2020 was a challenging year for families, businesses…and family businesses. As the COVID pandemic served up constant challenges, South Australians found themselves having to live and work differently, from staying at home to social distancing, with workplaces often set up in new ways so that production and customer service could continue wherever possible.
For the Country Blinds team there was some re-thinking in the Mount Barker factory and the showrooms both at Mount Barker and Unley. Happily, demand for Country Blinds products remained steady. The reason was simple – with many South Australian families forced to stay home, there was plenty of time for home furnishings to be considered and discussed, and for enquiries to be made. Evidently, plenty of homeowners decided that if they had to stay at home, home might as well look great!
As though life wasn’t challenging enough in the ever-changing COVID landscape, Country Blinds made the decision in late 2020 to create a television and media campaign focused on communicating what makes the business unique. And talk regarding what the ads might look like went to some very interesting places.
“Early in discussions with our ad agency, the theme ‘Let’s make it for You’ came up, and it felt right straight away”, said Country Blinds Sales Manager and co-owner Jake Payne. “It’s the essence of what we do; we manufacture custom curtains, blinds, outdoor blinds and Ziptraks for our customers, rather than simply selling off-the-shelf products. But as we continued to dig down into the potential of the idea, we realised that it could reflect even more.”
Further workshops with the Country Blinds team and their ad agency identified an opportunity to show not just Country’s crafting of products for customers, but also the fact that the three Payne brothers who co-own the business are also dedicated to growing a healthy company that their children can inherit in the future. “There’s real value in that idea, because there’s no better way to convey to customers that you are in business for the long run than to show your plans to pass that business on to your kids”, says Mr Payne.
The final TV commercial concept rolled out the extended thought “we’re making it for our kids, so now let’s make it for you.’ Production of the TV commercials brought with it the full range of challenges including inclement Adelaide Hills weather, the Payne brothers learning their parts to camera and a whole flock of Payne children enjoying the chance to run, jump, skate, swing and generally run riot together in a big backyard. The final result, complete with a remix of the established Country Blinds soundtrack, is a very authentic demonstration of Country Blind’s focus on family and the long-term future of a local business that’s already been serving homeowners for over 30 years.
“The whole process was quite an eye-opener and it was a new direction compared with what we’ve done in the past on TV, but it gets a lot of smiles and has a really genuine feel”, said Mr Payne. “So the message goes deeper than a rollout of products like curtains, outdoor blinds and Ziptraks. We are local and here for good. And our focus on quality is all about reinforcing Country’s business reputation so that our children have something great to inherit if they choose to take the reins in the future.”
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