THOMASVILLE, NC: Thomasville Furniture Industries will introduce its new Darryl Carter Collection in October, with an event-driven campaign geared toward attracting a younger demographic.
With the support of AOR Fleishman-Hillard, Thomasville's promotion of the collection is part of a business strategy to spur its growth by connecting the brand with Carter, a designer noted for his contemporary interiors.
“We're known for our... traditional furniture [lines]... We want to make sure our brand name remains relevant,” said Mark Smiley, director of national brand communications for Thomasville. “Our sweet spot for consumers has been the 40-year-old age group, and we want to expand our awareness [among] people who are 25 to 35, who can start to buy furniture for the next 30 years.”
The company will showcase Carter and his collection through a series of global brand events, which run from October to March, in cities as diverse as Washington, DC; Fairfax, VA; Bangkok; and Mexico City.
Each event will be supported with outreach to local print, broadcast, and radio to drive traffic to stores, Smiley said.
Smiley added that creating an opportunity for Carter to interact with consumers is a key tactic, as focus groups demonstrated Carter's history as a lawyer turned designer is a compelling selling point.
Also, online tactics will begin with outreach to lifestyle bloggers nationally and in targeted markets. The company also plans to launch a branded Twitter account and Facebook page, said Dana Hughens, SVP at Fleishman.
Thomasville is building consumer PR momentum via its early outreach to long-lead lifestyle media, such as Elle Décor and Domino.
“From these magazines, consumers are already contacting local stores about the events we're planning,” Hughens said.
“This level of effort put into PR planning is reserved for very special collections,” Smiley added. “PR is a big part of how we're bringing these products to market.”