True Residential (consumer) is a division of True Manufacturing (foodservice), the global leader in commercial refrigeration. True Residential benefits greatly from the heritage of its parent company on the manufacturing end but not much on the brand equity side, at least not with the audience segments mentioned above. For all intents and purposes, when we first partnered with True, they were new to the high-end retail appliance market.
And when you’re new to the scene (whether the scene is B2B or the world of HGTV), it takes more than a solid business plan (which they had), smart people (also had), and a great product (check) to even be seen, much less become known as the brand to see. Initially (during our first project together, in 2013), True came to us to help elevate their web presence, which we certainly did, but more fundamentally, we helped them create the brand they needed, as evidenced by a couple of our favorite KPIs:
True Residential is basically extended family at this point. Our role has grown from website development partner to external marketing arm to business confidante, meaningfully evolving our relationship—and each of our brands—in the process.
Managing the Back of House
True relies on designers, architects, and dealers to recommend and sell their products. So a primary objective in all web work is to organize and present—in a sensible, clear way—scads of technical data. This is one of those tasks where the bulk of the work doesn’t show up in case studies, that work being in the content audit, the information architecture, the spatial logic, and the design thinking.
In other words, the best evidence of the complexity of the back-end work is the simplicity of the user experience.
And we have evidence of that good UX due to setting up behavior tracking and goals in Analytics, which shows, for example, users completing dealer searches at ten times the rate and in half the steps as they did on the pre-MarketPlace site.
But our job hasn’t been simply better organizing and presenting information; our goal, from the beginning, was to evolve their brand, which we began via the website redesign, knowing, of course, that good brand work is not content to remain in one marketing channel for very long.
A Call to Action
During KBIS 2016 (True’s most important annual trade show), we called them to see how the show was going, and during that call, we recognized a big opportunity, not only to boost engagement on the website, and not only to make the website a more compelling option for industry specifiers, but also to reposition, increasing differentiation and, ultimately, preference among their most valued audience.
Why? Because of a larger consumer shift toward personalization and customization in home design. Because of a shift in the role of designers as influencers. Because of the need to reposition True from “commercial refrigeration refined for the home” to “Luxury Refrigeration with Commercial DNA.”
Designers Took Note
Custom Work Changes Culture
So we got to work, beginning with a product configurator. We designed and developed a custom configurator to be used inline or as a standalone app, and we ensured the flexibility to grow alongside True’s product offering (which was transitioning based on the business strategy evolving from undercounter only to a full refrigeration portfolio). Incorporating various products, finishes, and sharing/saving options, this project was another case of translating back-end complexity to front-end ease-of-use, and since the first iteration, it has served to elevate True to its rightful place as a premium residential appliance brand.
The customizer changed everything, extending even to the way that salespeople at True began to think of their own brand, which is probably the least measurable but one of the most rewarding outcomes we’ve witnessed.
Shorter Journey, Instant Data
Most recently, to take advantage of the surging interest, loyalty, and website traffic, we developed for the website an instant quote request system, integrating it into their CRM, not only further breaking down the wall between True and their specifiers but also giving their marketing and sales team more insight into their audience’s preferences than ever before, which in turn allowed them to stay ahead of demand, fine-tune audience targeting in their advertising, and promote themselves in ways that show the industry that they continue to be in line with current trends.
Instant Quote Request System
Build Your True Story
True Residential continues to take exponential share (of market and mind) in the high-end appliance category and to make kitchens, home bars, and backyard gathering spots more gorgeous and Grammable. Moreover, they’ve grown from a niche (<1%) division of True Manufacturing into a growth leader for the larger True brand. We’re incredibly proud of True and of the work we’ve done alongside them over the years. And we’d love to tell you more, whether you’re an appliance brand that needs help evolving, competing, or breaking through; you’re a consumer brand looking for a long-term relationship; or you’re primarily interested in our custom programming and development offering.
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
Visual Identity + Iconography
Brand Style + Application Guidelines
Sales Tools + Collateral
UX + UI Design
SEO + Web Maintenance
B2B Lead Acquisition
Analytics + Reporting