Behind Thirty One Twenty One’s ‘anti-branding’ furniture marketing strategy

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GREENSBORO, NC — Magnussen Home’s new furniture brand Thirty One Twenty One has quite an interesting marketing strategy: it barely has one.

“We won’t have an updated website with new photography,” said brand manager and industry veteran Adam Tilley. “We don’t have social media pages. We are not doing anything to expand our distribution network. Our lines are intentionally unnamed.

“A lot of people will do a catalog shoot,” he said. “They will use this content for catalogs in retail stores, but also for social media, market signage, other e-blasts, etc. Not us. This is not our intention.

“Yes, we will create quality content, video and photography. But instead of bringing it to market, we’re going to package it up, give it to our retailers, and let them roll out as they see fit.

Tilley calls the strategy anti-branding. “We are basically the retailer’s marketing team. We are content creators.

Thirty One Twenty One deals exclusively with brick-and-mortar retailers and is not looking for more foot traffic. “Our strategy is to limit our distribution,” Tilley said. “We don’t want to oversell. We want to keep in stock.

“We said, listen, Mr. and Mrs. Retailer, you are our partner. We want to do business with you. If you commit to us with a firm order, we’re done. We can lock up.

The brand debuted at the recent High Point Market, unveiling nine introductory bedroom lines.

Is it a success?

“Business is phenomenal,” Tilley said. “We are about to cross what we thought we would achieve during the whole year. We sold 70% of the bands we released to the market.

The line is currently produced in Vietnam. It hasn’t been delivered yet, although it should be soon. Once shipped, items will be stored in California.

The brand’s prices are 20% to 30% higher than Magnussen’s typical offering, with a four-bedroom bedroom retailing around $4,000 to $5,000. Design-wise, the brand is focused on as much face as possible and ensuring the material is unique and transitional.

“Major retailers may want to try the brand,” Tilley said. “We can get high-end retailers at starting prices.”

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