A Designed For Life approach to design does not come without a cost. It literally costs us just a bit more for us to use recycled fiber in our Sactionals for example. It will likely cost us more again to push even further into total sustainable inputs for our product. But should things in our lives even be so cheap? Should people need so much stuff? Should consumer products companies (of any kind) have gotten so large to begin with? I feel like I have evolved as a business leader over time, and we have evolved as a company, to believe in what we believe today. All aspects of the product are critical and must be considered.

A Designed For Life approach to design does not come without a cost. It literally costs us just a bit more for us to use recycled fiber in our Sactionals for example. It will likely cost us more again to push even further into total sustainable inputs for our product. But should things in our lives even be so cheap? Should people need so much stuff? Should consumer products companies (of any kind) have gotten so large to begin with? I feel like I have evolved as a business leader over time, and we have evolved as a company, to believe in what we believe today. All aspects of the product are critical and must be considered.

 
 
 
 
 

Attainable. Sustainable. Maintainable!

In the case of Sactionals (as the case-study for a DFL product), by living up to a high bar for design, the 8-tenet DFL framework, we have a couch that is washable, and changeable, and infinitely rearrangeable—not to mention moveable, shippable, and many say beautiful. It must be comfortable, it must be sustainable, and it must be attainable. That is not to say it must be cheap—but as long as it is attainable we believe that people will ultimately see the value in it, and perhaps spend a bit more money, if necessary, to buy into this approach to living.

In our case, we are happy to encourage people to avoid debt, simply buy one piece at a time if they like, and build their dream couch over the course of many years. This is a feature made possible only by the unique attributes of our product and our business model. In almost every other case, you’d go back after months or years only to discover that whatever “model” of product you bought, from a typical firm, has been discontinued already, and you couldn’t add to it or upgrade it anyway. That is no accident. We are absolutely committed to a total value proposition that is simply different from how other companies do business and we believe that it will ultimately make us more successful.

The world’s most adaptable couch!

The implication is: If we do a good job convincing people en masse that Sactionals are the best solution for couches—there will be demand for them forever—and we will be producing this same model, or something compatible with it, forever. We’ll see.

The implication is: If we do a good job convincing people en masse that Sactionals are the best solution for couches—there will be demand for them forever—and we will be producing this same model, or something compatible with it, forever. We’ll see.

A classic silhouette, lends itself to limitless styling possibilities.

Another criticism of Sactionals, and therefore the DFL approach, is that they’re perhaps “not my style,” or even that they’re “too plain” or “too modern” or “too simple for my tastes.” This is clearly a subjective criticism. It is solely up to the beholder. But it is still a valid criticism ironically even intentional within the DFL approach. One of the least understood of the 8 DFL tenets is “Loveable.” This design criteria calls for a Designed For Life product to be “classic and endearing” in its design. While there may be more desired, or seemingly “loveable” couches that appeal to you specifically, we have intentionally chosen a silhouette and an overall aesthetic that is simple, and appealing to most, devoid of much adornment, fad-like or trendy elements.

This is not to say it has no personality. Besides being classic in its styling, hopefully unbound by time, it must also be endearing. This is where the “Lovesac” brand plays a role. Its witty and understated sense of humor, its name, even its product tags and warning labels that bear just a bit of cheeky humor plays a role. From the ease of setup, the satisfaction of a heavy, perfectly fitted steel clamp sliding in place with just the right amount of friction—to the clever language used in the instructions that are thoughtfully placed on the inside of a flab on the box, rather than a photo-copied piece of paper that becomes just another thing to throw away—a “Loveable” product is something that many can appreciate and hopefully want to purchase. While it is impossible to design to an aesthetic that will appeal to all, the intention of the approach is to offer so many reasons why the product is better than others in its class, that even the picky consumer, rejecting the “vanilla” aesthetic as less-desirable, might still purchase the product in the end due to all of the other apparent advantages over its competition and (at least) not-offensive classic look.

Sectionals “loveability” even extends to the packaging!

shawn

About shawn

Founder & CEO of Lovesac, a Designed for Life furniture company. I have a goal of building products that are truly sustainable. Would you believe, I won a $1 million investment on Fox’s “Rebel Billionaire” show in 2005 and became President of Virgin Worldwide with Richard Branson’s companies for a time. Since then, I'm growing Lovesac to a 65+ store chain, recognized in Furniture Today as America’s fastest growing furniture retailer. I'm becoming known for my invention of Sactionals® Lovesac’s industry-disruptive sofa invention. Check out my vlog on YouTube! Get Off The Couch, with Shawn Nelson of Lovesac

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