Repositioning: Making the Old New Again at Ethan Allen

TakeAway: Ethan Allen has launched a new ad campaign, which aims to convince consumers that they don’t have to splurge on lots of furniture to create a stylish home. 

The home furnishings retailer is introducing a series of TV, print, online and direct mail ads with a recessionary pitch. 

Ads position Ethan Allen as an “aspirational” and “attainable” brand through slogans like:

A great room starts with a great piece.” And: “Relax. You don’t have to do it all at once.”

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KEH Note: Is it just me or are those slogans a bit ‘odd’? 

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Excerpted from Brandweek, “Ethan Allen Pitches ‘Attainable’ Furniture” By Elaine Wong,September 9, 2010

The new campaign is part of the company’s strategy to reposition itself with younger consumers.

Americans in their 40s, 50s and 60s currently make up the brand’s core demographic.

But Ethan Allen is looking to connect with consumers in their 30s and 40s, who also have some discretionary income to spend.  Market research revealed that many consumers previously thought of the brand as unaffordable.

A 30-second spot, titled “Falling,” shows a woman falling slowly backwards in a bare room. As she leans back—as if to sit—a comfortable cushioned chair appears and she takes in the moment. A voiceover coaxes, “Get that one piece right, and the rest of the room will just fall into place,” as other furniture appears in the room.

The ads give Ethan Allen a contemporary twist. “Like a lot of classic American brands, [Ethan Allen has] become so well known that people’s perceptions of them become somewhat out of date,”

The campaign positions the brand as “elegant, yet approachable . . . and a little more modern than you might have thought.”

Edit by AMW

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