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Dasso: building a brand

by Emily J. Cappiello

Dasso is on a mission: To build its brand recognition among consumers.

“When people think bamboo and green flooring, we want them to think Dasso,” said Avery Chua, CEO. “We want Dasso to be in the consumer’s mind, not just known within the industry.”

To do that, the company is going down a multitude of avenues, including selling to more specialty retail locations, pumping out in-demand and on-point goods, ramping up advertising efforts, getting social media savvy and partnering with the DIY Network to provide flooring for some of its home improvement shows.

While Dasso does have other business segments, the company is putting the biggest emphasis on branding its flooring sector. Currently, Dasso serves as its own distributor in the Southeast but is currently signing wholesalers throughout the rest of the country.

Rick Gill, Dasso’s sales and marketing manager, believes its products will not only work for specialty retailers, the offerings would thrive with a dealer that boasts a heavy eco-friendly collection of products or one that markets itself as eco-friendly.

Jeff Hamar, co-owner of California-based distributor Galleher, said Dasso has been at the helm of the green industry for awhile and its products  appeal to consumers. “It has wonderful facilities and it has products that offer both quality and innovation, which we feel is really important.”

Galleher carries Dasso’s bamboo as well as some of their exotic lines, citing an African species that has been doing well in its market.

Gill added the company is ramping up its social media efforts to get closer to both the retailer and consumer. Dasso recently launched a Facebook page, is utilizing Twitter and has created a YouTube channel with educational videos. “When people have a question about bamboo flooring, we want them to come to our YouTube page to get the answers.”

Add in the commercials and print ads it is doing in the Atlanta area, along with the national exposure the company is setting itself up for on the DIY Network, and Dasso is positioning itself to become a household name.

Chua admitted building a brand in the U.S. based on a foreign product will be challenging. “In the long term, we don’t want to be known as a foreign company. We will be working locally and with local talent. We want to make this name integrated as part of America’s green culture.”

But the products, Gill and Chua said, will speak for themselves when it comes to getting the supply chain—from distributor to consumer—on board with the company. “We will be able to help the retailer differentiate,” Gill said. “Last year we debuted EcoSolid and this year we expanded that collection to include New World, Vintage and Forest.”

These new looks, according to Gill, play to a multitude of consumer tastes in styling as well as usage. Manufactured in engineered, solid or HDF with a tongue and groove or click installation, Dasso offers a range from natural bamboo looks to ones with different stains. “These are really unique colors. We also have a multi-width product, meaning when it is laid out it has a really unique pattern.”

Chua added, “When you look at this product, you will see how different it is from [others].”

The colors are what sell the product, said Carol McCay, salesperson at Bridgeport Carpets in Alpharetta, Ga., which carries the company’s bamboo, exotic and solid and engineered hardwood products. “The colors are a little bit different from products we had already and I’ve been able to sell a lot because it wasn’t too red, it wasn’t too brown or it wasn’t too gold.” Plus, she said the price was right for customers.

Hamar echoed this sentiment. “The products do great. There are a few colors that really hit the mark. They are very design-oriented, so [Dasso] has very stylish products and they are durable—they have some real performance features.”

In addition, he said, the installation methods have really been a help to retailers. “One of the products installs like laminate. It reduces installation costs because there isn’t a need for adhesive, it eliminates the clicking sound you get in less heavy flooring and installers can put it in faster, making it a more profitable product for retailers.”

McCay added having Dasso as a partner has also been great because its customer service is superb. “Our sales rep is great. She answers or calls back right away to get us the information.”