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Matching your brand’s voice to your audience

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to determine the voice that best matches your brand. Janet Gurwitch, operating partner of Castanea Partners and board member of La-Z-Boy Inc., talks about bringing on Brooke Shields as spokesperson.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage. And I’m here today again with Janet Gurwitch, Founder, and former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics. So Janet welcome back to the show.

Janet: Thank you Robin. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Robin: Well I want to talk today about your work with La-Z-Boy. So you currently sit on the board of directors which some of our viewers may not know. But I want to know what drew you to that brand and really kind of what changes have you helped them overcome?

Janet: Well I really wanted an opportunity to be on a public company board which I had not ever done. La-Z-Boy was looking for a woman (t was an all-male board) and a woman that had experience actually with the upscale tier in retailing. And I had been at Neiman Marcus. And I had been a CEO of a company. So those were the criteria. And they gave me an opportunity to help them sort of rebrand La-Z-Boy.

Robin: So part of that rebranding is you brought to them a new spokesperson – Brooke Shields – for a campaign. Tell me about that.

Janet: Well I told them that I had not remembered a La-Z-Boy commercial since Joe Namath, which they told me was in 1976. So they thought, “That’s not good.” And even though men are the main users of La-Z-Boy 84 percent of their purchases are made by women. So I thought we needed a female spokesperson. And Brooke Shields really resonated because her brand is sort of all American. I felt she would be very true to us. Her father had a La-Z-Boy and she was eager to do it. So we have her on our TV commercials and on print as well. And she wanted to bring some humor to the commercials to show there is a lot more to La-Z-Boy than just chairs.

Robin: Well great. Well I think that was a really smart move. I was so glad that you did that.

Janet: Thank you.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Castanea Partners is a middle market private equity firm focused on investing in dynamic consumer brands, multi-channel retail and marketing services companies. The firm draws on the leadership, advisory and investing experience of its partners and professionals.

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