In a rapidly evolving marketplace, Greentouch Home has established the ED Ellen DeGeneres line of bathroom furnishings in a joint venture partnership as it works with popular brands and licenses to drive sales and support business expansion.
The company also works with kathy ireland Worldwide in the electric fireplace furniture segment and was a Scott Brothers licensee in the product category, although it no longer works with that brand.
Greentouch has been considered but opportunistic in developing its brand partnerships, joint venture and licensed, Jonathan Nussbaum, the company’s president, told HomeWorld Business, making connections where it seemed appropriate. The ED Ellen DeGeneres partnership has a connection to an earlier licensing deal between Greentouch Home and kiWW. Nussbaum explained that he was listening to DeGeneres on the Howard Stern satellite radio show when she said that design is one of her passions. Nussbaum reached out to the same friend that had earlier connected him with kiWW, who put him in touch with DeGeneres’ agents.
The impetus to establish brand alliances was a function of Greentouch having built a private-label business and the recognition that returns from investment in retailer-owned brands could cease at any given line review.
“I thought, I’ve got to give them something so they can’t replace me,” Nussbaum said.
He recognized that licensing and other brand alignments, such as is the case with Ed Ellen DeGeneres, could deliver value-added benefits that provide advantage both to Greentouch and the retailer. The associated benefits, arising from the brand’s profile and potential to offer advantages in web-based marketing programs, have particular value in the e-commerce case, where they can introduce emotional and identification elements that can attract shoppers. Nussbaum said he weighed the kind of value the brand could bring to Greentouch partnerships, with DeGeneres’ stated interest in design, as well as the debut of the line on her television show, as specific strengths. For its part, kiWW provides a well-established label, marketing aptitude and track record in the home products marketplace.
As for Greentouch itself, Nussbaum said, the business had taken off since its beginning in 2014, generating $130 million in 2020, and continues to be growth oriented and involved in developing new operations. In the case of the new ED line, Nussbaun said the joint-venture partnership has specific advantages.
“We’re partners with profits going 50/50, focused on growing not only the brand but the overall profitability,” he said. “And it was the right timing, as she hadn’t been in the space before and our brand having grown from zero to being one of the leaders in the vanities business.”
Plans call for the launch of new collections in Spring 2021, Nussbaum noted, as well as development of additional product segments with Greentouch adding bath accessories, faucets and perhaps even toilets, plus additional furniture.
As it emerges, the brand and and associated product development reflect DeGeneres’ style, values and passion for design, as Greentouch put it. The ED Ellen DeGeneres line launched with four signature collections based on the central bath vanities but also including mirrors and storage solutions, with a price range for the various items running from $199 to $2,499. In four sizes, the vanities offer multiple colors, countertop and sink style options, giving consumers the chance to create semi-custom bathrooms that address their lifestyle needs and preferences. The initial introduction took place at Lowes.com and bath.edbyellen.com.
Nussbaum noted that Greentouch Home is in the process of exploring additional licenses that could launch as early as this yer.
In the course of working with outside brands, Greentouch has begun to position them strategically. The license with kiWW for electric fireplace furniture is positioned in the good/better space, while The ED Ellen DeGeneres bathroom line takes a better/best position, Nussbaum said, in both cases based on factors including material, construction and detailing.
He said the strong Greentouch relationship with Lowe’s was important in developing and rolling out the ED Ellen DeGeneres, especially for the fit with the retailer’s online operation. The brand establishes the basis for online marketing, with influencer marketing as a point of emphasis. And, as noted, the introduction on DeGeneres’s television show certainly was a welcome perk.