Summer 2023 is over, companies have reopened their doors and are back to full capacity. Now that the season that most of us spend outdoors has come to an end, it is the ideal time to take stock – in terms of digital performance – of the main companies active in the outdoor furniture industry. This is, as we know, a sector that has experienced significant growth in terms of market supply in recent years: growth that has led to a new approach to the whole product category, once considered almost exclusively ‘technical’.
Among the companies whose catalogues contain outdoor furnishings, we have examined over 170, divided into three sub-categories: the first contains companies that have added outdoor products to existing, sizeable indoor offerings (practically all the big design brands, sooner or later, have developed outdoor collections); the second group is that of companies that have always been known for their specialization in outdoor settings; the third category includes companies that have moved into the outdoor sector from the world of urban furniture, with another sub-division between private and public (a theme we will examine in an upcoming article).
As we might expect, the companies in the three categories have totally different types of performance: the best (on the web level) are those that arrive from the world of indoor furniture, such as Molteni&C and Poliform. The ranking of these firms coincides with that of soft furniture makers, which meAAns has monitored for months, which will lead to updates further on.
For the category of urban furniture makers, we see a much lower performance level: only the Norwegian Vestre deserves a mention, revealing digital developments comparable to the other two categories. Inserted in a general outdoor ranking, it comes in 20th, between the Spanish Vondom and the Belgian Manutti.
Concentrating on the category of outdoor specialists, the top five spots are quite solid. The queen is Paola Lenti, leading the pack in terms of social networks and internet traffic (quantity and quality). The second slot belongs to Fermob, a French company that creates practical, fun and colorful products. One step down on the podium we have FatBoy, a Dutch brand that suggests never taking ourselves too seriously (one of their slogans is “Design with a smile”). Fourth place goes to the Belgian firm Tribù, with the German Dedon in fifth place.
The top five Italian companies are Paola Lenti, far ahead of the next slot, Talenti (sixth overall); they are followed by the Perugia-based Emu (8th overall), the firm from Vicenza Nardi (ninth) and, to wrap things up, Exteta, a company based in Como whose collection is a tribute to the past (Gae Aulenti and Franco Albini) with contemporary items as well (Paola Navone, Roberto + Ludovica Palomba, Massimo Castagna).
A quick update from the world of soft furniture, which since the Salone 2023 has seen an increase – predictably enough – in efforts to communicate the outdoor aspects of the collections. The first three slots remain the same: Hay in first place, also this summer, Vitra in second and Minotti in third. The French firm Ligne Roset made gains, passing the Italians B&B Italia (fifth) and Poliform (sixth, down one spot from the last survey, where it was fifth).
A rapid look at the area of decorative lighting: the first two places are still held by companies from the Design Holding group, with Flos firmly at the top of the charts, with maximum levels in both the components of the indicator. Next in line is the Danish company Louis Poulsen, also part of the group. Lee Broom reaches the podium in third place, surpassing Seletti (fourth) and Santa & Cole (ninth in this latest survey). Ranking fifth: the Dutch company Moooi.
Sneak preview: in a perspective of continuing improvement, meAAns is working on an updated version of the digital performance indicator of the brands. We are testing and inserting new variables that measure other dimensions of digital performance of the various brands, with the aim of providing an even more precise, all-around tool on the level of interest generated around the protagonists of the furniture sector.
meAAns is an observatory on relations of a specific design-décor market, founded in 2022 by Andrea Mamprin and Massimo Marchesin. Together, from 2002 to 2007, they worked under the guidance of Paolo Feltrin at the Tolomeo Studi e Ricerche socio-political research institute and the CERSA (Centro Europeo Ricerche e Studi Avanzati) European Center for Advanced Studies. They joined forces in 2021 with the aim of applying market research methods to the world of design and furniture.
This market is full of interactions, exchanges and stakeholders, existing in a single ecosystem. meAAns is actively monitoring to capture insights, with the goal of helping companies through more strategic ways of understanding the market.