August 20/27, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 5
By Ken Ryan
Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Brand marketers have often said that a brand is more than the name or visual element used to represent your company. It is the emotional and psychological associations that a person makes with your business, product or service.
Successful flooring dealers who have built brand equity in their local markets can relate. Any dealer can sell a product, but not everyone can truly take care of a customer the way a Cathy Buchanan or Adam Joss can, or many of the other dealers whose brand is their legacy.
“Your investment is safe with us—that’s what we represent to our clients,” said Joss, co-owner of The Vertical Connection Carpet One Floor & Home in Columbia, Md.
Like many other flooring dealers, The Vertical Connection takes great pride in being a business that’s been family owned and operated for nearly 40 years. “Our customers are our neighbors and we are your neighbors,” Joss said. “Like many, we offer a great service and selection at a competitive price. But what’s different than others is we actually walk the talk and go above and beyond to satisfy our customers.”
Buchanan, owner of Independent Carpet One Floor & Home, Westland, Mich., a family-owned enterprise with a 50-year history and deep roots in the community, abides by similar principles, adding, “We are trusted. We sell the best product for the customer’s individual needs, and we do it all with a smile.”
Eric Langan, owner of nine Carpetland USA stores in Iowa and Illinois, is another flooring retailer who recognizes the value of a trustworthy name in the community. “A reputable brand is necessary to build and maintain a business,” he explained. “Our brand represents professionalism, knowledge, longevity and a community-minded, locally owned and operated small business approach.”
Strong customer service and a keen knowledge of the customer’s needs is a formula that has paid off for dealers like The Flooring Gallery, with five locations in the Louisville, Ky., market. As Nick Freadreacea, president, explains, “We focus on the middle 70% of the market that is not the ‘price-only’ or high-end niche market. And we do that very well.”
Designed with intention, crafted with care
Anderson Tuftex takes a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. Today’s consumer demands a simplified shopping experience both in store and online, and Anderson Tuftex is listening to the expectations of consumers by designing timeless products and providing exceptional service, both of which address the needs of today’s premium flooring market.
The entire consumer journey is changing and has been for quite some time. Consumers find inspiration everywhere and are more directly connected with brands than ever before. However, purchasing flooring is complicated, and consumers feel pressured to get it right. At Anderson Tuftex, it’s about simplicity. Anderson Tuftex doesn’t want to simply overwhelm consumers with options. Rather, the goal is to craft thoughtful designs that serve as a canvas for their lives.
In addition to listening to consumers, Anderson Tuftex provides solutions for retailers by keeping their merchandising simple, straightforward and streamlined. The brand is committed to elevating the discussion with its customers and providing them with a beautiful product mix they’re eager to sell. By offering bold, yet timeless patterns and foundational colors in both hard and soft surface flooring products, Anderson Tuftex empowers its customers to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers. The brand designs and produces coveted hardwood, carpet and custom rugs that enable retailers to take consumers from refined to rustic with handcrafted products that offer a cultivated charm.
Anderson Tuftex believes the power in a brand lies with the customers and consumers who purchase the products. Flooring should be timeless because tastes change, and trends come and go. Though beautiful design is inherently seen in all Anderson Tuftex products, its durability is what really sets them apart. Anderson Tuftex floors are lasting foundations that begin with quality materials. From custom-dyed carpets and artisan, hand-scraped wood to curated collections and proven basics, Anderson Tuftex products are designed with intention and crafted with care.
Blending visionary inspiration with precise engineering
Established in 1997, Arte Mundi specializes in the manufacturing of engineered hardwood floors. Arte Mundi’s products have since been widely distributed throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Arte Mundi is Latin for “World of Art,” which appropriates its primary mission to create aesthetically innovative flooring. Here at Arte Mundi, hardwood flooring is so much more than just floor covering; it embodies an overall ambience, a statement of art and, most importantly, a lifestyle.
Over 20 years of relentless pursuit of creativity has earned Arte Mundi recognition from both the flooring industry and its consumers for its unique aesthetic flooring. Arte Mundi has the trust and confidence of the world-renowned crystal producer, Swarovski, to be the only authorized wood floor manufacturer permitted to incorporate its crystal elements in its flooring product lines.
Arte Mundi floors are the product of the perfect blend of visionary inspiration and excellent engineering. Armed with that knowledge, the company’s product development team starts each new product line by searching for the most aesthetically pleasing and highest-grade woods to be used in the outermost layer. This is supported by top-quality, multiple-layered plywood that is used as the engineered wood base structure in order to achieve the most naturally aesthetic surface impressions. Arte Mundi uses 100% hand scraping as a basic essential among many other proprietary techniques to create its exceptional surface textures. Its product lines embody the most natural elements without chemicals, resulting in a completely organic process. All Arte Mundi wood floor components are FSC and FloorScore certified. The next step in the company’s meticulous production is rigorous testing for durable structural integrity to withstand the utmost wear and tear. Ultimately, each piece is strategically examined as Arte Mundi strives to provide consumers with consistent excellence.
The Dixie Group
A family of distinctive brands
Within The Dixie Group is a family of distinctive brands serving the flooring marketplace. It is a heritage built around a lifestyle concept to emulate and support the needs of the consumer.
What does the consumer want from a brand? Recognition, trust, quality, value and inspiration. Each Dixie Group brand (Dixie Home, Masland and Fabrica) provides differentiated style, design and quality. The goal is to create products that will transform interior spaces by manufacturing products that give consumers endless choices for their home décor.
The Dixie Group brands exist to create the world’s most comfortable floors. Why? Because people crave comfort, beauty and style in their home and lives. How? Distinctive styles, innovative thinking and superior quality. It adds up to a smart investment that fits the consumer’s lifestyle.
Being “best in class” takes tremendous focus and a remarkable commitment to detail, and that accurately describes Fabrica, a brand known for uncompromising craftsmanship. Its Foundational Décor features understated elegance and timeless beauty.
The Masland brand believes in giving customers creative freedom to express themselves. The Masland difference is versatility by design to give customers what they need to create and transform the space they want, the way they want. To accomplish this, Masland offers a robust selection of flooring types and styles to complement and enhance a wide range of décor. The Masland legacy lives on today through cutting-edge designs that are fashion forward, bold and market-centric.
Attainable style and beauty best describes Dixie Home, which looks to create beautiful flooring that lasts. To fulfill that vision, the brand drew on decades of textile knowledge and experience. Dixie combined the latest patterns and colors using premium-branded yarns and carefully chosen materials. Dixie Home stands up to any lifestyle with beauty that surprises and comfort that performs.
A leader, trailblazer in adhesives solutions
Steeped in tradition, DriTac Flooring Products has manufactured premium-grade adhesives, underlayments and installation solutions for the wood and resilient floor covering markets for more than 60 years.
DriTac was established in 1956, offering one product—DriTac 6200—that continues to stand the test of time several decades later. Since then, DriTac, via its state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility in the U.S., has expanded its product line to produce a wide array of adhesives, underlayments and other products tailored to perform across a broad spectrum of flooring products. DriTac is currently one of the few adhesives manufacturers to offer all the major technologies: urethane, MS polymer, pressure-sensitive adhesives, acrylic and more.
DriTac has become a leader in developing wood flooring adhesives that offer sound and moisture control with a single-component, one-step application. In 2007, it made an impression with a urethane-based, 4-in-1 sound and moisture control wood flooring system adhesive.
A trailblazer in cultivating environmentally friendly flooring adhesives and underlayments, DriTac offers a comprehensive line of eco-friendly wood and resilient flooring installation solutions. The company prioritizes the green movement and actively works with architects, builders and developers to provide high-quality adhesives that contribute to green building efforts.
DriTac produces the highest-quality premium products across the country and around the globe with excellent service and a deep appreciation for its valued customers.
A company that embodies what LVT is all about
For more than four decades, EarthWerks has provided proven dedication to innovative design, manufacturing excellence, dependable service and availability. While other suppliers offer LVT, EarthWerks embodies LVT—striving to surpass its already high standards.
EarthWerks’ factories use production methods and new technology that continuously meet the highest global standards. It uses superior wear layers and coatings to achieve enhanced performance through vibrant strength, ultimate wear and moisture resistance with greater clarity. EarthWerks’ attention to detail stems from the company’s comprehensive involvement at the factory level to ensure the best and right product every time.
As a result of its stunning designs, enhanced technology, diverse functionality and affordability, vinyl flooring has taken the industry by storm and created a pivotal change in product preferences. With so many options in this category, it is important to select a trusted brand that can provide dealers with peace of mind. Fortunately, EarthWerks has continuously proven its products stand the test of time.
EarthWerks uses its expertise in development and service to offer engineered hardwood based on the same character, quality and unique design consumers have come to expect. These proprietary collections represent elegant beauty and exceptional durability found only from EarthWerks.
Power branding at its best
Since its inception, Engineered Floors has set the pace for the flooring industry with innovative products—first in carpet and then in hard surface. Now, Engineered Floors is outpacing the industry in the development and implementation of brands across an ever-growing portfolio of flooring solutions. It’s a true exercise in the “Power of Brands” at a phenomenal rate.
Engineered Floors has added a variety of flooring specialty divisions to its flagship Dream Weaver carpet division. Included are Dwellings (targeted to builders), Engineered Floors Multifamily, Pentz Commercial Flooring Solutions and the newly minted Engineered Floors Hard Surfaces. Each division carries a unique identity and signature that are billboarded across the bottom of all Engineered Floors communications, serving as a powerful reminder of the size, scope and breadth of what the company has to offer its dealers.
Within each of these branded divisions, Engineered Floors has strategically crafted branded collections and features that clearly communicate to the trade and consumers about the advantages of each. For example, in 2018 through its Hard Surfaces division, Engineered Floors launched Revotec and Triumph. Both brands are proving to make a powerful impact in its categories with a bold identity and backed with innovative style and performance.
Revotec is a floating floor collection with easy click-and-lock installation and a built-in grout line, creating an extraordinary tile or stone finished appearance. Triumph is Engineered Floors’ triumphant entry into the growing and highly popular rigid core category, featuring waterproof construction and pet-friendly planks with stain-resistant protection.
Engineered Floors has even branded the new technology that enables users to visualize and explore its hard surface flooring online. The EF-EYE Visualizer tool lets consumers upload an image of their home and see what their favorite Engineered Floors Hard Surface product would look like after installation.
These examples are the latest in product “power branding” by Engineered Floors.
Craftsmanship built around ‘boutique excellence’
Inhaus has always had a clear mission to be an industry leader in technology, innovative design and service while staying true to its core values. It values being an honest company that promises to provide the best possible product for customers at an exceptional value, created through excellent craftsmanship and the use of modern technology.
Inhaus’ guiding philosophy revolves around the concept of “Boutique Excellence,” which speaks to the importance of personal attention to detail as well as the distinguishable personality that Inhaus brings to the industry. It’s an idea reflected in the brand’s aspirations for innovation and for unparalleled design. It is the belief that design is more than just technical performance or aesthetic. Boutique Excellence speaks to a design that meets the needs of the individual and to the important role that floors play in our lives.
Inhaus draws inspiration from art and fashion trends beyond the flooring industry to craft truly unique, beautiful floors with realistic, high-definition results. “We want our customers to not only purchase our floors because they are eye pleasing and cost effective, but also because they connect to Inhaus as a brand they know and love and are proud to purchase from,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO. Inhaus’ belief is that floors are the foundation of warmth, personality and confidence on which a happy home is built.
Keeping true to its core values
The Mannington brand has been around for more than 100 years, and through the years this family-owned company has lived by the mission: “Be the best people to do business with in the flooring industry.” In fact, Mannington is truly guided by its core values: Do the right thing. We care. Control our destiny. Work hard, play hard.
Mannington has long been committed to the independent flooring retailer. It prides itself on its relationships with its distributors and retail stores. Mannington isn’t just another flooring corporation; behind the company are real people who care about its retail partners’ businesses.
Mannington is known for style and design that is crafted in the USA. Residential products are designed in Salem, N.J. Commercial floors are crafted in Calhoun, Ga. The company is proud of its manufacturing locations in Salem, Calhoun, High Point, N.C., Madison, Ga., Eustis, Fla., San Jose, Calif., and Epes, Ala.
Mannington’s residential business focuses on hard surface flooring that looks great and lives great. Choose from the Adura family of waterproof LVT multi-layer flooring, stunning engineered hardwood, the water-resistant laminate branded Restoration collection, or the consumer-loving Revive sheet vinyl flooring. Customers are sure to love the styles and how great they’ll look for years to come.
When a customer is in the market for amazing-looking floors that can handle an active lifestyle for years to come, RSAs should suggest Mannington floors. Selling Mannington floors means that dealers are supporting a family-owned manufacturer that cares about the independent flooring retailer and local communities as well as about being the best people to do business with in the flooring industry.
Mercier Wood Flooring
A family business based on innovation and true partnerships
Mercier Wood Flooring was officially founded in 1980 after Marcel Mercier, a furniture and cabinet maker in Montmagny, Quebec, came up with a process to prefinish wood flooring in a factory that would later become the industry standard. With a booming business and not enough hours in a day, Marcel brought his children on board to carry on his vision for innovation, quality and beauty.
For years, Mercier finished floor boards for brands that have now gone on to do their own but haven’t been able to replicate the company’s quality. Upon perfecting its finishing process, Mercier streamlined its manufacturing and raw materials pipeline to become vertically integrated in 2001.
At the turn of the millennium, health and eco-friendliness became a major preoccupation for North Americans. Taking yet another opportunity to make wood flooring better, Mercier tasked its partners in only supplying wood that is traceable and sourced from sustainably managed forests. Mercier also began using soybean oil in its stains and finishes, granting it the GreenGuard Gold certification that guarantees VOC-free floors.
Always at the forefront of trends and design, Mercier offers more than 3,000 combinations of species, colors, grades, thicknesses and widths, making it a brand that cannot be overlooked.
The power in the family of brands
It is often said there’s power in numbers, but Mohawk believes there’s power in “one.” As the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, Mohawk enjoys global brand recognition. With facilities and manufacturing operations across the nation, Mohawk is committed to American-made manufacturing and the communities and families it impacts on a daily basis. From product conception to the manufacturing process to the transportation of products, Mohawk employees are providing the foundations for homes and businesses around the world.
The power of a brand and its attributes are vastly important for infrequent purchase categories such as flooring. Strong branding gives consumers peace of mind, allowing them to feel confident about their investment. Retailers–both large and small–leverage the power of the Mohawk brand around the world each and every day.
Mohawk and its family of brands are among the most well-known in the flooring industry. These include: Aladdin, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Mohawk, Mohawk Group, Mohawk Home, Pergo and Quick-Step. The company’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, wood, tile, vinyl, rugs and countertops. The enterprise-wide innovations yield products and technologies that are differentiated in the marketplace.
The organization invests heavily in the Mohawk brand by way of lead generation, advertising, digital marketing, public relations, merchandising, point-of-sale, innovative products and national promotions, to name a few. These efforts result in high consumer recognition and increased profit margins for Mohawk’s retailers.
The primary reason Mohawk invests in its family of brands is to deliver qualified consumer leads to its valued retail partners. The current pace of change in flooring retail requires new programs that give retailers the inside track to stay ahead of the competition.
Mirage Hardwood Floors
Passion + consistency = quality products for 35 years
For more than 35 years, offering superior quality products has always been the No. 1 priority at Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand of hardwood floors. Maintaining this high level of quality is the company’s daily challenge and a goal that it continually strives for.
“Boa-Franc strives to produce the finest hardwood floors,” said Pierre Thabet, president and founder. “Our entire focus is on making superior-quality flooring that exudes well-being and gives dramatic new life to consumers’ home décor dreams.”
Quality has always been the power of this brand and will continue well into the future. The quality is not just in the product; it is also in the passion and the service Boa-Franc provides. Mirage pursues the same goal: going above and beyond the customers’ expectations and constantly adapting to their needs. High-quality products, best-in-class marketing tools, second-to-none customer service and the knowledgeable sales representatives are what Mirage’s reputation is built on and what it will continue to work on each and every day.
Over the past 10 years, the company has earned 33 quality awards—more than any other North American hardwood floor manufacturer, according to Boa-Franc. This includes an impressive streak of FCNews Awards of Excellence trophies as well as honors from the Canadian government and private enterprises. Among them: the prestigious Gold Trophy Award at the Canada Awards for Excellence several years ago, and the highest honor at the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité awards in 2017 and—prior to that—2012.
Uncompromising value, innovation
Pennwood continuously pursues high standards in manufacturing and marketing of flooring transitions, stair products and vents. The Pennwood staff studies and researches trends in design, color and finish.
The company currently matches 6,000 different hardwood floors ranging in color, style and textures with standard boards—all held in the Pennwood Color Library. Pennwood employees take pride in their craftsmanship, and as long as the company has the color standard it can custom produce a retailer’s stair treads or flooring transition with a normal turnaround time of two to three weeks.
Pennwood believes in partnering and can customize a program for a retailer’s specific needs. The company can produce various fixed lengths in moldings and stair treads. It also offers random-length flooring transitions up to 12 feet, which is increasingly popular in the builder and multifamily market segment.
Today the Pennwood brand means uncompromising value, known for innovation and a driving force within the industry. Pennwood is synonymous with a “we can do” attitude.
Count on the company that’s ‘ÖN IT’
Schönox was founded more than 125 years ago in Germany and is active in 20-plus countries worldwide. At Schönox HPS North America, the marketing efforts, sales support, technical support and business development is led by Thomas Trissl, a known flooring leader. Schönox has built its brand name internationally by delivering on its daily promise to provide the highest quality primers and moisture-mitigation systems, repair products, floor-leveling compounds, adhesives and waterproofing materials. Similarly, Trissl has built his industry-wide reputation by valuing each relationship as a partnership and an opportunity for businesses to grow together. Schönox, Trissl and the HPS team all share a commitment to the flooring industry and the relationships built within them.
Schönox also offers ongoing support and solutions. Last year, Schönox shared its authentic company culture by launching the “ÖN IT” movement. “When you need the most technically advanced subfloor systems in the industry, we are ÖN IT,” Trissl explained. “When you have questions about how to level a floor from hell, our team is ÖN IT. When you’re up against an insane deadline, count on us to be ÖN IT. Wherever you seek innovation, reliability and lasting results, we’re ÖN IT. You deserve a partner that’s here to help you take all of your projects to a whole new level.”
Proven performance powered by the ‘Protector’
Scotchgard Protector is proud to be one of the most trusted names in protective treatments, bringing proven technology, responsible industry leadership and worldwide brand recognition to its partners. With more than 65 years of quality and continual innovation, 3M is committed to providing products that are safe for their intended use.
A brand partnership with Scotchgard Protector strengthens the value of the host brand and creates opportunities that can:
•Grow market penetration
•Expand credibility to both brands
•Increase edge over competition
•Build brand equity in new markets
Invented in the 1950s and protecting floors from their owners since the 1970s, Scotchgard Protector has become one of the leading brands of stain, spill and soil protection in markets around the world.
Purchasing new flooring is a major investment, and the ability to repel liquids and provide stain protection resonates particularly well among consumers with kids and pets. When these consumers see the Scotchgard Protector brand name, they know they are purchasing a brand that has a long legacy of providing products that will make their flooring easier to clean and last longer. Scotchgard Protector simply gives them that added peace of mind.
The International Surface Event
The premier marketplace event for flooring
The International Surface Event (TISE), which comprises three world-class trade shows—Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomac and TileExpo—is the largest North American flooring, stone and tile industry conference and exhibition. It is also considered the premier industry marketplace for buyers, specifiers and influencers to purchase products, gain design and trend inspiration while developing their business strategies. TISE has proudly served the industry for more than 30 years, reinventing itself each year with carefully sourced exhibiting brands, crafted content and networking events. Many of the show’s elements reflect next-generation innovations to meet the evolving needs of the industry. As the first national event to kick off the year, TISE is strategically positioned to offer product introductions, buying opportunities and networking meetings.
TISE has a mission to be the most respected world-gathering place for the flooring, stone and tile industries. To do this, TISE has developed a creative and innovative team dedicated to showcasing and connecting with the industry and is unified in driving toward the high standards and goals of the company. As the design team for Informa Global Exhibitions, the world’s largest trade show event organizer, the team strives to grow memorable event brands that engage with the industry verticals the event supports. The company exists to create experiences where passion and purpose come together.
USFloors: Following its passion to produce a better floor
USFloors has long been known as a pioneer in the flooring industry and regarded by many as having one of the most impressive product selections in virtually every category it serves. The common denominator among its cork, bamboo, hardwood and COREtec products is innovation.
USFloors is proud of being an innovator, even when its “headquarters” was the founder’s spare bedroom. No matter how difficult the path seemed, USFloors never followed anyone’s footsteps. Instead, the company followed its passion to find a better floor. Placing its beliefs ahead of conventional wisdom ultimately led USFloors to develop and patent the original 100% waterproof rigid core and COREtec construction that delivers true style while handling just about anything life has in store.
COREtec is the unquestionable leader in the rigid vinyl category. Not only does it protect against excessive wear, mold and mildew, but it is also 100% waterproof, kid-proof and pet-proof. COREtec is the go-to brand in composite waterproof flooring because of the assortment of decors, visuals, plank widths and lengths alongside its patented construction. Using high-definition print decor films, embossed-in-register and enhanced-beveled technology, COREtec sets the bar by which all others are compared. COREtec combines great visuals with its ability to solve problems that flexible vinyl could not. The brand creates products that bring more value to the consumer and continues to lead the category by offering the look and feel of natural hardwood but in a waterproof option.
“COREtec changed the landscape entirely almost six years ago and propelled USFloors as the main player in the fastest growing category in the flooring industry,” said Piet Dossche, president of USFloors. “We disrupted the status quo and brought a product to market that provided solutions other products were struggling with; the rest was history.”
Innovative rigid core flooring solutions
At Wellmade, research and development provide the key to future innovation and success. As the inventor and exclusive manufacturer of its patented high-density plastic composite flooring (HDPC), Wellmade maintains a leadership position in the emerging rigid core flooring revolution.
Wellmade’s state-of-the-art, energy-saving manufacturing plant is committed to producing the ultimate in quality and innovation. At its core, HDPC provides a superior platform for Wellmade’s Opti-Wood and Nouveax En Vogue waterproof flooring lines. With superior density, HDPC is 100% waterproof and features excellent tolerance to extreme temperature fluctuations.
But product performance is only part of the story. Realizing flooring is really about fashion, Wellmade works closely with its customers and the design community to anticipate emerging design trends while developing and delivering high-quality, leading-edge products. Natural and enhanced colors as well as a variety of finishes and textures are key elements. Attention to detail yields floors that speak directly to the Wellmade brand, providing beauty, performance and value to its retail and distribution network.