redesign, in-store POS and aggressive pursuit of manufacturer co-op funds. Certain tactics were designed to drive short-term volume, others reinforced the stores’ market leadership while others helped build and sustain store traffic. Livingspace now enjoys a positioning which clearly separates it from the competition while returning the store to its historical market leadership. Traffic has significantly increased, and the proactive plan put in place has kept things moving forward resulting in double-digit sale increases year-to-year. Collaboration between Reaction Creative and Kinleyjones.

Glotman Simpson
Glotman Simpson is one of the West Coast’s major structural engineering firms. Over the last forty years, they have been responsible for the structural work on literally thousands of buildings. They have a superb reputation among architects and builders in British Columbia and beyond.

However, for the last number of years, due to the explosion of condo towers being built in the Lower Mainland, they have “gone where the work was.” They focused much of their energies and personnel on doing residential work. They were involved in projects such as the Woodward’s Redevelopment and the Olympic Village in False Creek, to name a few. With the financial crash of the last year, there is very little of this kind of work available now. So Glotman Simpson was faced with a shortage of work in the category for which they were best known.

We were hired by Glotman Simpson to help them market themselves in what is a difficult time in building-related industries. We worked with them to understand their business and their markets. We developed a strategy for them based on changing the perception of the Glotman Simpson brand in the eyes of their client base – architects, large builders, and bureaucrats in charge of institutional design projects. We developed a complete new brand for them, from an updated logo and stationery to an advertising and direct mail campaign that focused on several of Glotman Simpson’s most notable recent projects in the areas of commercial and institutional design. These projects included the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion project, the Olympic Oval in Richmond, and the Langara College Library. Glotman Simpson had been perceived by their target market as competent but rather conservative. Their responsibility for the structural engineering in these large and complex projects gave us an opportunity to change this perception by focusing – in innovative, creative ways – on their innovative structural solutions. The nature campaign really stood out in each publication to achieve a high retention rate. Glotman Simpson owned this campaign style because no other engineering firm came close to our campaign creative. Collaboration between Reaction Creative and Kinleyjones.

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