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There are two key moments in B2B content marketing. The first is when a prospect transitions from having an awareness to having a belief. The second is when the company demonstrates their commitment to the prospect. In the Ashley Furniture case study, we saw both happen. After hiring a content marketing team, they created content that made the prospect aware of the brand and convinced them that they should buy it.
As early as 1984, when the vast majority of furniture was still made domestically, the company began setting up production overseas in Asia. At the same time, it invested heavily in modern American manufacturing facilities, leveraging the best of both worlds—not just figuratively, but literally—to become a low-cost producer. It also borrowed a page from another rapidly growing American company, Walmart, by focusing on logistics and supply chain technology in a way that was still largely foreign to the furniture business. All the while, Ashley was expanding its product line, first into bedroom, then dining, and eventually into leather and upholstery. It created a sub-brand called Millennium that featured a proprietary finish, and built that business into a state-of-the-art plant in Wisconsin.
Under Ron Wanek, who was later joined in the business by his son Todd Wanek, the company continued to expand. Unlike competitors such as Furniture Brands or La-Z-Boy, its growth was internal rather than through acquisitions. In 1997, Ashley entered the retail side of the business with its first Ashley HomeStore in Anchorage, Alaska—perhaps to keep it away from the prying eyes of competitors who were curious to see what the company was up to next. The first international store, located in Japan, followed three years later, at the same time as the company continued to invest in Chinese manufacturing facilities. (Source: businessofhome.com)