Knoll Touts New Office Chair As A 'Movement'

KnollKnoll, an office furniture design company, wants people to think its latest chair is more than just a rigid place to sit, via a new multimedia marketing campaign and tagline: "It's not just a chair. It's a movement."

The campaign, from agency Fathom in New York, positions the new chair, called Generation, as an essential part of one's ability to get work done in modern times. "The workplace has evolved from a place where people are doing focused task work to one where they're moving from project to project," David Bright, senior vice president of communications at Knoll, tells Marketing Daily.

The "movement" tagline carries a dual meaning, as the chair has several spots of flexibility, such as a "Flex Top" that has some give as a person puts an arm over its back. Similarly, the back of the chair pivots from side-to-side, allowing for a greater range of motion while leaning back. The anchor of the campaign is a dedicated brand Web site, www.sithowyouwant.com.

"Everything on the site points to what's compelling and unique about this product," says Peter Groome, president and founding partner of Fathom. "It's about creating more of an experience than what has been done in relation to movement."

A video on the site depicts a man sitting down in a Generation chair, expanding to show several people sitting in different in positions in the same chair. As they converse, work and read in the chair, features such as the Flex Back and Flex Top are shown in operation. The five workers combine back into one, as the original man leaves the chair.

The effort, which also includes a print advertisement and trade materials, targets both architects and office designers as well as the typical worker who may want to use the chair. "From our knowledge of the marketplace, people buy chairs for a lot of different reasons," Groome says. "If you get people excited about it -- as they were with the Aeron -- they'll demand it."

Groome's reference to Aeron is not coincidental. The entire campaign is intended to position the Generation as the next name-brand chair people ask for when furnishing their offices. Of course, the Aeron was popular during much more robust economic times. While marketing a high-end office chair during a recession could be challenging, Bright believes the Generation is competitively priced, and will help the company meet its overall expectations of doubling its market share in the next two years. "We believe our goals are realistic," Bright says.

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