The Project

Our client came to us in with the intention of opening a chain of furniture stores in the the North West of England.

The Brief

Initially one store would be opened in Blackpool with further stores after the first launch in Blackburn and Preston.
Each store would be in a different retail demographic, encompassing retail parks, medium sized retail parks and shopping centres.
When the client came to use, we were given a clean sheet, even the stores name hadn’t been decided on.
The brief consisted of ‘provide us with equal competitiveness with the top branded furniture retailers in the UK’

The Brand

Having worked with the client and focusing on creating a complete new brand name for the UK marketplace, the name ONIT was quickly decided upon. This gave the brand a powerful identity and allowed the name to be be played with to gain instant recognition wherever it was presented.

The logotype was developed to reflect the quality of the products available from the stores and that brand that was instantly recognisable once seen.
The name ONIT was created utilising a rounded friendly font and adapted to provide balance, strength and most importantly confidence.

With the name set in stone, tag lines became a fun project and in relation to the furniture industry, the tags of
‘Sit ONIT’, Dine ONIT, Sleep ONIT’, Walk ONIT’, Save ‘ONIT’, but most of all Depend ONIT, was developed and became the stores tagline to be utilised throughout all in-store and outside advertising mediums.


Once finalised on the logotype, the next stage in the process was to develop a range of stationery that reflected the brand of the company both to their suppliers and customers, this included the normal range of comp slips, letterheads and invoice books for the sales assistants on the shop floor.

Point of Sale and Store Design

Point of Sale

No store can make the most of their product without supporting messages, USP’s or pricing cards to draw the visitors attention and provide further information on the products on display.

To meet this demand, we designed a series of sales cards to reflect, but not to be too ‘shouty’ and allow the products to speak for themselves.

Also we didn’t want the store to become too cluttered and cause a sense of confusion within the stores layout.

Store Design

With the complexities of a furniture store, displaying sofas, chairs, beds, mattresses, carpets, flooring, dining ranges and solid oak cabinet pieces the challenge was to create a store end to allow cross selling, but make it feel warm, approachable, uncluttered yet accessible.

With the internal and external signage and interior colour schemes left in our hands, we worked on different concepts, from individually colour coded areas to

By researching and visiting many competitors stores (with raincoats and darkened glasses) looking at layout, colour schemes, signage and in-store print collatoral along with interior and exterior point of sale.

Advertising Placement

In order to compete with the established brands in the marketplace and identifying their advertising streams and working closely with the clients marketing and advertising budgets, we identified the following streams.

Local Press Advertising

One of the best methods of communicating with the local demographic is utilising newspapers. This allows for rapid communication of offers, holiday sales and special offers. Once as schedule has been established, a concept can be worked far in advance or if something special comes along, you can go from concept to distribution in a matter of days.


Using a mixture of commissioning specialist letterbox marketing firms and local delivery firms, each store receives regular leaflet drops around their local area and to a 15 mile radius.
We at Downline, along with our media buyers arrange design, print, offer concepts and distribution on the each stores behalf, in order to maximise sales at throughout crucial sales periods i.e. bank holidays and Christmas periods.

TV Spots

Working with video producers, and our media buyers we commisioned the purchasing of a relatively new Sky advertising medium, Sky AdSmart.
Advertisers are able to cherry-pick their audiences using thousands of combinations from age, location or life style giving targeting campaigns within a restricted budget.

Local Radio

Again using our local media buyers in the North West of England, working within the available budget, scheduled weekly radio spots with numerous stations to penetrate as wide an area covering all three stores as possible.
Commissioning a sound production company and voiceover artists, we set about creating a number of radio slots to cover the services, products and offerings with which to inform the public about the new Onit concept.

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The Website

The site had to reflect and remain consistent with the ONIT brand.

Integration and Consistency

The product listings came from various big name manufacturers and we took this upon ourselves to source images, product details and costings from the likes of Silentnight, TCS, Royal Coil, Rest Assured and Sealy.

Integrating the site into the companies accounts packages and ordering system, proved one of the most time consuming elements of producing the site, including bespoke content management software, bespoke API’s and due to the high value nature of the furniture we utilised Magento to provide the catalogue, card payments , take deposits and integrate online credit facilities to make it easier for online visitors purchase larger value items from the site.

Website hosting and email accounts

At Downline, we took care of all the companies web hosting and email traffic through our dedicated servers, creating secure certificates for online trading, ample server space to store the substantial database of products and setting up email accounts for the various staff, offices and departments throughout the organisation.
This involved specific site visits and installations of machinery to facilitate the communications within the company and to the outside world.

Search Engine Optimisation

Of course, advertising the site through the normal (real world) advertising, press, radio and TV were invaluable in drawing visitors to the site and allowing visitors gain knowledge of the product offerings before making the trip to the various stores, there was also the need to draw visitors and convert these to buyers in other areas of the UK.

With the company geared up to offer free delivery, to anywhere in the Uk, it was essential that an S.E.O. strategy was implemented and the overseeing and instigation of this work was carried out by Downline Media, which enabled potential customers to be drawn to the site and purchase items through the site.

Bespoke features

The features list for the Onit furniture site, comprised pulling together different departments, various suppliers and all culminating with a smooth reporting, ordering and accounting system for the company.

Numerous integration points with warehouses, accounts software, purchase ordering and stock control to allow the sites integration within the company to be as seamless as possible from the outset.

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Ongoing print, TV, Radio and Web Services

Of course, with any client it was never a question of simply working through to launch of the various stores and the various marketing procedures.

After completion of the initial brief, we worked on and agreed a monthly retainer structure, which saves the client money over the year

and also lets them allow a specific budget for our ongoing services.

With the retainer in place, we continue with our media buyers to supply adverts, web updates and maintenance along with working on further marketing strategies and bringing new ideas and methods of developing the companies brand and increasing sales.

Downline Media