August 5/12, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 4
By Ken Ryan
Many small business owners have made the mistake of viewing their brand merely as a logo and tagline. The reality is, according to marketing and brand experts, branding is much more than just a cool logo or a well-placed advertisement.
The value of branding to a small business lies in loyalty—the stronger your brand, the more connected your customers feel. Instead of simply purchasing from you, they’re identifying with everything you stand for.
As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, famously said: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Legacy flooring dealers understand the importance of establishing and maintaining a good brand, of serving their customers and being invested in the community. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have survived the inevitable ups and downs of a business cycle.
Tulsa, Okla.-based Grigsby’s Carpet Tile & Hardwood, for example, is celebrating its 60th year in business this year. Locally owned and operated, this flooring dealer has a dedicated and loyal staff with a combined 700 years of experience.
For Grigsby’s, burnishing a successful brand means being connected to the community. To that end, it supports Tulsa University, promotes dog and cat adoption, supports various church-driven missions, has donated all the flooring for housing for sex-trafficking victims as well as flooring for the child abuse network. “We also attend fundraisers and support many other local charities in our community,” said Penny Carnino, director of operations. “We hope the community sees not only a thriving business but one who cares about the community it serves.”
In the same vein, A.J. Rose Carpets & Flooring, with three Massachusetts locations, has been in business for more than four decades and has serviced generations of customers. “We’d like to think our customers and community first and foremost trust us,” said A.J. Boyajian, co-owner. “People like to buy from people they like and trust and know will do a professional job and stand behind their work. Having been in business for over 40 years reminds our customers that we are greatly invested in providing a quality product at a fair price. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t have been in business this long.”
Timeless products, exceptional service
The brand takes a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. Today’s consumers demand a simplified shopping experience both in-store and online, and Anderson Tuftex is listening to their expectations by designing timeless products and providing exceptional service that address the needs of today’s premium flooring market.
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 overwhelm consumers with options, but rather craft 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 straightforward and streamlined. The brand is committed to elevating the discussion with its customers and providing them with a 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 via handcrafted products that offer a cultivated charm.
Anderson Tuftex believes brand power lies with the customers and consumers who purchase its products. Though design is inherently seen in all its products, the durability of those products is what sets the company apart.
A leader, trailblazer in adhesive solutions
Steeped in tradition, DriTac Flooring Products has manufactured premium-grade adhesives, underlayments, rubber sports flooring 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. The company is currently one of a few adhesive manufacturers to offer all the major technologies: urethane, MS polymer, pressure-sensitive, 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 was the very first to go to market 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.
Many of its products feature zero VOCs and solvents, signified by its Certified Green logo. DriTac’s environmentally friendly focus includes LEED certification and sustainable initiatives. Many of its solutions have been stringently tested and certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program for indoor air quality. In the early 2000s, DriTac went to market with a completely solvent-free and VOC-free, moisture-cured urethane wood flooring adhesive, DriTac 7500 Eco-Urethane.
Putting muscle behind its brand building
Since its inception 10 years ago, Engineered Floors has set the pace for the flooring industry with innovative products—first in carpet and then in hard surface. 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.
The third-largest flooring company 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 Engineered Floors Hard Surfaces. Each division carries a unique identity and sig- nature that are identified 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 Triumph. The collection marks 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 augmented reality technology that enables consumers to visualize and explore its Dream Weaver, Pentz and EF Hard Surfaces products online. The EF-EYE Visualizer tool allows consumers to upload an image of their home and see what their favorite product would look like after installation. Dealers have raved about EF-EYE serving as a closing tool; as a result, Engineered Floors is now covering the cost for their direct dealers to add EF-EYE to their websites.
These examples are only the latest in product power branding by Engineered Floors that also includes brands such as Apex SDP Advanced Polyester Extrusion fiber for commercial carpet or the PureBac carpet backing system for residential carpet.
Learn more about this powerful brand lineup by visiting engineeredfloors.com
The brand that helps other brands thrive online
Since 2012, FloorForce has built an outstanding brand while paving the way for digital marketing in the floor covering industry. FloorForce was founded by flooring industry veterans and was recently acquired by AdHawk, a digital advertising company founded by two ex-Googlers, located in New York City. The acquisition bolsters FloorForce’s offering of best-in-class websites and Google and Facebook advertising management with unmatched technology.
FloorForce has set its brand apart by offering solutions that are helping more than 1,600 retailers and manufacturers generate leads and move successfully into the digital marketplace.
As both a Google Premier Partner and Facebook Marketing Partner, FloorForce has the know-how to elevate retailer and manufacturer brands online. FloorForce’s clients get the peace of mind of knowing their business—their livelihood—is in the expert hands of the industry’s most advanced digital marketing company.
While FloorForce’s current digital solutions are powerful enough on their own merits, it’s the company’s commitment to innovation and creative solutions that continues to elevate the brand year after year. By understanding the ever-changing digital landscape and having inside knowledge of the floor covering industry, FloorForce has been able to anticipate and prepare clients for the increasingly competitive marketplace.
FloorForce has built trust and credibility from more than seven years of developing scalable, affordable solutions for its clients. The FloorForce team has grown to 110 passionate people who have devoted themselves to developing meaningful products and relationships in the flooring industry.
In 2019, FloorForce is in a great position to keep helping the brands that rely on the company to stay ahead of the competition by developing the future. AdHawk, FloorForce’s parent company, raised $13 million to build tools to help their clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of the Internet and fuel innovation to create new opportunities.
In a marketplace that is rapidly changing, FloorForce believes the power of your brand online is the undeniable variable of success.
Great products backed by superior service
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. Since the company’s inception almost two decades ago, the dedicated people who work here come together to provide great value products backed by superior service.
Inhaus cares deeply about this mission and strives every day to fulfill it. “When you get to know our company and see our logo, we hope this is the promise you remember,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO. “We realize that to supply a great product, no detail can be overlooked. It must be well designed both aesthetically and technically; it must last a long time and look the same way it did the day it was installed even after years of use. We work hard to be a cost leader to ensure we always deliver the highest possible value product.”
The company strives to ensure that when consumers or end users purchase an Inhaus product that it exceeds their expectations knowing that behind it is a group of people who care and are highly knowledgeable about products that bear the Inhaus brand name.
Inhaus’ R&D team comprises experts in designing and engineering the products they supply to market—products that are developed, manufactured and supported from start to finish. “We enjoy the process from the inception of a product concept or new design to a finished installed floor,” Welbourn noted. “We believe a floor is your largest piece of furniture and is the foundation of the personality of your interior space, and this is the basis for our company slogan: ‘Love Where You Live.’
Leveraging the power of the ‘family’
As the world’s largest flooring company, Mohawk is proud to offer its customers flooring options in more than 30 categories. The Mohawk family of brands offers an extensive selection of world-class products from some of the most trusted names in flooring. These include Aladdin, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Mohawk, Mohawk Group, Mohawk Home, Pergo and Quick-Step.
The power of brand and its attributes is vastly important for infrequent purchase categories such as flooring. 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. Therefore, 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 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, just to name a few. These efforts result in high consumer recognition and increased profit margins for Mohawk’s retailers—both large and small.
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 products and flooring retail requires new programs that give its retailers the inside track to stay ahead of the competition.
Uncompromising value, constant 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 turn-around 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.
Leveraging strength to leave lasting impressions
Philadelphia Commercial is committed to providing flooring solutions that meet the needs of any commercial space without compromising on design, workmanship, quality or service. The brand offers a wide range of flooring from commercial broadloom to carpet tile and resilient, all expertly crafted to ensure aesthetics and performance go hand-in-hand.
Philadelphia Commercial products are known for high performance, on-trend design and attainability. From classic to contemporary, end users can choose from an extensive variety of options in every price range and aesthetic. Philadelphia Commercial provides solutions to meet the unique needs of many environments spanning education, healthcare, government, senior living, workplace and everything in between.
Reinforcing product knowledge with hard data, Philadelphia Commercial provides innovative products that are designed to inspire and transform. Products are informed by deep analysis and market research, built for durability and designed as stylish, functional flooring solutions for any environment. The highest quality materials and proprietary manufacturing processes make sure its carpet and resilient flooring consistently exceeds expectations.
Philadelphia Commercial is passionate about product, but not to be overlooked is a brand culture driven by service. From speed and efficiency to tailored flooring solutions, there is a dedicated team in place with the expertise to make it happen. With the largest quick-ship selection in the industry, there are hundreds of high-performance styles available to customers within days. The brand also offers custom design solutions to bring designers’ visions to life. Customized or running line, all Philadelphia Commercial flooring solutions are easy to maintain and backed by unmatched warranties.
Collaboration is the cornerstone of Philadelphia Commercial. It leverages the strength of its leadership, sales team and retail partners to provide flooring solutions that leave lasting impressions.
Taking quality floors to new heights
Provenza Floors has built its reputation on bringing unique hardwood and luxury waterproof vinyl products to market that exceed the demands of builders, architects, interior designers and residential consumers. The company’s award-winning floor and wall collections lead the industry in beauty, style and innovation year after year.
The Provenza Floors brand stands for experience, innovation and creative inspiration. Every product it brings to market reflects its commitment to deliver the highest standards in manufacturing, superior quality and uncompromising attention to detail that today’s consumers expect when choosing a floor or wall covering brand for their home or business.
Provenza’s ever-expanding portfolio of hardwood and luxury waterproof vinyl collections offer consumers unlimited choices in flooring types, styles and design from a company they can trust, backed by industry standard warranty coverage.
Provenza Floors also offers custom, made-to-order hardwood floors that are personalized and designed for those who require that one-of-a-kind product for their home. Provenza custom products are proudly USA-made in Southern California.
Its MaxCore luxury waterproof vinyl products take 40-plus years of experience in the hardwood flooring industry to a new level, featuring innovative surface patterns, textures, variation and bevels that result in a surface that mirrors the natural beauty of a hardwood or stone floor—in a durable, easy-to-maintain floor that can stand up to everyday use. Provenza MaxCore luxury vinyl floors are 100% waterproof, beautiful and durable.
Count on the company that’s ‘Ön It’
In keeping with its German roots, Schönox is a technology-driven innovator of safe, cost-effective, environmentally responsible subfloor solutions worldwide. But great products alone are not enough in the demanding and competitive flooring world.
To that end, Schönox combines transformational products with a North American team that brings an Ön It attitude to work every day. Ön It is not just a marketing slogan; it is a way of life for the Schönox team and guides every interaction with professional flooring contractors. The combination of industry-leading products and superior customer service drives the company to its singular goal of making flooring contractors’ jobs safer, less stressful and more profitable.
Schönox has built a globally recognized brand through 125 years of delivering daily on the promise to provide the highest quality primers and moisture-mitigation systems, repair products, floor-leveling compounds, adhesives and waterproofing materials. As a member of the SIKA worldwide brand of building products, Schönox believes in building trust through services, driving innovation to transform flooring and ensuring sustainability for the future.
A legacy built on service, innovation and passion
Shaw Floors, the largest brand in the Shaw portfolio, brings more than 50 years of product expertise and experience. It offers carpet, hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl, tile and stone flooring and solutions for real life and real homes across all life stages. Its legacy and expertise are founded in a culture of service, innovation and passion.
Shaw Floors believes in research, technology and thoughtful design for each and every product solution it offers. Its dedicated teams equip and immerse themselves in multifaceted research regarding design, color and messaging, which translates into award-winning products and innovative merchandising solutions.
Through cohesive product selection, improved digital experiences and an innovative consumer strategy, Shaw Floors’ retail partners are better positioned to provide exceptional design expertise and service in-store and online.
Shaw Floors’ commitment to its customers propels the brand to continuously improve and evolve. This commitment informs the decisions and investments it makes. From smart merchandising to enhanced digital solutions, Shaw Floors is dedicated to creating meaningful experiences for its customers and, in turn, the consumers.
Rooted in a culture of giving, Shaw Floors is a proud partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With the help of its retailers, the company donates more than $1 million each year in support of St. Jude’s mission. This desire to serve and give back is at the heart of everything Shaw Floors does.
The originator, disrupter and innovator
As the originator of waterproof vinyl flooring, COREtec carries this waterproof promise through from USFloors’ original WPC to the new COREtec SPC Pro, COREtec Wood and COREtec Stone. All four categories deliver high-style, waterproof performance.
COREtec is regarded as the originator of the multi-layer flooring category—a true disrupter and innovator in the industry. In its passion to develop a new wave of multi-layer flooring, the company has discovered a formula that works, a style leadership that propels. It is a brand focused on providing an exceptional customer experience throughout the new flooring purchase. USFloors understands that consumers value authenticity while having high performance expectations.
COREtec is the go-to brand in waterproof because of the assortment of decors, visuals, plank widths and lengths, alongside a dependable, patented construction. COREtec sets the bar and creates products that bring higher value to the consumer. The brand continues to lead the category by offering the look and feel of natural hardwood and tile but in a waterproof option.
USFloors will continue to create value and a healthy platform for growth for its retail partners.
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.