When Syndicate Sales approached the Springboard team with a desire to establish a direct-to-consumer model providing consumers with a complete line of trend forward, easy-to-use home décor and garden products that enhance everyday living spaces, we simply could not contain our joy. This is the kind of opportunity that aligns with the passions of our company, engages all of our talents and puts a smile on our faces every day.
As a longstanding manufacturer and wholesaler of floral products, such as vases, terrariums, and floral accessories, Syndicate Sales is using their knowledge of the industry to go directly to consumers and unlock profitable revenue growth through a new channel: Syndicate Home and Garden.
We couldn’t wait to get started – so we dove right in!
RESEARCH & DEFINING THE AUDIENCE
Research is always at the forefront of any strategy developed at Springboard, and this engagement was no exception. With little-to-no existing direct-to-consumer data to pull from, our team had to build a case for who the competition is, who the consumers are, and how to effectively position this new sales channel within this landscape. We began by establishing our target audience and creating their personas using the following questions:
- What are their needs?
- What are their fears, concerns or motivations?
- What are their hobbies?
- What is their level of education?
- What is their socio-economic status?
- Where do they shop, socialize, and spend their time online?
- What information about these products do they seek?
- How did they prefer to consume information; videos, infographics, tutorials, photos, etc.?
ELEVATING THE BRAND
One of the important take-aways from our research revealed that the originally proposed name for the direct-to-consumer brand was not resonating with the target audience. “Syndicate Home and Garden”, while tying into the parent brand, was not connecting with the consumer. So together, Springboard and Syndicate Home and Garden embarked on a naming exercise to rename and rebrand using the research and data we had collected. Our recommendations were confirmed through market research and focus groups, and we were all excited when 46th & Spruce won the hearts of the team as well as the consumers we polled.
Luckily, a logo and brand is a much simpler endeavor when the proper foundation has been established. After a few options and rounds of revisions, we had settled on a logo that reflected a classic and timeless style with a touch of modern trend. We then built out a Brand Foundation and Style Guide to begin defining and protecting the brand we hope to grow.
RESEARCH AND POSITIONING FOR SEO
While the brand was being established, the team dove head-first into keyword research around the products they sell. Because the categorization of these products plays such significant role in both how the website ranks in search engines as well as how consumers browse the products while on the website, this step is essential to the success of many decisions and efforts moving forward. Hours upon hours in “spreadsheetville” and Google Adword’s keyword planner tool yielded a category structure that aligned with the products, captured what consumers are searching for, and provided a roadmap for a SEO content strategy.
Tools used for keyword research and search engine optimization:
- Google Adwords for search volume and trends
- Moz for search rankings and competitive analysis
- SEMrush for competitve research and rankings
- Excel spreadsheets for good old-fashioned data management
DESIGNING THE WEBSITE
The next step in creating the direct-to-consumer shopping experience was designing and building a website that spoke to the audiences we identified. This ecommerce website is a beautiful balance between creativity, brand and marketing messaging, and the ability to find and purchase products easily. For this ecommerce marketing partner, we chose to use more subtle, elegant colors and clean page elements so as to let the aesthetically alluring product shine. Most importantly, the clean and easy-to-navigate user interface is responsive to address the dominant use of mobile devices among shoppers.
CRAFTING THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Built on the Shopify platform, the website is supported by numerous tools and tactics that make it an ecommerce marketing and conversion machine. We’ve crafted the entire buyer journey, setting up steps at each conversion point that guide a consumer to purchase. A global email communication system begins with an email capture to entice a browser, someone with little buying intent, to become a shopper. Abandoned cart marketing and entrance / exit offer popups work to persuade a shopper into a customer. And even after a purchase, the product upsell and customer winback strategies work to continue building a valuable customer relationship and encourage ongoing engagement.
Tools used to support the onsite experience:
- Shopify for the ecommerce platform
- JustUno for email capture entrance and exit popups
- Klaviyo for product promotion, welcome, abandonded cart, and customer winback emails
- One Click Upsell for post-purchase product upsell to increase average order value (AOV)
- Review App & Yotpo for customer review management and solicitation
- Helpscout for customer relationship management
Using a mixture of Shopify Apps and some custom code, the direct-to-consumer shopping experience is made more robust by covering all the bases. The ecommerce website ecosystem is complex and spans from the back office operations all the way to post purchase communications. 46 & Spruce has a unique situation in that they sell the individual products that their parent company manufactures and sells wholesale in bulk. This created a tricky inventory management dilemma. We ultimately decided to build an “island” that would allow 46 & Spruce to carry its own stock, thus allowing for easier management and reporting.
Tools used for the back office management of inventory and order fulfillment:
- Skubana for the inventory management and order fulfillment
- Shopify Payments for payment processing
- Pay with Amazon & Pay with Paypal for additional payment processing options
THE FINAL STAGES
With just a few weeks until the launch of the direct-to-consumer shopping experience, everyone is energized with excitement and driven with purpose to make this endeavor successful. Each week we are making progress to finalize the details while the 46 & Spruce team completes the onboarding process with their third-party fulfillment provider.
By far, the most rewarding aspect of this engagement has been the close relationship built with our partner. The time spent consulting and brainstorming the many ways to make this all come together has proven to be time well spent.
However, we’ve been deliberate about balancing the planning process with getting to market quickly so we can begin collecting true customer data. Because that’s when the really fun work begins!
46 & Spruce references the street name of the first location where Syndicate Sales began it’s business nearly 30 years ago. This nod to the company’s roots helped the internal team rally behind the new brand, solidify the vision of this initiative, and support the forward-thinking strategy of a company taking a chance on big growth. Armed with market research, a defined audience, and a new name, we created a brand that aligned with this foundation of customer insight.
After establishing the value proposition and key messaging, we set out to create the identity. The logo we created is a circle shape featuring a natural texture to give the impression of a stamp. This classic and timeless approach to a brand helps visually communicate the deeply rooted history of the company, giving it significance and credibility within the industry. The one color treatment is simple, reflecting the contemporary products, while the typography is a mix between classic, traditional and simple, and works to establish a modern culture.
Images play a huge factor in the branding process of this particular partner and the products they sell. Springboard helped in establishing the art direction for how the images are crafted. The online depiction of the products carefully considers the way they are styled, photographed, and presented in order to address both the lifestyle aspect as well as the purchase & decision-making process.
Rolling out the brand presence online continues to take shape as we grow closer to the launch of this exciting venture. Completing the website and establishing the social media assets are among the next steps to help build and support the brand.
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