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Shaw merges Anderson, Tuftex brands into one

November 20/27, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 12

Combined entity to make debut at Surfaces

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.09.36 AMDalton–What has been rumored for months is now confirmed. Shaw Floors, parent company of the venerable Anderson Hardwood and Tuftex brands, has announced plans to merge the two with the combined entity to be called Anderson Tuftex. The change is effective Jan. 1, 2018.

For Shaw, the deal made sense because both brands have a long heritage in the flooring industry and are a natural fit. According to Carrie Edwards Isaac, vice president, Anderson Tuftex, the brand will take a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. This, she said, is based on the fact today’s consumer demands a simplified shopping experience both in-store and online.

“The entire consumer journey is changing and has been for quite some time,” Edwards Isaac said. “Consumers are finding inspiration everywhere and are more directly connected with brands than ever before. But purchasing flooring is complicated and consumers feel pressured to get it right. At Anderson Tuftex, it’s about simplicity. We don’t want to overwhelm consumers with options but, rather craft intentional designs that serve as a canvas for their lives.”

Anderson Tuftex will be showcased at Shaw Connect 2018 winter markets and will unveil the new premium brand at Surfaces in Las Vegas. The future of these two legacy brands will focus on their new, collective brand identity by working with their valued retail partners to drive premium floor covering sales.

“We’re committed to elevating the discussion with our customers and providing them with a beautiful product mix that they’re eager to sell,” said Trey Thames, vice president of sales, Anderson Tuftex. “By offering bold, yet timeless patterns and foundational colors in both hard and soft surface flooring products, we’re empowering our customers to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.”

Retailers buy in
For many Shaw retailers the announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, although it is welcomed news.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.09.48 AMTodd Wheeler, owner of Wheeler’s Flooring in Salinas, Calif., said that while he initially questioned the merging of an East Coast line (Anderson) with a West Coast mill (Tuftex), he believes the pairing ultimately makes sense. “It goes hand in hand with the trends in the industry of carpet losing share and—in the last few years—the growth of hard surfaces. Tuftex has a good rug program; Anderson is a good hardwood brand. To have the brands merge and complement each other I believe will be a good marriage.”

As a result of the merger, Wheeler said his Tuftex rep will now also have the Anderson line, which makes sense instead of having two people. He also believes Shaw “needed to do something” with Tuftex and not let it fall away and be gobbled up like other mills. “Shaw really is trying to hold onto that brand, which is smart because Tuftex makes great carpet.”

In his Salinas showroom, hard surface products are generally positioned on one side of the floor, across from soft surfaces. However, when the Anderson Tuftex displays come in, Wheeler will likely pair them together in one common area, which he believes will stimulate sales. “As a Kool-Aid drinking Shaw customer who has had a great relationship with Shaw over the years, I am excited about this branding.”

Dean Howell, owner of two Moda Floors & Interior stores in Atlanta, got his first glimpse of the Anderson Tuftex pairing at the Shaw Flooring Network winter market earlier this year (FCNews, Jan. 30. Feb. 6.) Like Wheeler, he believes in the combined marketing strategy. “Shaw’s plans to re-energize the Anderson brand is exciting. They’re trying to elevate the image of Anderson the way they are doing with the Tuftex line.”

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Lisbiz Strategies: Your brand reflects you and your values

August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Brands have been around forever, but the theory of branding has changed.

Lisbeth CalandrinoIt used to be that bigger was better and the louder you shouted the more attention you got. Remember when Coca Cola owned the soft drink market? Sure, they still have a huge market share but have big and new competitors. They’ve been sharing the market for a while with Pepsi and the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group. One of the newest entrants, Red Bull, created a whole new product category called energy drinks.

As the product markets continue to crowd, so does the difficulty in getting brand recognition. “In the old days,” you were in command of your message, and since there was much less competition, the consumer listened. Another big change is the way information is now disseminated. The Internet has changed everything and leveled the playing field. The consumer has become the product marketer and gained control of your brand. If you’re not using the tools available, you will get lost to the sea of sameness.

Businesses are used to starting with their product and telling consumers why theirs is the important in the marketplace. Today’s products are everywhere and by the time your consumer gets to your business, they already know everything about your products.

What they might not know is who you are and what you stand for. Today’s consumers are more interested in your core beliefs and why you do what you do. This can differentiate your product and business from others in the overcrowded marketplace.

Instead of starting with the product it’s more important to begin with core beliefs of the business and why you do what you do. The new branding, as pointed out by Samuel Sinek in his book, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” motivates consumers to bond to the company because of what they stand for.

There are other examples. Consider Wegman’s Food Market and their value statements. “Caring, High Standards Make a Difference, Respect and Empowerment.” Panera Bread continues to shout about its 100% clean message after eliminating artificial items from their food. “To Panera, a salad is more than a salad.”

One of my personal favorites is the Farmers Insurance commercial, “We’ve seen a thing or two.” Their commercials depict ridiculous things that have happened to their customers. Instead of talking about prices they dialogue about their core values. “Farmers not only prides itself on helping you plan wisely for the unexpected, but also on helping restore order when it occurs so you can keep moving along the road of your life’s plans.”

So what are your values? Do your employees talk about what you stand for and what matters to your company? What do you do that inspires your customers to want to be on “your team?”

To find the answers, ask yourself the following questions:

What do your customers think about you and how much do they share online? What are your customers saying about you? (Be sure to respond quickly to negative reviews.)

How are you educating your customers? Do your blogs explain to customers how to buy your products or what makes a good salesperson? Do you quote your customers in your blogs?

Remember, to your customers, you are just as important as the products you sell.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Gerflor united three brands in one place

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 2.13.02 PMChicago—Gerflor USA, Sport Court and Connor Sports came together recently at its first-ever combined sales meeting since joining forces under the Gerflor umbrella in 2014. The meeting was held with the goal of energizing and empowering the company’s all-star sales force to share best practices, cementing their commitment to customer service and success.

“With our recent transition to operating together, face-to-face engagement is invaluable,” said Benjamin Bachman, Gerflor USA’s chief sales and marketing officer. “This meeting gave us an opportunity to strengthen our connections, learn from one another and enhance our collaboration, coordination and communication. And those are wins that not only benefit our organization, but also our customers.”

At the core of all three brands is a history of innovation. Connor Sports, Official Court Supplier of the NCAA Final Four, and Sport Court, the original modular sport tile, complement the segment-specific solutions of Gerflor’s product offering, including Mipolam, the original homogenous sheet flooring, and Taraflex, the original resilient sports flooring. Together, they further strengthen Gerflor’s overall reach and recognition within the U.S. market.

Though each brand serves different markets, they share the same mission: to better assist customers. To do so, Gerflor is streamlining processes across the brands in multiple areas, including finance, operations, human resources, information technology and marketing.

“Our goal is to create a strong core and empower our employees through a culture of sharing best practices,” added Bachman. “Working together more strategically, our three brands offer every customer a wider range of products to fit all needs.”

The meeting was only the beginning of Gerflor’s approach of bringing all brands together. Gerflor USA is in the process of identifying career opportunities to further support its market growth.

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Brand power remains key to success

by Matthew Spieler

It has often been said a brand provides an avenue to success for everyone involved in it—from the manufacturer of the product to the retailer who not only sells it but combines its own brand into the selling picture to the end user who connects to the brand’s message or image. The latest global study on brands and their overall affect on business shows even during this prolonged period of economic uncertainty, the world’s biggest brands have continued to grow in value. Continue reading Brand power remains key to success

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More brands joining Instagram – and with good reason

by Steve Olenski, via socialmediatoday.com

Perhaps it’s the “Pinterest Effect” – the social media network that is all about the visual side of life. But more and more brands, especially the big boys on the brand block, are joining Instagram – the mobile only app that, as per Wikipedia “allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services.”

Originally available only to iPhone owners and now available to Android users as well, Instagram has seen a remarkable growth in the first seven months of 2012 – going from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million in July – an increase of over 400% in just seven months. Continue reading More brands joining Instagram – and with good reason

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How brands help retailers close sales

Brands are considered an interface between the company that makes the product and the end user. People can more easily identify a range of offerings if they have recognized labels, which, in turn, boosts sales for retailers, experts say. In addition, branded products can command premiums since they are considered a step above commodities in the consumer’s eyes. Continue reading How brands help retailers close sales