Pallas Textiles Sees the Fruits of its Rebrand
News • September 2, 2019
By Mallory Budy
In 2016 Pallas Textiles unveiled a rebranding that changed the course of the company. The textile company, under the KI umbrella, now reports record growth sales numbers. After a little over three years post-rebrand, we spoke last week with Dean Lindsley, VP of Pallas Textiles, about the company’s transformation into an experiential brand providing its customers with a “tactile, immersive design experience.”
“In 2015 we started on a path toward rebranding, and we began by looking into our past and examining what our present looked like, too,” Mr. Lindsley said. “We started research, engaging people internally and externally about our brand, and what Pallas Textiles means to them. We heard a lot of scattered descriptors about our brand, and we found that we didn’t have one cohesive, distinct brand identity.”
“We then researched where we’re positioned in the market compared to our competitors. We wanted to raise the perception of the brand, bringing in a focus on high design but at a level that would keep our mid-market price-point. From our market research, ultimately we found a spot that we felt we could fill that no one had."
What did they want their identity to be?
"Then we started looking at what type of identity we wanted," said Mr. Lindsley. "We knew we wanted something relatable, we eventually narrowed down to a focus on craft. We wanted to create a texture-rich experience that would communicate a crafted environment, and one that would draw from the most current technologies in the textile marketplace. You'll find that everything we do now relates back to our brand promise - of providing style, sophistication and timelessness."
Once Pallas had this new brand identity ethos in place, it set about developing an all-inclusive brand experience for its customers. What kind of experience were they targeting?
"We don't want to just sell textiles - we're certainly selling the yarns and textiles, but we're more pointedly selling a full branding experience - the packaging, the logo, what it feels like to receive and unwrap our product, everything down to the delivery labels," Mr. Lindsley said. "How sensory-rich can we make our experience for our customers?"
Mr. Lindsley said the Pallas team took inspiration from companies like the luxury athleisure-wear brand Lululemon for their experience-focused approach to everything from the product itself to face-to-face customer engagement, to marketing and packaging.
"When we deliver packages to a design firm, someone can see right away that something has just arrived from Pallas," said Mr. Lindsley. "A designer can get 20-30 packages a day, and so we looked at how we could become top of mind in designers' heads. We cut out FedEx and other services like that so we could have full control of the brand and of the experience our customers have when interacting with us. We wanted to create such a compelling experience that it becomes an expected experience."
Another essential component of the rebrand was a sharper focus on untapped marketing opportunities, most notably via social media.
"With the rebrand, we started focusing more of our attention on social media, and in organizing our strategy around social," Mr. Lindsley said. "We thought a lot about how to create more soft-touch points of engagement with designers, and about how we can share stories on a different level, and social media has been critical for us in our rebrand process. We've received a ton of good feedback about how designers and others in the space are enjoying our content and finding it valuable."
The rebrand's success has shown itself in a few key measures. First, new market entry opportunities appeared.
"Before the rebrand, we had existed in the corporate market, but minimally," Lindsley said. "Of course, we do a lot of business in education, but with the rebrand and the more design-minded changes in place, we hoped we could reach designers on a new level, and we've seen increases there."
"And we were non-existent in the hospitality sector before the rebrand, but it's now a fast-growing category for us. Entering and growing the hospitality market was unexpected, but our textiles are now being specified in hospitality on a monthly basis. It happened organically as a result of our rebrand."
Pallas Textiles also earned its first Best of NeoCon Gold Award for its Loft Collection.
"Before 2017, we had never won a Best of NeoCon award. We entered our Loft Collection in the Best of NeoCon Competition, and it won. It was a telling moment for us because it was an indicator that we were moving in the right direction."
The Best of NeoCon award also indicates changes in design process and culture. If truly all-encompassing in nature, a full rebrand for a product design company would logically include changes to the design process - how the design team communicates with leadership, and how it develops new collections.
"In the past, our design process was a little bit all over the place. Having an identity in place really allowed us to focus and to streamline, so that we could convey the message we want to. When we collaborate with a designer, there's a very clear path we're working through now. Designers come to us with concepts, which we review and approve, and then work with them at every step to make sure we're staying on course with both our brand and the collection at hand."
Since the rebrand, Pallas has introduced 60 new styles, through about four collections each year.
"Textiles are the face of the furniture - they make up over 80% of the visual," Mr. Lindsley noted. "Textiles are 80% of the visual and 20% of the cost, so there's a lot to be gained from paying attention to it and making sound choices there. We want to convey that to designers who are specifying textiles in their projects.
The Pallas Textiles message is getting through. "In 2018, we had a record year, with close to doubling our sales growth, and we're on track to do the same this year. We've been so pleased with our growth and the progress we've made."
A job well done - congrats to the entire Pallas team, and we look forward to seeing the brand continue to excel through great design and laser-focused messaging.