How to drive retail business transformation through content marketing.
How do you help a business that is almost a century old stay relevant to its long-time customers while at the same time attract a new and younger group of homeowners with different shopping and buying preferences? When Austin Lawrence Group (ALG) first met with KLAFFS, a high-end home improvement retailer in the New York Metro area, these are the challenges it was facing.
With its flagship store in Norwalk, CT, KLAFFS built a loyal following with customers and the local community for more than nine decades. The retailer offered top brand names in lighting, kitchens, bathrooms decorative hardware, tile and stone at its Norwalk store, and other locations in Danbury, Connecticut and Scarsdale, New York.
KLAFFS sold directly to consumers through its showrooms, but also through a B2B2C channel of professional designers, builders and architects.
When customers visited KLAFFS stores, they could see thousands of products on display and use them in a variety of vignettes that simulated home installations. Customers could also visit the retailer’s website to view its products in a hard-to-navigate and unattractive catalog. The catalog was for research only; there was no e-commerce. This was a big challenge for KLAFFS since its future was going to depend on winning over homeowners whose shopping and buying habits were becoming more digital. Also, designers used the website to educate and inform their clients about products. However, they had to physically visit a store or call to purchase items.
KLAFFS was also up against rising competition from big box retailers, online specialty retailers, manufacturers selling directly to designers, and local area retailers like itself.
As a result of changing market dynamics and a loss of focus on channel sales, revenue from design professionals plummeted by 56 percent and it was critical to rebuild this important source of sales.
KLAFFS needed a new online presence to position itself as a relevant design resource and high-quality supplier to match its impressive physical showrooms, drive traffic to its stores and enhance its relationships with design professionals.
To reboot growth at KLAFFS, ALG recommended a publishing business model strategy for content marketing. This helped KLAFFS distinguish itself from competitors, attract more consumers to shop online and in stores, and reinvigorate its relationships with its designers, builders and architects.
The cornerstone of this strategy was turning KLAFFS into a publisher of its own, branded online publication, KLAFFStyle, a home, life and style magazine. Key elements included:
- Content written by and about the designers, builders and architects who did the most business with KLAFFS
- Content from ALG staff writers, trade professionals, and media companies from which they bought advertising and brands they represented in the stores.
- Facebook and Instagram to extend the reach of the site beyond SEO
- Content from magazines and publishers (i.e., Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, Moffly, etc.) also enhanced SEO and online cross-promotion
- Recipes from a previously published KLAFFS cookbook with wine pairings contributed as a joint social media promotion with a regional purveyor of fine wines
- Editorial standards and a Contributor’s Guide
To help power KLAFFStyle, the following inbound marketing, outbound marketing, digital marketing and technology solutions were deployed:
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise
- WordPress to run the complex magazine
- Email via HubSpot to drive promotions and invitations for events
- Catalog remained as a resource for professionals; ecommerce was being evaluated
- Job board on the site increased applicant flow at no marginal cost
To learn more about how KLAFFS embraced a visionary B2B2C strategy driven by an online media property and the resulting ROI, click here to download our case study.