ISSUE 1.20 - Re-Inventing LEON'S

A few years ago when asked what they thought of furniture retailer Leon's, older Canadians expressed fond statements of the brand. Younger ones however called the store "a place for grandmas and grandpas who like puffy brown leather couches".

Even though Leon's has been stepping up its selection with more trendy and stylish items it was still struggling with it's overall perception that it’s outdated. If only Leon’s could change people’s minds and get them to see that they had all the latest trendy items, it would make all the difference in the world and bring in the younger shoppers.

As a result an idea was introduced to help re-brand Leon's by giving it a new and catchy name...well sort of. Not really a re-name but more a re-pronunciation. And Le-oons was born.

The overall goal with this new branding strategy is to reach millennial families who are getting older and looking to outfit their homes, but might not have Leon’s in their immediate consideration set or places to visit. That goal is being met, in part, by making on-trend pieces front and centre in its creative, but also by doing more brand-building on top of the promotional and sale-focused marketing that previously dominated its mix.

Also, bringing in more humourous elements that the Leon’s brand was also known for in the ’80s and ’90s is helping them to again stand out and break through the clutter in the marketplace.

Case in point: Sales of sofa's have doubled since the brand makeover. All that was really needed was to highlight a style and attitude lot of people didn’t know they had.

With this successful re-brand, Leon’s has also recognized it needs to be more mindful of the ever-changing ways in which we now live. The size of urban homes is shrinking faster than furniture manufacturers can produce new pieces. Patios are looking more like living rooms. Every single room is expected to exude personality and charm. Much like what we eat, wear and tweet, our homes are a statement of who we are. All of this is now expressed in not just their ads, but how their furniture is presented visually to the consumer.

The strategy to stay relevant and top of mind won’t be easy for Leon’s, but the firm’s long track record will help to work in its favour. You don’t get to be a 100-plus-year-old company from doing things wrong. That being said, as any marketer will tell you, longevity is good but staying relevant is better.

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