Bedding’s marketing-driven executives know the power of a rebranding push that offers new perspectives and messages
Where are we?
That’s a question we always are asking in business, especially in dynamic, fast-changing times like those that characterize the bedding industry these days. But it’s also a question that we confront in a real sense when we attend the sprawling High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina, and find ourselves navigating the sometimes confusing market landscape.
A new initiative by the High Point Market Authority makes it easier to maneuver through the 13 city blocks of downtown market buildings, and it also offers us a handy business lesson on the importance of rebranding by taking a fresh look at familiar things.
The market authority has done this with a smart on-site brand identity program — one that breaks the High Point Market area into seven distinct neighborhoods, identified with on-street branding, wayfinding tools, neighborhood signage and integrated digital assets.
The neighborhoods, all incorporating street names in downtown High Point, are Commerce Concourse, Hamilton Wrenn North, North Elm, Market Square & Elm, Russell & Green, Centennial Wrenn South and Downtown Main.
During the High Point Market in June I found myself standing before a directional guide that put me in the center of the market universe. “You are here,” it said. Sure, I knew I was standing near the popular walkway that connects Showplace and the Commerce wing of the International Home Furnishings Center. But I learned that I was in the Commerce Concourse neighborhood, and I could see the market’s neighborhoods surrounding me on a large map, which listed 182 downtown buildings and showrooms, from 200 N. Hamilton (No. 1 on the map) to Zoy (No. 182).
There also was a helpful grid pattern (I was in the D5 block), and the neighborhoods were color coded, too. The Commerce Concourse neighborhood is shaded light green. If I walked straight ahead, I would enter building No. 88 — the IHFC’s Commerce wing.
The new neighborhood strategy is part of a market revitalization push designed “to activate brand identity” across the entire market district and to support “wayfinding” in the neighborhoods, according to the market authority. Bedding producers know better than anyone in the industry about the importance of brand identities, as bedding brands are driven by powerful marketing engines. Everyone can use a little help in getting around something as big as the High Point Market.
I like this new neighborhood move. It takes something amorphous — “the market” — and turns it into more discrete elements. It will take time to build awareness of the various neighborhoods but now is a great time to start the initiative, one that brings excitement to the High Point Market as we look at it with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
That’s what rebranding programs do: They take something familiar and revitalize it with fresh images and messages. Well done, High Point Market. It’s good to be in your (new) neighborhoods.