How do I target the right consumer for high-end furniture?
April 14, 2017 7:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm selling a specific kind of high-end furniture, in the range of $10,000-$20,000. Not from a showroom, direct-to-consumer. Where do I place ads to reach the right consumer, and what else should I consider in my messaging? Right now, we are taking a social media approach, so I'd also love to hear of any high-end social media profiles anyone here tends to follow. Lastly, please do mention any magazines I should consider. Thanks in advance!
posted by andrewsa to Human Relations (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you describe the style? Is it cutting edge modern or antique reproduction or what?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:23 PM on April 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

The style is ultra modern. The pieces are a mix of sculpture and utility.
posted by andrewsa at 8:24 PM on April 14, 2017

Is it the sort of thing an interior designer might purchase for someone? They are often in charge of the overall selection for items in this price range.
posted by nickggully at 8:40 PM on April 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Nick, you're spot on with the approach to interior designers. Currently working with reaching out via LinkedIn.
posted by andrewsa at 8:45 PM on April 14, 2017

Dwell magazine?
posted by bluecore at 8:49 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Consider making a profile on Houzz; people often browse there for home renovation, local craftsmen, and decorating projects. Their user base tends toward the upper income brackets. Example of handcrafted woodworker:
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:55 PM on April 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

Have you looked at 1stdibs? It's a curated marketplace for high-end furniture, among other things. A lot of it is antique and vintage, but they have a number of listings for new and made to order furniture as well. They will, of course, take a commission, and they're supposedly selective about who they'll accept, but it's also the kind of place where furniture in that price range fits right in and where customers and interior designers are looking for it.
posted by zachlipton at 9:18 PM on April 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

The New Yorker, and the NYT magazine.
posted by Dashy at 9:21 PM on April 14, 2017
posted by artdrectr at 9:22 PM on April 14, 2017

Upscale blogs.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:18 PM on April 14, 2017

We have several high end pieces, and almost all of them have been introduced to us by a designer (one large piece was from a manufacturer we learned about at a local high end furniture store). The vast majority of it was custom or at least highly customized. We have gone to local "design centers" which have showrooms that sell only to the trade (and then we purchase through our designer), but it sounds like you're not open to that kind of arrangement. We have also considered (but not purchased) some expensive "art" furniture pieces that were shown at a local art show. But, at least with that show, it really does need to be art to be shown there.

I do look at Houzz and Pinterest when I'm working on a room, so it's possible I could see something there and decide to investigate. But in practice, the designer is the person who would be most effective at getting it in front of me. I can't think of anywhere else off the top of my head that an ad would be effective at reaching me for this kind of purchase.
posted by primethyme at 10:58 PM on April 14, 2017

In flight magazines found on airplanes. Not necessarily skymall, but the fancier one.
posted by Jacen at 11:51 PM on April 14, 2017

Wrt magazines, the Robb Report is a lifestyle magazine featuring luxury furniture and other top-end products for gazillionaires. And how about Architectural Digest?

If your product could be used in the interior design of a superyacht or megayacht, there are branche magazines which also have ads (and sometimes even articles) featuring luxury interior design, too. You have at least Showboats, Boat International and Superyacht World. They're read by specialized interior designers as well as the kind of customers who are considering purchasing a 100-200 million dollar boat.
posted by sively at 1:37 AM on April 15, 2017

I would consider approaching Sotheby's and having them use a few of your pieces when dressing rooms in upscale houses for sale. This will get the right eyes on the items.

On the other end, don't discount the power of Pinterest.
posted by zadcat at 2:17 AM on April 15, 2017

posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:33 AM on April 15, 2017

Sorry, iPad acting up. Scroll way down and there is a submissions link.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:34 AM on April 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know a fair few places to publish stuff like this, depending on what it looks like. Memail me.
posted by srednivashtar at 8:37 AM on April 15, 2017

My sister makes high-end custom slipcovers. She probably has similar clientele - these are people who have expensive, well made furniture that needs refreshing but is still structurally sound, and can pay the high price to have people come out and take measurements, do pin-fittings, etc. It's basically fully re-upholstering but the covers are removable.

They get most of their business from Instagram (which is fruitful but the percentage of inquiries that actually make it to a sale are very low, which can be very frustrating) and working with local interior designers. On Instagram, hashtags are your friend - use them when you post and use them to find other accounts to follow and interact with. You may also want to reach out to whatever local lifestyle magazines are in your city. I'd also pitch content marketing articles to local bloggers if you're a good writer and can think of ways to write about furniture/design/sculpture that isn't a sales pitch (you'd include an author bio that would tell people about yourself and have a link to your website or Insta account). I don't know if you travel/ship but my sister's challenge is people from other parts of the country expressing interest, but she has to be able to access the pieces for measurements and fittings, so her true customer base is local.

Good luck! It's a constant hustle to keep your company visible, and things like furniture are difficult sales because you have to reach the right people with the right budget at the right time to make a sale. Lots of people express interest but end up being wishy-washy or putting off projects.
posted by misskaz at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2017

I was just researching vendors from the Fog Art & Design Fair in San Francisco, and there are a number of galleries who represent high-end furniture / sculpture designers. You might contact some that fit with your aesthetic and see if you can land representation. Yes it would mean handing over a commission, but the advantage is that these agencies prioritize selling and have extensive client lists both within the interior design trade as well as private collectors which takes a lot of pressure off of you as the artist.
posted by ananci at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2017

You might target the people who buy high-end home theatre equipment. There are magazines and commercial groups devoted to this market.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2017

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