Self-awareness is an attribute that’s in short supply these days.
Especially when it comes to brands.
Too often, we see brands trying to be something they’re not… and attempting to reach a higher caliber of customers. Perhaps it’s to bend to social pressure. Or to leverage a consumer trend. Or to suit the egos of the company’s leadership so they can look good at cocktail parties.
Whatever the reason, when a campaign comes along that reflects true self-awareness – and sensitivity to its core customers – it’s almost always refreshing. And successful. The case in point: La-Z-Boy.
Few people would say that laziness is a positive attribute. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When we call people “lazy”, we’re generally doing so with distain.
Imploring them to get off the couch and do something productive.
But when you’re a brand like La-Z-Boy – with the word right there in your name – there’s no running from it.
Not that they haven’t tried.
The brand has fought hard to position itself as a design-forward furniture company in the past. Yet as long as they have that name… they forever will be associated with the big, over-stuffed recliners loved by tired, football-watching, nap-taking dads.
Instead of running away from that positioning… now they’re leaning into it. And they’re turning new audiences onto what their traditional customers have always known: Sometimes it’s good to be lazy.
The campaign is built around the idea that “me time” is a good thing. And the place to do it is in a comfy La-Z-Boy chair. Their ads celebrate laziness as a virtue… a way to reward yourself. And take care of your mental health instead of feeling obligated to do things and go places you’d rather not.
What’s especially clever about the ad is it seems to promote a new chair – called a “decliner” – which takes the work out of cancelling plans. Using AI, it apparently generates an excuse via SMS… when you pull the reclining handle.
It seems like a joke. But according to the company, three Decliners have been made… and will be given away in an online contest.
La-Z-Boy’s “Long Live the Lazy” campaign is clever.
But it’s more than that.
A Rare Trick
Nearly every brand – including a Building Product Brand – feels the pressure to grow its customer base as it matures. And for good reason. When a legacy brand is successful… it gets associated with a certain type of customer. As preferences and attitudes change over time, the brand may struggle with shedding its old associations in order to attract modern customers.
So they pivot. Some do it successfully. Many do not. In an effort to try to appeal to a new audience, they forget who they are. They eschew their old customers.
Yet fail to attract the new ones.
That was a real possibility for La-Z-Boy. The brand has been around for decades – and could have fallen into the trap of courting new customers – while losing the people who have loved their products for generations.
With this campaign, La-Z-Boy seems to be pulling off a rare trick: growing their customer base while staying true to their brand. They’re doing it by leaning into what the brand has always stood for. And resisting the urge to recast as something different.
It shows what can happen when a brand has good self-awareness, and the courage to act on it.
Does your brand need an “awareness” checkup? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started.