Case StudyHow Humanscale pivoted from in-office to the WFH furniture market

How Humanscale pivoted from in-office to the WFH furniture market

The pandemic threatened the core of Humanscale’s business model. Here’s how they used DAM technology to target an entirely new market in just two weeks

30-second summary:

  • Humanscale is an award-winning provider of ergonomic office furniture that, pre-pandemic, was primarily focused on selling to companies in the B2B space
  • The pandemic abruptly halted sales of the corporate office furniture while forcing Humanscale’s staff to work remotely on short notice
  • Leena Jain, Humanscale’s CMO, worked with her team to create a brand-new work from home (WFH) campaign within two weeks
  • She faced the challenge of educating the sales team about the new offering, updating all creative and marketing materials, and alerting customers and prospects of the new offering, all within a short time frame
  • Humanscale used its existing digital asset management (DAM) platform to update, manage, and distribute information about the new WFH offering within two weeks
  • They successfully grew this new category by 300 percent and expanded their retail direct-to-consumer business in the process
Humanscale's One World Task Chair
Humanscale’s One World Task Chair

For a company like Humanscale, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the very core of their offerings. They needed to launch a new product campaign targeted to the home office space,  driving it with an entirely new marketing strategy.

With the help of digital asset management (DAM) technology, they launched their new campaign in just two weeks. They used Bynder, which was already a key part of their asset creation and distribution process. Having this system in place before the pandemic enabled Humanscale to access and localize the correct assets so they could easily support their global marketing and sales team.

We spoke with Humanscale’s CMO Leena Jain to learn more about their story and the valuable lessons Humanscale learned by expanding to a new market that has ultimately become a long-lasting part of their business.

How DAM solved the digital document problem

Humanscale was already using a DAM platform to manage their digital assets from one central location. Prior to that, they’d used many different platforms and systems to manage their files and marketing materials. At the time, people across Humanscale’s global team were having difficulty finding, accessing, and sharing the latest marketing materials.

One of the biggest internal challenges Jain faced was that Humanscale’s marketing team was creating a large number of digital assets, but didn’t have a unified system in place to distribute them. They used many different platforms and systems to save and share files including an intranet, servers, and other tools. Their sales force is dispersed throughout the world, so accessing the right file or asset was a difficult and time-consuming process.

 “It was a bit of a free for all in terms of how we were storing and accessing the marketing assets that the sales team needed,” explains Jain. “People never knew where to access the latest documents. We were constantly getting questions about where files were or what to pull and people were pulling wrong or outdated documents.”

A member of Jain’s team began looking into asset management solutions and presented Jain with several options.

“I immediately saw the value of one technology solution that enabled us to manage, arrange, and share all of our marketing and sales assets in one place. The DAM became a communication tool for our sales team where they could search for anything and communicate what they needed to prospects and customers.”

For Jain, she ultimately decided to invest in a DAM because she understood that everyone across the organization would now have trust and faith that whatever asset they were using was the latest and greatest document.

“Team members didn’t have to worry that a file was old or outdated or double check with somebody that it was okay to use. It made us not only more efficient, but also enabled us to share more of the great assets we were creating. Prior to implementing the DAM, I found that we had all these assets that people weren’t using because they didn’t know how to access them. Now we find sales people come in and see what’s new because they can search and have access to visuals, documents, or presentations that they didn’t even know existed.”

DAM prepared Jain for the emergency no one knew was coming. Once the pandemic hit, Humanscale was in an excellent position to distribute their new home-office-focused assets to their sales team, customers, and prospects at a time when most of their own staff was working from home.

Leveraging the power of DAM to pivot on short notice

Humanscale fully realized the power of DAM technology, especially for their sales team who could no longer meet with clients in person. They went from accessing the DAM one or two times per week to multiple times per day.

This same agility is what enabled Humanscale to swiftly pivot to an entirely new, home-office-focused campaign. They were the first company in their industry to create this type of campaign, offering a home office option to their corporate clients fully one month before their competitors.

The DAM was part of a larger strategy that allowed Humanscale to execute their new approach quickly and seamlessly, training their sales team within a week and distributing new assets they could begin using with clients.

“We had clients say that we were not only the first to support them, but we had the best execution and the best offering that came with great documents to help them get onboarded,” Says Jain.

Pivoting to the at-home space meant that Humanscale had to update all their photography which was focused on corporate office spaces. This required creating and distributing all-new photography and assets to showcase the idea of beautiful in-home setups.

Humanscale WFH set up
A Humanscale Ergonomic Work From Home Setup

“We spent years growing our asset library for corporations, so to be able to quickly provide updated visuals to our salespeople who were bringing them to customers was hugely helpful,” says Jain.

Humanscale sees 300 percent growth in their WFH category

The rapid strategy shift and ability to quickly communicate their offerings to their corporate clients helped Humanscale realize over 200 percent growth in ecommerce sales.

They’ve continued to achieve month-over-month growth in this category and have directly launched the WFH program with over 1500 companies since the pandemic began. Other success metrics include:

  • Seating – 3x higher, among strong performers is the new intro, World One
  • Foot Rockers – sales at 8-10x higher
  • Sit/Stand – overall 3x higher, with float tables up 5x
  • Cable Management – 4x higher
  • L6 Laptop holder and the new Pro Click Mouse are their most popular add-on items at under $100

The DAM platform enabled Humanscale’s sales team to remotely get in front of hundreds of clients to communicate and launch their WFH program.

The Humanscale WFH campaign leveraged the sales team’s existing relationships with customers whose employees were forced to work from home. The goal was to help their customers navigate the emergency and take care of their WFH employees.

“We equip our customers with information focused on packaging assets that they can distribute to their employees. It’s a plug-and-play, turnkey solution, enabling them to focus on the crisis their own business is going through,” Says Jain.

Humanscale’s retail direct-to-consumer business has also grown over the past 12 months thanks to the growing awareness of the market opportunity in the WFH space. The entire experience of pivoting so quickly has been an enlightening one for Jain and her team.

“We learned that it could be done,” explains Jain. “We’ve all learned what we can do. We also learned that much of what we felt had to be done in person, can be done remotely with everything from virtual meetings to training your sales teams to sharing new campaigns. If you can create great assets and a great process, then it doesn’t always have to be done in person. We also learned that there are some things that can be done more efficiently in a digital space.”

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