An inexpensive testimonial video is producing business dividends for Seldens Designer Home Furnishings in Washington state.
Visitors to the Seldens website are invited to watch a story: “Dan and Jeff were on a search for pieces to complete their custom-built dream home, and they didn’t want to settle.” Starting the video leads to a narrative about a satisfying journey to furnish a beautiful home – told in just a minute and 15 seconds.
Home Furnishings Association member Seldens has stores in Tacoma, Olympia and Bellevue, Wash. It carries dozens of top brands for all rooms and outdoor, plus mattresses, window treatments and floor coverings. It puts an emphasis on design services.
Dan and Jeff – their last names aren’t used – were new to Washington and building a home in Olalla when they walked into Seldens’ Tacoma store more than a year ago.
“One of our challenges was to buy furniture and make sure it was going to look good in a place that was still under construction,” Dan said in the video.
Dan and Jeff were not one-stop shoppers.
Professionalism made a good impression
“By going around to a lot of stores, we started getting a feel for the different stores,” Dan said. Seldens made a good impression from the start.
“We walked in and it seemed like all the people who worked at Seldens were dressed like professionals,” Jeff said. “They acted professionally about what they do. The value and quality we saw at Seldens was so much better, or consistent with what was throughout the Seldens store, as opposed to what we saw at the other furniture stores.”
“That was one of the reasons we went around to all those stores, because I needed to do my research,” Dan said. “I needed to feel that we were doing the best thing by going to Seldens … I did my research and it was Seldens.”
The video was made in Dan and Jeff’s house, where they spoke from a leather sofa. The scene shifted outside, with the camera moving through a gated driveway onto a landscaped, wooded property toward a sprawling, single-story, high-roofed home. Interior scenes followed, showing an open living area featuring a fireplace, piano, sofas, coffee table, rugs, armchairs – all stunning. The camera panned to reveal a billiard table, then a kitchen counter with upholstered, long-legged chairs. It’s a distinctive home furnished with an eye toward comfort and style.
‘We got to know them really well’
This was the first testimonial video Seldens has done, said General Manager Jake Cross, the creative force behind it. The idea sprang from Dan and Jeff’s experience with the store. “We got to know them really well,” Cross said. Dan and Jeff were happy to let Seldens use their home for the video, they speak well, and they came across exactly as they are – genuine.
Not to mention that “we pretty much did furnish everything” in the house, Cross said. Dan and Jeff intended to keep their dining room furniture, but then they found a set at Seldens they liked better.
Cross hired a freelance videographer and posed questions to Dan and Jeff off camera, which were edited out. Cross followed a StoryBrand BrandScript, which prompts subjects to cover their customer journey:
What problem were you dealing with when you visited Seldens? How was this problem making you feel? How did your designer and Seldens demonstrate that they understood your problem? Why did you trust Seldens to solve your problem? Did you notice a difference between Seldens and similar companies? What surprised you about working with Seldens? What were your final feelings after everything was delivered?
Second video will focus on design services
Choosing furnishings for an entire home can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, Cross said. So capturing Dan and Jeff’s feelings about their positive experience made a very effective video.
The entire production cost about $1,500, Cross estimated.
In addition to holding a place on the front page of the Seldens website, the video was posted once on Facebook, where it received “a lot of attention,” according to Seldens Marketing Manager Kim Fuller. “We also send it out in one of our ‘welcome’ emails to new customers,” she said.
While it was difficult to edit the video to a minute and 15 seconds, Cross said, viewers often don’t watch longer ones. However, additional segments will be posted on the website’s design services page detailing Dan and Jeff’s work with designer Leslie Barbata.
That will complement the shorter videos Seldens produces advertising its design services and urging customers to schedule an appointment with a designer.
Design services add value to the experience
That will drive home the point that it wasn’t only the furniture but the design inspiration that provided so much value – and satisfaction – to Dan and Jeff throughout their journey. In the months since the video campaign began, the number of projects like Dan and Jeff’s has increased and average orders are up, Cross said. That’s an indication of a strong return on a modest expenditure.
And Seldens’ relationship with Dan and Jeff continues. Although their home is fully furnished, they have returned to the Tacoma store to purchase accessories and smaller items.
Not surprisingly, since Seldens’ first video of this kind was an unqualified success, it won’t be the last.
“We learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to the next one,” Cross said.
This is one in an occasional series of posts about effective or interesting HFA member videos. Send me yours!