Herman Miller Sayl Chair

The SAYL chair for Herman Miller lead the way in ergonomic task chairs: lighter, ergonomic, technologically advanced, SAYL is also the lowest cost task chair produced by the eponymous furniture brand. The SAYL chair collection is inspired by the principles of suspension bridges. By rethinking every part of the chair, we were able to innovate the back structure and offer the first frameless suspension system. We sought to remove anything that was not necessary while still delivering a high level of performance and aesthetics.

With a strong product offering and great brand equity, Herman Miller is an established leader in office seating. But for businesses with less to spend both domestically and in emerging markets, HM did not have a compelling low cost offering—and was losing business as a result.

To address this need we developed a foundational strategy to guide the design and positioning of a new low-cost, full-featured chair offering. We began with a thorough analysis of customer needs and the current and trending competitive marketplace. The fuseproject strategy team then established a clear positioning, naming and identity, prioritized feature set, and engagement strategy to drive awareness and interest.

The result was the Sayl Chair, whose sales are currently on pace to exceed that of the iconic Aeron Chair. The product story and experience we crafted have helped Herman Miller acquire new customers, grow their home office business, and drastically grow sales in emerging markets such as China, Southeast Asia, and South America.

With the SAYL Chair, Herman Miller was looking to break its own mold. In order to break into these new markets, the SAYL Chair needed to accommodate a broader range of customer budgets. Infusing a new, iconic design with the quality Herman Miller is famous for sends the message that the company is ready to engage with a different consumer base and the brand behind SAYL reflects that. With such a bold product, Herman Miller had the opportunity to extend its brand into new territories. To do this, an emotional element was added to the buying experience through the creation of engaging videos. Viewers were able to listen to the designers talk about their vision for the chair and their experience throughout the process. It created a mutual relationship between the company and the consumer.

SAYL work chair allows for a full range of movement, while back suspension material allows for movement and sophisticated webbing keeping you cool while you work. SAYL offers many choices in suspension materials and colors in both task and side chairs. The versatile, coordinated SAYL family meets large-scale office spaces as well as residential seating needs. A highly affordable chair, empowered with first-class ergonomics, elegant engineering and an extremely small environmental impact.

The foundation of the SAYL chair communications collateral ties back to the central element of the chair itself: life, unframed. Similar to the chair’s construction, which is founded on a suspension system and no frame, the advertising campaigns were clear, simple and straightforward to deliver and convey the high level of performance and aesthetics. Just like the SAYL ‘uncomplicates’ a conventional office chair, all communications messaging was accessible and universal. Communications highlight the major breakthroughs that were achieved with SAYL and visually showcase its attributes, such as lightness and versatility. All of the collateral is reflective of the chair’s personality, down to the signature handwriting in the logo.

Recognition

  • Green GOOD Awards, 2012
  • IDEA Awards, Bronze, 2012
  • GOOD Design Awards, 2011
  • FX Awards, Best Workplace Seating, 2011
  • Mix Interior Awards, Product Design of the Year for Furniture, 2011
  • Core77, Winner for Furniture and Lighting, 2011
  • D&AD, Notable in Product Design, 2011
  • Australia International Design Awards, Best of Architectural and Furniture Design, 2011
  • IDEA Award, Silver, 2011
  • Treehugger Best of Green Awards, 2010
  • International Design Award, Product Design of the Year, 2010