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Made.com refreshes its brand strategy to get a 'bit weirder'

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By Hannah Bowler | Journalist

February 14, 2022 | 4 min read

Made-to-order furniture retailer Made.com is to overhaul its brand strategy and get “a bit weirder”, with brand director Jude Whyte admits its marketing got stuck playing it safe.

Made.com overhauls its branding strategy injecting more fun and joy

Made.com overhauls its branding strategy injecting more fun and joy

The online furniture retailer, best known for its pastel color palette and trendy shapes, has redesigned its marketing and branding position to make more “unexpected” plays.

When Made hit the market in 2010 it stood out as the original design-focused digital furniture business. Its marketing – largely handled in-house – had prioritised influencers and experiential marketing as well as setting up a raft of physical retail showrooms. But its facing increasing competition from newer online homeware brands.

Jude Whyte, director of brand creative, says her mission is to bring back the “standout energy” it launched with.

“We have to prove to our customers again that we have more extraordinary things to show them,” she says. “Everyone has become an interior designer now and feel relatively confident in their choices, Made needs to inject more unexpected ideas.”

According to Whyte the only way to shake things up is to “be bolder, and currently, we aren’t being bold enough. We need to get weirder but in the best possible way.”

Made.com gets weirder

Moving forward Made’s marketing, branding, and products will have more “joy“ and “fun“ injected in with Whyte’s hope to foster more uplifting brand sentiment.

“We want to drive future trends which means being decisive sometimes and not everyone is going to like what we are putting out. We are failing if everyone says ‘that’s nice’ we need people to love it and therefore some people to hate it,” she adds.

Elswhere, Whyte’s team is planning to introduce more storytelling into Made’s marketing. Plans are already underway for content that tells the story of Made’s designers along with the production journey and the environment in which the materials were sourced.

This push follows Made's move toward purpose-driven influencer content its head of consumer comms and social Lauren Spearman previously told The Drum.

Made.com gets weirder

“We need to show we are more of a cultured brand,” she adds. Consumer insight has shown customers find Made.com “a bit faceless, people don’t know much about us or our point of view”.

This will be executed via Made’s social channels showing when the company is at various design fares and site visits to places that inspire the design process.

Part of the brand team’s brief is to educate customers on Made’s exclusivity and suitability. Made sells both limited runs and mass-produced products and in some cases, produces to order but Whyte says that’s missing from their communications.

"This year we want to tell our sustainability story better and communicate with customers the business choices we are making that minimise our impact on both people and the planet," she says.
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