Most people know Magnolia as part of Best Buy and a premier destination for premium consumer electronics. What most people don't know is that Magnolia also offers a wealth of holistic consultation, design, and technical services from planning through installation.
As part of a multi-year agency client engagement, I led all creative efforts, including creative and design strategy, content, visual, and experience design direction and production to transform customer perception of Magnolia from a top-tier audio and video retailer to the leading full-service home entertainment and automation solutions provider.
We improved Magnolia customer journey and employee experiences through:
After five years of transforming Magnolia's customer and employee experiences, we saw incredible growth.
Keep reading to see how we did it.
Premium audio and video technology is for guys. Mostly 30- to 60-year-old guys with a passion for high fidelity and willingness to pay for it. At least that was the understanding when our relationship with Magnolia began.
As we immersed ourselves into the lives and mindsets of our customers, we found that to be true in many cases, but we also uncovered a few important surprises.
First, not every customer is male and enthusiastic about building his own system. While many customers did enjoy researching and discussing industry, design, and technology developments, pouring over specs, and deciding how to build the system of their dreams, not all did. Our journey to empathize and understand our audience revealed another important customer: one who valued style and status, the feeling of exclusivity, but who also wanted a good deal.
We also discovered a significant segment of our audience were predominantly women who love to entertain. They were interested in whole-home solutions and just wanted everything to work.
Finally, we learned husbands typically start the conversation about upgrading their home technology, considering what equipment to buy, how much to spend, and how it all fits together. However, and maybe most importantly, wives make the final decision(s), considering the impact of the proposed ideas and solutions will have on their homes.
Based on what we knew and what we learned, in order to grow the Magnolia brand beyond product-driven expertise into a premium home entertainment and technology solutions partner, our priorities were clear: appeal emotionally to a wider range of potential customers, help them easily imagine what's possible, and instill confidence and peace of mind to husbands and wives.
Drag slider left and right to see the old and new homepages
We respositioned Magnolia as more than the best place to get home audio and video products. On the homepage, we introduced shoppers to the full range of Magnolia's solutions and services through a differentiated, customer-inspired value proposition, an emotionally-engaging messaging platform, and a modern and stylish, yet approachable visual and interaction design system.
Inspiration Galleries encouraged website visitors to imagine the possibilities and beautifully showcased Magnolia's expertise, solutions, and services.
The redesigned Shop page acheived several customer and business goals. Shoppers could easily find and discover brands, explore promotional and educational information, and navigate product categories. Magnolia generated additional revenue through sponsored content and placement.
Comprehensive documentation ensured the website build mirrored the approved design and content could be seamlessly updated.
New responsive email design templates connected the customer journey, improved readability, and increased engagement rates across devices.
We also developed new direct mail pieces, driving greater awareness and consideration among targeted audience segments.
Mobile web applications
In addition to customer-facing improvements, we incorporated new design system elements into sales enablement and project management web applications. Magnolia Systems Designers benefitted from user experience and visual design enhancements to improve how they prepared and shared design proposals, managed reminders, and accomplished tasks. Managers could easily review their team's projects, evaluate current and projected revenue, and identify potential problems before they happened.
After many years of successful partnership and growth working directly with the Magnolia marketing and operations teams, our accomplishments influenced Best Buy leadership to change how they go to market. The company consolidated and streamlined technical content management efforts. They moved to strengthen Best Buy brand equity through greater incorporation of the Magnolia identity and market strength. And they recruited the Magnolia Marketing Director to work full time on Best Buy advertising campaigns.
The Magnolia online experience is now a Specialty Shop within the Best Buy website. However, much of the brand strategy and creative content my team and I produced remain foundational to the Magnolia brand today.