Why AI?

Thor Olof Philogène, CEO & co-founder of Stravito, talks about the growing popularity of Generative AI and how the furniture industry is embracing this movement.

To set the scene, Stravito is a flexible and user-friendly insights platform designed to make an impact. The AI-powered award-winning Swedish SaaS scale-up allows some of the world’s largest companies to easily store, discover, and integrate market and consumer insights. Such brands that have worked with Stravito include Burberry, HEINEKEN, Shell and Electrolux, while specifically in the furniture space, La-Z-Boy is on their roster of clients. But more on that later.

Backed by European investors, Stravito was founded in Sweden in 2017 by a team of entrepreneurs with decades of technology and research industry experience. Today, it is represented globally with bases in London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and the United States. To date, Stravito has established an impressive global footprint, powering insights for global companies with employees in more than 100 countries around the world. Currently, approximately 40% of customers are based in the US, 55% in Europe, and 5% in Asia Pacific.

“Using the Stravito platform, global organisations put more insights into the hands of employees worldwide, so they can maximise the value of their market research and insights and make more informed business decisions,” says Thor Olof Philogène, CEO & co-founder of Stravito.

With a focus on furniture, Thor added that the company is on a mission to “simplify knowledge discovery and deliver software that ensures everyone in global and decentralised furnishing organisations can use market research and insights to better understand their consumers”, adding that industry research shows organisations that “leverage customer behavioural insights outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin”.

Stravito is creating an “internal Google for businesses”, a platform that helps large organisations create one central hub for all their research, insights, and analytics data, making it available for everyone in that organisation. “Unlike clunky legacy solutions, Stravito provides a brilliant search experience that combines AI with a user-friendly design to bring insights to the fingertips of teams around the world, with no convoluted manuals or training required,” Thor said.

“Similarly to apps such as Netflix and Spotify, Stravito also makes personalised content recommendations to each individual based on their market, industry, language, job title, behaviour, and other signals. This ensures key insights are delivered to the appropriate employees, at the appropriate time.

“For furniture industry brands, which may have offices globally and vast amounts of market research and insights reports to circulate and leverage, Stravito is an ideal choice due to its accuracy, seamless integration, and prioritisation of user-experience. Stravito saves employees thousands of hours each year looking for information, eliminating redundant research projects and increasing knowledge sharing within the organisation.”

Most recently, Stravito ushered a new era of user-friendly knowledge management with its proprietary generative AI search engine – supercharging the search experience to provide users with quicker insights in a more engaging and inspiring way.

Why AI?

“Implementing generative AI solutions provides companies with incredible power and speed to sort large volumes of data, delivering a significant productivity boost, and promoting exploration and inspiration through a seamless interface,” Thor continued.

“But furniture businesses need to make sure they only work with trusted vendors for the AI solutions, and that the data that they use in an AI-enabled system is handled in a secure and compliant manner. For furniture companies who are reliant on market and consumer research to make business decisions, it’s pivotal that any tool they implement only uses vetted data to generate AI-enabled answers – unlike open AI apps that pull from the public domain.”

As highlighted earlier, one such success story from the furnishing industry is Stravito’s work with upholstered furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy. In 2021, the company launched Century Vision, its strategy for growth through to its centennial year in 2027. Establishing a consumer insights function, which did not exist before, was key to the strategy.

For La-Z-Boy, Stravito’s platform stood out to for a number of reasons but search was definitely a “leading decider”, as Megan Battig, Senior Consumer Insights Manager at La-Z-Boy, said, adding: “When you start a search, you don’t have to worry about typing in the exact phrases or spelling. Stravito’s technology scans adjacent topics and pulls keywords from different articles to truly bring data to life.

“We created what’s known as our growth learning plan. The plan dives deep into who our consumer is, what they want, and how they shop. This large body of research would be filled with robust information that would help build empathy with our consumers and add richness to our strategic thinking.”

Stravito is able to pinpoint the exact section where keywords appear, which enables users to find relevant documents quickly too, while the socialisation of the platform was also key. “Right now, we’re looking at habit adoption: Are people signing in? Are they searching? We’re in those stages of exploring the tool and making it part of our day-to-day usage,” says Megan. “In the future, we will start measuring if and how teams are using insights to make decisions, really evaluating if we are making an impact within the organisation, and if our cross functional peers are using insights to make informed decisions.”

For other furniture businesses looking to adopt an AI strategy, Thor says Stravito has the solution and is easy to start the conversation. “Many, if not all, companies are exploring generative AI, and we’re seeing that many, especially large and global enterprises, are taking a cautious approach. Rather than diving into full-scale production right away, many companies start with small pilot projects involving generative AI.

“For us, when a new customer comes onboard, we have a dedicated Implementation and Customer Success team that will support the furniture business from setup to rollout and beyond, prioritising engagement and adoption of the platform.

“We typically see setup times of 6-8 weeks as a benchmark but tailor this process in close collaboration with each client. We start by developing a step-by-step plan, based on your organisation’s unique needs, during which we’ll go from initial platform setup, and information transfer from your current solution, to initial team testing and launch and then to broader rollout across the organisation.”


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