West Elm hired Bond to support the launch of its New Orleans store in fall 2014, the first West Elm store in Louisiana. As a result of our success, we've helped West Elm launch new stores in multiple markets across the country
Bond's goal was to raise awareness of the brand in the Louisiana market and forge meaningful relationships with media and influencers to establish West Elm in the New Orleans community. We were tasked with planning a media dinner and one-on-one store tours with West Elm officials to secure media coverage about the new store in print, broadcast and online media outlets with a focus on bloggers. Additionally, we were responsible for planning a pre-opening party in-store, which involved partnering with a local nonprofit, as well as securing attendance from key New Orleans influencers, media and potential West Elm customers.
Bond Moroch strategically focused on the West Elm LOCAL initiative, the recently launched wedding registry and narratives for local bloggers in order to drive meaningful coverage and appeal to the New Orleans market. The goal was and still is to have the local community embrace West Elm as a community hub and home furniture retailer in New Orleans, specifically on Magazine Street among local businesses. We also targeted select regional outlets to help bring awareness of West Elm in New Orleans.
We partnered with top local blogger and food editor of The Every Girl, Juley Le of Upperlyne, to redesign her office space in the midst of launching her new career. The makeover was featured on WGNO-TV’s News with a Twist with a series of blog posts and social media mentions on Upperlyne, in addition to a career profile on The Every Girl—the website’s top-rated career profile of 2014 based on user engagement.
Bond worked closely with West Elm’s internal PR team in planning the media dinner and pre-opening party, providing insight and securing venue, vendors, music, menus and guest lists. We specifically aligned company leadership with city influencers, media and potential customers at the event.
Results & Impact
Our PR efforts resulted in a successful launch for the New Orleans store, strong opening and holiday sales (with a line outside the door during opening week), and a general awareness and acceptance of the West Elm brand throughout New Orleans. We garnered more than 550,000 media impressions in the New Orleans area from opening coverage. We secured a significant amount of local and state-wide press promoting the opening and West Elm brand, including coverage in The Times-Picayune, WDSU-TV, WVUE-TV, New Orleans Bride, The Daily Advertiser and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles.
We successfully introduced the West Elm brand to its target audience and influential and strategic guests at the media dinner and pre-opening party, including community and business leaders, media, designers, artists and potential customers.
Lastly, as a result of Bond’s success in New Orleans, we launched West Elm stores in Atlanta; Palm Beach, FL; Virginia Beach, VA; Milwaukee, WI; Grand Rapids, MI, Rochester, NY; Red Bank, NJ; Skokie, IL; Pasadena, CA; West Hartford, CT; and Houston, TX in 2015. We are currently launching 15 new stores in 2016.
In November 2015, Bond was awarded an Award of Excellence for the New Orleans launch campaign by the Public Relations Society of America New Orleans Chapter.