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Evolving Your Brand During Challenging Times

If there’s a silver lining at all in this strange and challenging time, it might just be that we’ve had the time we need to revisit our brands.

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Photo by Casper Nielsen on Unsplash
Photo by Casper Nielsen on Unsplash

In the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, one word we heard often as it pertained to the designers, retailers and home furnishings companies in our sphere was “pivot.” Pivot to e-commerce. Pivot to virtual markets. Pivot to Zoom everything. Pivot to how we stay afloat when the world is seemingly shutting down. 

I’m not really a fan of the word pivot. It makes me think of the “Friends” episode where Ross and Chandler are trying to get a sofa up a tight staircase. When I hear the word, I hear it in Ross’s voice every time. “PIV-OTTTT!”

For me, pivot belies a temporary situation that needs a super-fast solution. Turn on a dime... Change your business model completely. I suppose back in March, when coronavirus came crashing down on us all, it was appropriate. 

But if you think about it, is pivoting what we’ve really done? Or has this pandemic given us an opportunity to evolve — assess what about our businesses were ready for an update anyway — rather than temporarily make changes to just get through?

I’ve spoken to numerous interior designers and retailers over the last few months, and what I’m hearing about the “down time” some are experiencing is that it has allowed them to dig deeper into how they can do what they do better. From re-merchandising a showroom floor to updating your processes to finally adding that e-commerce component, you’ve done more than pivot. You’ve evolved your brands to better service your customers and clients.  

If there’s a silver lining at all in this strange and challenging time we’re living through, it might just be that we’ve had the time we needed to revisit our brands, get them unstuck and move them forward. Business evolution is not a one-time thing though. We need to continue to watch how our customers’ needs evolve, how we address their challenges, so we can grow. 

This month is our Branding Issue, a topic we covered in our first virtual Home Design Business Think Tank. Here, we share the brand evolution of two of our panelists and some of the tips our experts — Melissa Galt and Nancy Ganzekaufer — shared about evolving your brands and communicating with clients. For the full Think Tank series, visit Furniture, Lighting & Decor’s YouTube channel for the replays, and subscribe while you’re there. 

We also share the profiles of our 11th Annual Showroom of the Year Award winners, lighting retail showrooms that understand the importance of evolution. See why these winners rose to the top and the steps they’ve taken to stay front and center with their customers. Thank you to our partners Lightovation and Dallas Market Center. 

This week, think about the changes you’ve made to your business and consider what becomes permanent, what you could do better and how your brand might continue to change. And then give yourself a high five (because you can’t with anyone else) for a job well done as you evolve rather than pivot.

Diane Falvey

Diane Falvey is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture, Lighting & Decor, leading the editorial direction of the brand, and continuing to build the brand’s reach and messaging through print, digital and event platforms. Falvey came to the brand from Dallas Market Center, where as Editor-in-Chief, she was responsible for creative and content direction for the Source magazine and the Market Center’s other editorial publications. Falvey also served as Editor-in-Chief of Gifts & Decorative Accessories, a monthly trade publication and digital platform designed to support gift and home retailers.

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