Sarreid has partnered with image production platform company Live Furnish to produce high-quality, photo realistic silhouettes and room scenes that are helping the manufacturer build out its image library, while curbing marketing costs and speeding time to market with new products.
Hailed as an industry disrupter, Winston-Salem-based Live Furnish helps marketing pros with no 3D background produce content for websites, social media, public relations, sales presentations and other key marketing tools like catalogs and look books, in-house, cost-effectively and with full creative control. According to Co-founder Preet Sahil Singh — a graphics engineer and former brand manager at the virtual reality division of Dassault Systemes — Live Furnish simplifies 3D technology to the point that anyone with basic knowledge of Photoshop and image editing can begin effectively utilizing the platform with less than a single day of training.
“There’s been lots of industry chatter about the possibilities of 3D technology, most of it focused on consumer-facing websites,” says Brad Cates, Chief Executive Officer at Sarreid. “For a long time, we thought the ability to engage shoppers by turning product from this angle or that would be a nice-to-have parlor trick, and an expensive one at that, but it wasn’t until we were approached by Live Furnish that we began to believe that 3D technology might have far greater potential for a better-end manufacturer like Sarreid.”
Cates is quick to note that he was a skeptic about the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of 3D technology. “Live Furnish got my attention because Preet absolutely blew me away in the first few minutes of conversation with his understanding of what we’re trying to achieve here at Sarreid. He showed me a few sample images, and I then challenged his team by selecting three of our toughest products to replicate: A bed, a leather sofa, and a dresser, all with the kind of complex, multi-layer, broken/chippy finishes that have set our company apart in the marketplace.”
While the executive describes Sarreid in the “play and learning” phase of its relationship with Live Furnish, he says the cost-savings Sarreid has already realized have been significant and immediate. “Based here in Wilson, NC, the closest first-class furniture photography studio is some two hours away in High Point. That means we’ve historically had to move products to High Point to shoot, risk damage in the process, and devote considerable resources out of the office and warehouse here in talent, time, and equipment.
“Now, our internal graphic artist can put together a stunning room scene in less than 20 minutes, and I can look over his shoulder and say, ‘Change the light here, remove that rug, add a plant there, take the camera up three feet, or change the overall dimensions.’ This new partnership enables us to take studio time and costs to zero, while still beautifully maintaining the ethos that is Sarreid. The possibilities of what we can do internally now are near infinite and we are truly blurring the line between what’s ‘real,’ and images of shelter-magazine quality that have been created entirely in the digital realm.”
Meanwhile, traffic on the company’s website, Sarreid.com, has continued to uptick, “while still maintaining the high bar for content and engagement that we’ve set for ourselves. Even more exciting, is our newly acquired ability to create images from little more than a CAD drawing and a master finish panel,” he says.
“Nobody loves Market more than our team, and we intend to always show in High Point, but at the same time, we are constantly looking for the newest, and fastest way to get our products into the hands of dealers and designers,” Cates shares. “We’re already no longer beholden to introducing products during the traditional Market dates and we have been committed to showing our customers new and in-stock goods the minute they land in Wilson since the start of the pandemic. Now, because we have been able to move quickly in adopting this new technology, our customers can see new product before a sample is ever made and shipped here. We’re also able to share and collaborate with dealers and designers on what’s coming in an entirely new way, and frankly, we’re already selling products that no one has ever seen beyond these images.”
Cates says that in the long term, he foresees a day “when a designer can approach their Sarreid rep and say, ‘I’m working on a project and need images for my presentation to the client.’ Using the Live Furnish platform, our reps will be able to add an entirely new level of service to what they already provide, efficiently sharing with clients and customers images of the extraordinary products they are specifying from our line.”
“We know brands like Sarreid are becoming more and more digital, and the importance of their digital presence is slowly becoming just as important, if not more, than their physical presence,” Singh says. “That is the reality in which we live today. But project just five or 10 years down the road, and it’s going to become even more important because the world is moving in that direction. Sarreid understands that now is the optimal time to create their digital identity, and that to create that digital identity, they must put out high-quality content consistently with full creative control. Until now, that’s been the blockage in the pipeline, but using our toolbox, they are finding they can produce it in-house quickly and at an acceptable cost.”