grey wrk / Rebranding Campaign

End user insight, brand strategy, positioning, corporate identity, marketing, website

grey wrk was looking for a way to modernize its brand image and extend their marketing reach in an industry that just doesn’t believe in marketing. Ben, the shop owner, is the first to admit that as an industry, the woodworkers/custom furniture building community has done a terrible job getting the word out about their wares. In fact, most woodworkers avoid advertising/marketing altogether, so it remains mostly unknown to the general public, which didn’t make our job any easier.

After several high-octane meetings with Ben, we were able to zero in on their core target audience. We then turned our attention to scheduling interviews with homeowners who frequent the handful of shops we identified as competitors. The interviews were very informative, and two very interesting key insights were uncovered. One, money is not an issue for this target audience. They are comfortable spending top dollar for furniture they like and want. Second, they shared with us they tend to be happy with the furniture they have, but most would have loved to make a few tweaks, like they would have preferred lighter wood on their chairs, wish the table they bought was a little longer to seat eight not just six, noticed later the chairs weren’t built all that well and wouldn’t last, etc. Those tweaks would have made the furniture perfect. So with those key insights, we set out to craft grey wrk’s story.

We wanted the marketing to tell the story of a return to craftsmanship and quality, which has become a dying craft. In a nutshell, we wanted to take on the mass-produced furniture companies that appear to have taken over. We came up with a concept that is a natural fit for the story we were trying to tell … alchemy—the power to transform something (in their case, wood) in a mysterious way.

It was also important to communicate how grey wrk works hand-in-hand with its clients to build the perfect piece that reflects their clients’ style and space. So the marketing tapped into that important sentiment of the users’ insights. We wanted to let them know it can and should be one-of-a-kind and a perfect fit to reflect their style and space, which is very difficult to get when buying off the showroom floor. The marketing piece and website capture the custom design and handcrafted message by using tightly cropped photos and video of a custom piece being built using hand tools, not large machines, and we produced a mailer with engraved illustrations of the tools used by Ben and his team to carry forth the idea that craftsmanship is what grey wrk is committed to and to further convey that the craft is alive and thriving.

While designing the corporate identity, we wanted to give the logo a visual clue to the shop’s uniqueness and purpose—the snowflake serves as the perfect metaphor. It supports the brand premise that no two are alike. We created six different logos to push the concept further; each one is different, which also speaks to the uniqueness of the furniture the shop designs and builds.

Results: While the rebranding is being rolled out gradually, the initial reaction has been well received, helping grey wrk establish itself and stand out in a crowded marketplace.