Power of brands: Transparency on the rise

HomeFeatured PostPower of brands: Transparency on the rise

Today, consumers want to know where a brand’s products are coming from and how they’re produced; they’re interested in sustainable business practices. With brand transparency on the rise, trust in who a brand is and what it stands for is critical. Because of this, positive brand equity has never been more valuable. Indeed, it is what’s helping to carry many brands through this challenging time.

Reinventing through resilience

Armstrong Flooring is boldly walking into the future with a revitalized brand, an optimized collection of flooring products and adaptive solutions for its customers.

The company continues to evolve as a leading global manufacturer of flooring products and one of the industry’s most trusted and celebrated brands. This evolution has led it to engineering more domestically manufactured and environmentally conscious products that better align with the wants and needs of today’s customers.

As producers of high-quality rigid core, luxury vinyl tile, engineered tile and sheet flooring products, Armstrong Flooring reaches customers through its expertise in resilient manufacturing. Whether it deals directly with consumers or with large-scale commercial builds, it’s imperative that the company remains resilient in everything that it does.

This adaptive, culture-first approach has helped Armstrong Flooring re-imagine the products it produces and the way it produces them. In short, its refreshed branding is now better aligned with its practices—focusing on offering customers a simple, more concise experience to flooring.

Striving for success via versatility, innovation

Versatility, a knack for adaptation and a maverick attitude are core to the Cali brand and have been central to its identity from the beginning.

Seventeen years ago this month, its founders presented bamboo as a viable alternative to traditional wood. Their “World’s Hardest Floors” shifted the industry’s perspective on bamboo—offering a beautiful floor that was both eco-conscious and durable enough for busy households. It wasn’t a tried-and-true path they took, but it led to some amazing innovation and opportunities.

Cali has maintained that outsider spirit, developing flooring solutions for every type of home while growing a successful omni-channel model where everyone wins. Its partners in the retail space have witnessed the company pivot time and time again while remaining committed to style, durability, value and strong, genuine relationships. They know it observes, listens and innovates to meet the customer where she is with the right product, the right support and the right path to purchase. If Cali spies an opportunity to fill a new need or get ahead of a trend, that’s the path it will take—often re-imagining the rules a bit to get there. Cali’s partners can trust the company to take those risks for them, knowing the brand reflects a history of boldness and reinvention.

Floors for all

Flooring Lines is taking the flooring world by storm this year.

With a brand-new collection with HGTV star Christina Haack from “Flip or Flop” and “Christina on the Coast,” Flooring Lines has dedicated time and hard work with Haack to create a luxury vinyl SPC flooring. It includes a Diamond walk finish that will withstand high-traffic areas while still looking stylish. This durable and waterproof collection is kid and pet friendly. It also carries 21 colors to cater to abundant options and styles.

As an American flooring distributor, Flooring Lines proudly serves retailers with a wide variety of high-quality flooring options for every budget. Continuous commitment to quality, style and customer service is its No. 1 priority. Stay tuned to see what other exciting plans Flooring Lines has in store for the rest of the year.

A leader, trailblazer in installation solutions

Steeped in tradition, Sika-DriTac has manufactured premium-grade adhesives, underlayment, rubber sports flooring and installation solutions for the wood and resilient floor covering markets for more than 60 years.

With products made in the USA via a state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility, Sika-DriTac has expanded its product line to produce a wide array of adhesives, underlayment and other products tailored to perform across a broad spectrum of flooring installations. The company is currently one of a few adhesive manufacturers to offer all the major adhesive technologies: urethane, MS polymer, pressure-sensitive, acrylic and more.

A trailblazer in cultivating environmentally friendly flooring adhesives and underlayments, Sika-DriTac offers a comprehensive line of eco-friendly wood, resilient and rubber flooring installation solutions. The company has prioritized the green movement for years and actively works with architects, builders and developers to provide high-quality products that contribute to green building efforts.

Celebrating 100 years of excellence

The Dixie Group Residential is proud to offer high-end floor covering products under its four brands.

Fabrica: “Quality Without Compromise.” Fulfilling the promise of its mission, Fabrica manufactures carpets and rugs for the most demanding segments of the high-end residential and designer market. The brand’s distinctive broadloom carpet, custom area rugs and hand-tufted rugs have earned Fabrica an international reputation for exquisite style and exceptional performance. In addition, Fabrica Fine Wood Flooring is live sawn from only the finest hardwoods.

Masland: “Inspired by Design.” Masland’s design team curates broadloom carpet, custom rugs, carpet tile and hard surface flooring to meet a broad range of high-end residential and commercial needs. Evolving with ever-changing consumer preferences while staying committed to its heritage as a style leader and innovator, Masland provides beautiful floors created from the highest-quality materials. Masland understands the importance of floor fashion and how it defines the home interior.

Dixie Home: “Affordable Fashion.” Dixie Home was founded on the premise that fashion and design should not be limited to the high end of the market. Bring beauty, style and warmth into your home with Dixie Home carpet and luxury vinyl flooring. Dixie Home offers an array of well-styled residential broadloom carpet and rigid vinyl products designed to meet the needs of today’s consumer.

Trucor: “Click it and Love it.” Beautiful and realistic visuals, quick and easy installation over most existing hard surface flooring and the durability to stand up to the most active households with kid- and pet-friendly features. Trucor’s family of wood, stone and tile visuals provide waterproof, easy-to-clean solutions for today’s residential and commercial consumers.

Transforming connections for the better

i4F develops patented technologies that are revolutionizing the flooring industry and beyond. Working with its partners, the company is creating the most advanced locking designs in the world—delivering innovative, robust, durable and easy-to-install solutions. By transforming connections, i4F’s vision is to enhance where people live, work and play with ingenious technologies for the floor and wall.

In addition, i4F believes even the smallest innovations have the potential to transform not just products but also the lives of the people who use them. It’s why the company owns and represents thousands of patents and technologies. And it’s why it continues to develop more—both independently and with its partners.

“Together, we have the opportunity to shape the environments in which people around the world live, work and connect,” said John Rietveldt, CEO. “We are different in the way we work, the people we hire and the manner in which we do business. We may be technology visionaries but, above all, we are people—people who value relationships; people who are committed to striving for better. We believe in transforming connections, for the better.”

A trusted source for premium Brazilian hardwood

For more than 50 years, Indusparquet has brought premium hardwood flooring to the U.S. market from its beautiful home country of Brazil. Four generations of family—along with the best partners in distribution and retail—have built a strong brand associated with durability, sustainability and innovation.

When people think about the exotic wood category, they think Indusparquet. Traditional favorites like Brazilian cherry continue to be a driving force behind the company’s reputation, but there is so much more to Indusparquet than just this legacy. As a company, Indusparquet leverages technology and superior manufacturing processes to bring the true beauty of the Brazilian species to customers throughout North America.

Patented technologies—such as its Breathe drying process, ClearVue finish and Induro scratch and abrasion-resistant coating—make the Indusparquet line of products the clear choice for today’s demanding customer.

Twenty years of manufacturing innovation

The year 2021 marks the Inhaus brand’s 20th anniversary. During this time, Inhaus has made great progress and continuous advancements in proprietary manufacturing processes and product innovation. This expertise has been put into enhancing its current product lines and also creating completely new product categories. Inhaus strives to offer exceptional products backed by great warranties with a focus on a healthy home environment.

This year was busy for Inhaus with the launch of three new lines. Lamdura, the company’s revamped laminate flooring line, includes water resistance, scratch resistance, antimicrobial performance, a Megaloc angle-drop locking system and a commercial (AC5) wear layer as standard features. Another first for Inhaus is its new resilient rigid core collections, Sono Eclipse and Elandura. Both are non-PVC rigid core products made in Germany. They contain no additives, only medical-grade polypropylene and mineral powder, which means there are no phthalates or plasticizers of any kind.

Slow and steady wins the race

Lions Floor, founded in 2017, is a young company. Unlike some upstarts, its entry into the market didn’t start with guns blazing. Rather, it dipped its feet in the water one toe at a time. So far the strategy seems to be working effectively. Today, the 4-year-old company boasts a full product portfolio consisting of SPC (about 80%), laminate and recently added hardwood products. All are available to customers throughout the U.S. To best serve that base, the Lions Floor brand rests on three pillars of distinction.

1. Customer service. “Our customer service team is always there to address clients’ needs and to the degree where they feel satisfied,” said Jerry Guo, president.

2. Product quality. “Everything is specified and built to industry standards. As a result, we had very limited claims over the past three years—less than 0.5% in 2020.”

3. Inventory. “We prepare our inventory at least 50% more than our immediate sales. The customer can be assured most of the colors will be in stock and available when they need it. This approach also prepares us for future growth.”

Brand synergies: Mannington and Microban

Founded over 100 years ago, Mannington has survived—and thrived—for so long due to its ability to pivot and innovate.

Over the past several years, Mannington has grown its domestic manufacturing footprint for residential products. Significant expansions in both Calhoun and Madison, Ga., help to accommodate the growing LVT business; and the company added fiber and carpet manufacturing with the acquisition of Phenix Flooring and Pharr Fibers and Yarns.

Mannington also recently partnered with Microban to answer the No. 1 demand of today’s consumer: cleaner floors. Microban had more than 20 billion brand impressions in 2020 and is the most well know antimicrobial brand globally.

The Microban technology is available on several Adura LVT products featuring Microban: Adura Flex, Adura Max and Adura Rigid. In addition, it’s offered on the Platinum level of LVS (luxury vinyl sheet), as well as City Line LVT and Towne Centre in the Mannington on Main display.

Passion and consistency = quality products for more than 35 years

Offering superior quality products for more than 35 years has been Mirage’s No. 1 priority. Maintaining this high level of quality is the company’s daily challenge and a goal that each employee strives to achieve.

Mirage continues to provide its dealer network with the finest-quality hardwood products and, more importantly, quality consistency that gives customers greater peace of mind. It takes the dedication, commitment, passion, devotion and knowledge of the Mirage employees to make it happen. The number of quality awards won—40 in total—prove that its efforts are worth it. But that doesn’t mean Mirage can rest on its laurels; after all, striving to deliver quality products is a journey, not a destination.

The quality that defines Mirage is not just evident in the product it markets; it is also shown in the service it provides. Mirage pursues the same goal: going above and beyond customer expectations and constantly adapting to her needs. High-quality products, best-in-class marketing tools, second-to-none customer service and knowledgeable sales representatives are what Mirage’s reputation is built on, and what will continue for years to come.

Family of brands inspires generations

Ever since Mohawk rolled out its first carpets in 1878, it has built quality into every flooring product it makes. Mohawk continues that tradition today with product innovation in 30-plus categories, award-winning design and a talented team dedicated to outstanding service.

Mohawk is also proud to serve the industry with some of the most trusted brands in flooring. Mohawk’s family of brands includes American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Marazzi, Mohawk, Mohawk Group, Mohawk Home, Karastan, Pergo and Quick-Step. Mohawk understands the power of brands and how important they are for infrequent-purchase categories such as flooring. Strong branding gives consumers peace of mind, allowing them to feel confident about their investment.

In order to help its retail partners stay ahead of the competition and increase profit margins, Mohawk invests in its brands 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 more qualified consumer leads to Mohawk’s retail partners.

That’s why retailers—both large and small—leverage the power of these brands each and every day.

Going against the grain

If there was a company that best depicted the term “industry disrupter,” a worthy candidate would be Republic Floor. While other companies zig, they like to zag. “We have always gone against the grain,” said Rotem Eylor, CEO. “Anything that is being done in the industry we will do it 180-degrees different. We are not interested in running with the herd because—if we do—we will never be ahead.”

Republic’s dare-to-be-different approach was readily evident in 2020. While other flooring companies were hunkered down during the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Republic Floor stepped up its sales efforts, traveling around the country when it could to see existing accounts or cultivate new ones, like National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) dealers.

In June 2020, Republic had its best sales month in its history—that is, until August arrived, and the company did 50% more business than in any previous month. At the same time, its representatives were setting up meetings with NFA members. Soon after, NFA elevated Republic’s status with the group to “core” vendor—up from specialty vendor.

To service NFA, Republic essentially built a separate operation within the organization including warehousing of inventory and customer service personnel. “A big part of our decision to go nationwide was because of NFA,” Eylor revealed.

As it expanded beyond the West Coast, Republic has been buying up properties and turning them into distribution centers. In addition, it has been on the acquisition hunt for distributors. Eylor said they are currently in “advanced” negotiations with seven to eight distributors. Its most notable purchase—that of renowned distributor Hughes Western, based in Salt Lake City—adds not only a private-label carpet brand but also extends Republic’s coverage into Utah, Wyoming and Montana.

Serving customers first with quality, performance

With a 50-plus-year legacy, Shaw brings expertise, experience and a diverse product mix to every business channel. With carpet, hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl, tile , stone and DIY carpet tile in its portfolio of residential brands, Shaw delivers quality products that are responsibly made and perform at any price point.

• Anderson Tuftex premium hardwoods and carpets are designed with intention, crafted with care and offer timeless style/design.

• COREtec is innovative to the core, disrupting the industry again and again as customers’ and consumers’ preferred waterproof, rigid core brand.

• Floorigami allows consumers to transform their room in an afternoon with DIY carpet tiles.

• Philadelphia Commercial is the industry’s leading Main Street commercial brand, providing market expertise and flooring without compromise.

• Shaw Floors, the flagship residential brand, offers floors for every lifestyle at every life stage.

Maintaining a leadership position in rigid core flooring

Wellmade remains a leader in the emerging HDPC/SPC rigid core arena with its patented HDPC family of waterproof wood and vinyl products. Quality and innovation are the hallmarks of floors from Wellmade. Attention to detail yields floors that speak directly to the Wellmade brand, providing beauty, performance and value to our retail and distribution network.

At its core, HDPC provides a superior platform for Wellmade’s flagship HDPC waterproof hardwood and HDPC vinyl plank flooring lines. With superior density, HDPC is 100% waterproof and features excellent tolerance to onsite fluctuations in temperature. HDPC Waterproof Hardwood, a true waterproof wood floor, features real hardwood veneers and includes a wide variety of wood species such as oak, hickory, birch and strand-woven bamboo. Wirebrushed finishes figure prominently in the collection, along with varying degrees of hand-scraped textures. HDPC Vinyl Plank, Wellmade’s signature vinyl product, pushes the boundaries of realism in wood, tile and natural stone while utilizing the latest in painted-bevel-edge treatments, HD visuals and EIR textures.

Wellmade strives to produce high-quality, on-trend flooring that excites customers while providing world-class service and the tools necessary for its partners to succeed.

When you absolutely must control your supply chain

Supply chains have never been more important to the flooring industry than they are today. As a flooring manufacturer, importer or retailer, you literally can’t afford to simply call a truck, declare a destination and assume your flooring will arrive on time and undamaged. You don’t need a carrier; you need a partner. And that’s precisely what you get with Xpress Global Systems (XGS).

As the flooring industry’s promise keeper, XGS understands every link in the supply chain that matters to your business. Since 1986, its nationwide network of assets has specialized in consolidating, moving and managing flooring inventory from point of origin to final destination.

XGS also offers custom cutting, pallet building and other advanced inventory management capabilities; as well as dashboard-level access to data-driven, track-and-trace capabilities that level the competitive landscape between you and global flooring superpowers.

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August 23, 2021

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