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How La-Z-Boy Is Discovering ‘Who Our Customer Is’

Though it’s been in business for nearly a century, La-Z-Boy couldn’t avoid the curveball the pandemic threw at it three years ago. Seeing the way consumer shopping habits shifted during that time, and noting the number of new direct-to-consumer players entering the marketplace, La-Z-Boy saw the need to make changes to its model to remain competitive going forward.

In 2021, the company launched its Century Vision, a strategic plan for growth leading up to its hundredth year in business in 2027. Along with expanding its physical retail presence, a major component of that initiative was establishing a consumer insights function within the company.

“La-Z-Boy already has high-quality products and strong brand equity in comfort,” said Megan Battig, senior consumer insights manager, La-Z-Boy. “As a starting point to reinvigorate our brand, we needed to deeply focus on understanding our consumers to grow our business.”

Battig has worked with the company to explore how implementing a new insights division could unlock brand growth and better position La-Z-Boy to achieve its Century Vision goals.

“We created what’s known as our growth learning plan,” she said. “The plan dives deep into who our consumer is, what they want and how they shop. This large body of research would be filled with robust information that would help build empathy with our consumers and add richness to our strategic thinking.”

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To help organize and share the data mined through its research efforts, La-Z-Boy partnered with data management platform Stravito, whose clients include Burberry, McDonald’s and Heineken. Working within the Stravito platform, La-Z-Boy was able to streamline searches and deliver data throughout the company more seamlessly.

“Most organizations have tools to retain and share documents, but we needed something that enabled us to work with more agility—a tool that democratized insights and empowered our team to answer their own questions and curiosities,” Battig said.

The data La-Z-Boy has collected gives them a better sense of who their customers are, what they really want and how they want to shop. Armed with that knowledge, Battig said the company is tailoring its future growth plans to the changing needs of consumers.

“Curiosity is being relentless in our mission to understand the business and our consumers so we can embrace change,” she said. “Compassion is having empathy for our customers as we continue to learn more about them and their preferences.”

Battig said the company is in the early stages of converting and disseminating consumer data within the organization via the Stravito platform. And as it continues to build the infrastructure, La-Z-Boy sees potential for this data to impact decisions across its organization to better serve customers leading into its 100th year.

“Our vision is that we will over time provide an enterprise-wide hub where all of La-Z-Boy’s 11,500 employees can access insights,” Battig said. “In the future, we will start measuring if and how teams are using insights to make decisions, really evaluating if we are making an impact within the organization, and if our cross functional peers are using insights to make informed decisions.”