- 320% Revenue increase in 12 months, now into the multi-millions
- 250,000+ Build-a-Beds made online since new tool launched
- 1st page Google search engine rankings
- 63.99% Orders placed on users first site visit
Murphy Wall-Beds has been in business for over four decades, and an ODG client since 2004. Operating from a small warehouse in Surrey, BC, the family-owned company has grown from a niche product supplier to an industry leader, with sales of complete custom-designed Murphy beds and Murphy bed kits improving year after year.
The company reached a new milestone in 2013 when ODG worked closely with their team for the better part of a year to develop a brand strategy, identity and online presence that would serve them for years to come and set a new standard for the industry. Their competition has been playing catch up ever since.
In 2018, after 5 years of amazing growth, we sat down with Murphy Wall-Beds again to evaluate their brand’s success and devise a new plan that will help them reach new heights, battle increasingly-sophisticated competition, and maintain their status as an industry leader.
Murphy Wall-Beds had a bit of an image crisis on their hands. Their product was seen by many as a relic of a past age. Murphy beds seemed quaint, old-fashioned, and potentially dangerous.
But with home prices rising at the same time square footage was shrinking, they knew their product was more useful than ever. They just needed a way to convince the rest of us.
Understand the landscapeMurphy Wall-Beds has one of North America’s largest dealer networks. To improve sales, we had to understand the dealers and their customers. What support could we provide?
Improve the messageMarketing was passive, and relied on customers with an active interest in the space-saving potential of wall beds. They needed to be more proactive to generate sales.
Resonate with customersThe practical reason for buying a Murphy bed was clear, but the emotional was missing. What could a Murphy bed mean for the average customer, beyond extra space?
Refresh the lookWith warm beiges, browns, and taupes, the brand’s look reinforced the negative image of its product. It felt old and outdated, marketed more toward seniors than prolific home owners.
Enhance the online experienceOnline sales were steadily climbing, but more could be done. They needed a better online sales tool that would help their customers design and visualize their custom Murphy bed.
A better shopping experience
Buying custom furniture online can be a big risk. Will it be the right size? How can you decide between “Caramello” and “Toscana” finishes? We needed to eliminate guesswork, and make purchasing as easy and intuitive as possible.Keep scrolling to see the solution
Many Murphy beds are installed in basements with poor lighting, presenting a photography problem. How can we help the consumer visualize what the bed will look like when installed in their home?Keep scrolling to see the solution
Listening to the stakeholders
Though their online sales were rising slowly, Murphy Wall-Beds made the majority of their revenue through their large network of dealers that stretches from coast to coast across the US and Canada. We knew that these dealers—largely custom cabinet makers—had a wealth of insight on customer needs, service and support best practices, and sales tools requirements. It just needed to be tapped.
ODG developed a list of in-depth questions about the Murphy Wall-Beds brand, its industry, and its customers, and posed them to a number of select dealers. We then parsed the data, drew our conclusions, and devised a new brand strategy using the results.
Improving the message
After studying the wall-bed market, we realized that nearly everyone was selling passively. There was no product ambassador—no expert that was leading the industry and helping to convince potential buyers that a wall-bed might be the right solution for them. Murphy Wall-Beds was in the unique position to take on that role.
We made a fundamental shift to their message and approach, elevating Murphy Wall-Beds from a passive player to an active leader. The first shift was monumental, from a passively selling message that was, essentially, “Buy your wall-bed parts here” to one that was actively informing: “You should get a Murphy Wall-Bed, and here’s why…”
This new approach ensured that customers were better educated about the product and its benefits, making for a more informed, more engaged and better qualified customer. In a market where wall-beds were largely afterthoughts or curiosities, customer education was key in making the product seem like a logical, beneficial alternative to a traditional bed.
Five years later, the brand was still benefiting from this marketing focus, but the audience was growing more knowledgeable and aware of the product, and the market was getting increasingly crowded. This prompted a new, less dramatic shift in the brand’s marketing, this time from actively informing to actively persuading: “You need the Murphy bed that’s best for you, and you can only get it from Murphy Wall-Beds.”
Resonating with customers
Informing the customer is just one part of the equation. For a brand to be relevant, it needs to resonate on an emotional level as well. The old tagline, “Creating space for life” was replaced with one that promised both a physical and an emotional payoff: “More room for the things that matter.”
This was supported by modern photography of friends and family coming together (demonstrating the benefits of having on-demand guest accommodations), and of homeowners enjoying their newfound space (demonstrating the freedom of reclaiming an often-unused guest room for a hobby or interest). To this last point, we also developed icons and messaging that encouraged customers to consider the potential of having a dual-purpose room, and imagine how they might use it.
By emotionally resonating with customers, it becomes clear that a Murphy bed won’t simply make better use of a space—it can make more room for the things that matter: It can strengthen the ties between friends and family, and improve one’s quality of life.
We built a fresh new identity for the Murphy Wall-Beds brand, considering everything from primary and secondary colour palettes, to graphical details, to a more open, friendlier font. Once everything was combined, the brand felt rejuvenated, and more relevant to its core audience of modern homeowners looking for more room for the things that matter.
A lot of potential Murphy bed buyers struggled with the perception that wall-beds are old-fashioned and uncomfortable—more like a relic from grandma’s place than a fresh, functional and comfy piece of modern furniture. You couldn’t blame them, really. With dark wood finishes, stuffy beige interiors and mostly static photography, most sellers, Murphy Wall-Beds included, seemed outdated. They needed a change.
However, Murphy Wall-Beds has always struggled with photography, as the cost of setting up a photo shoot with an installed bed was high, and photos taken at customer locations were often in rooms with poor lighting conditions.
We've utilized 3D renderings in the past for our real estate marketing clients and saw an opportunity here to produce better images than their competitors, and at lower costs.
Enhancing the online experience
Murphy knew that they wanted to transform their business and improve their sales. For the most part, they weren’t sure exactly what needed to be done, only that partnering with ODG would get them results. There was one thing they knew for certain, however: they wanted to make their successful “Build-a-Bed” tool the best it could possibly be.
Implemented only 5 years earlier, Murphy Wall-Beds’ Build-a-Bed tool was already a success, generating 50% of their overall sales. However, the tool was built using an older technology, Flash, and needed to be rebuilt, so that’s exactly what we did, from the ground up.
We started by rendering every colour and finish in striking detail, while avoiding minor differences like mattress sizes, extended legs, and hardware, striking a balance between affordability and usability. Next, we sliced the renderings into multiple designated pieces, then used custom coding to allow the customer to piece them together again.
Need a wall-bed with a Chocolate Pearwood cabinet and an Alabama Cherry door? What about alternating black and white drawers and cabinets? That kind of customizability is easy to achieve at Murphy Wall-Beds, and easy to visualize with their custom Build-a-Bed tool.
Since the initial launch of the website, the number of orders from mobile users has risen substantially. We built the Build-a-Bed for maximum flexibility, ensuring all devices and platforms can place orders. All features seen in the desktop version are also available for mobile and tablets.
Special Feature: Abandonded Order Emails
MurphyBeds.com is a fully custom e-commerce system, providing us with the highest level of programming and customization control.
We created a tool that allows for review of abandoned orders with the ability to send reminders with or without dynamically created promo code discounts.
In the time since their brand refresh, Murphy Wall-Beds has grown their business by 20% year over year. It’s an outstanding case study for what an outstanding team, great product and thoughtful strategy, design and technology can do for a brand. Now, five years later, a new communication strategy is on the horizon, promising to push revenue and customer satisfaction even higher. Stay tuned!
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