Consumer Analytics

How La-Z-Boy Stays Ahead of Changing Consumer Trends With Insights Ecosystem Investment

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
Liz Dominguez
La Z Boy

Ninety-five-year-old furniture brand La-Z-Boy has been in the midst of a major overhaul since 2021, when the company launched its Century Vision approach for strategic growth. Among the many goals is building a robust consumer insights ecosystem by 2027 that will allow the company to quickly adapt to changing shopping behavior and trends, remaining relevant and timely with consumers. 

To do so, the company first needed to establish a consumer insights division, tapping two experts to lead the charge: Megan Battig, senior consumer insights manager, and Jorge Calvachi, director of consumer insights. They created a growth learning plan, identifying a strategy to learn who the consumer is, what they want, and how they shop.

The biggest pain point, Calvachi quickly realized, was the need for a central repository for deep data insights that could help the company inform its consumer behavior strategy. 

“We need a platform that acts as 'Google and Netflix on steroids' to allow us to centralize and organize our newly acquired knowledge,” Calvachi tells CGT. “The platform's role is to act as a concierge of insights for team members across the organization.”

By leveraging an insights platform from tech company Stravito, Calvachi says they can connect different research sources while overlaying La-Z-Boy’s own critical thinking to “make magic happen.”

The goal for data acquisition is obtaining a single source of truth that could evolve and guide the company’s business decisions. 

Once this pillar of knowledge is built and socialized, tactical knowledge will be accelerated and become part of our insights ecosystem," he says. 

La Z Boy

Onboarding, Implementation, and Success Metrics

La-Z-Boy has been using this consumer insights platform for just over two months now, and the initial onboarding has been pretty seamless, according to Battig. What started as a soft launch to ten people expanded to a demo session with 40 people across sales, merchandising, and marketing functions. 

The company’s vision, however, is to give all of its 11,500 employees access to valuable consumer insights. The slow start approach, Battig referenced in a statement, is getting La-Z-Boy closer to that goal.

“We put a lead team in place to make sure that everything ran smoothly initially, for example, ensuring our single sign-on worked, and that each person could search for and share documents with ease,” says Battig.

Among the preferred capabilities of this ecosystem is the platform’s search functionality, which automatically searches adjacent topics and pulls keywords from different articles to “bring data to life,” according to Battig. And within documents, the tech pinpoints sections where keywords appear, enabling users to quickly identify relevant documents. Also key was collaboration. Users can click and share documents with others and set up project teams. 

While it may be too early to point to measurable success, Battig says the technology is “empowering individuals to answer their own questions and curiosities.”

“We value the ability to collaborate within the platform and connect multiple data sources from our foundational research to secondary sources and industry trends that form a strong consumer-centric POV to achieve our Century Vision goals.” — Megan Battig, Senior Consumer Insights Manager, La-Z-Boy

As the company moves along its data journey, it will begin measuring how teams are using these deep insights, evaluating the impact across the enterprise, particularly across cross-functional teams.

The Importance of Data Democratization

In the end, it’s all about data agility when it comes to the democratization of insights, says Calvachi, especially in breaking down silos across teams, functions, and markets. 

“Breaking silos allows us to make faster and better-informed decisions, enabling us to move at the speed of the consumer and the market," he says.

Battig agrees, adding that companies that best understand their consumers and make data-informed decisions in order to drive success in brand strategy, customer experience, and innovation will have the competitive advantage. 

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