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Guest column: Is millennial marketing overrated today?

January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15

By Matt Beaudreau

 

The big question on the minds of many businesses today, whether you’re selling laminate flooring or Lamborghinis, is how do we reach this group that everyone is talking about—the millennials? For the purposes of this conversation, we define millennials as follows: those born between 1977 and 1995.

The long and short answer is retailers first need to look beyond the “category” of potential buyers—although millennials are emerging as a key demographic with increasing buying power. A recent Forbes article stated millennials in the U.S. alone spent $200 billion last year. By 2018, they will have the most spending power of any generation. Furthermore, the article stated social media is playing a huge role with 62% of millennials acknowledging that if a brand engages with them through various networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.

Beyond just targeting millennials, retailers also need to change the way consumers in general are researching and shopping today. I’m a firm believer that technology has changed the science of retailing today, which means successful retail salespeople must adapt accordingly.

This is especially important when you’re talking about multi-generational businesses. The older generation says, “This is how we do it. The family does it this way, the business looks like this.” There’s so much of that mentality out there, but that doesn’t work anymore. Ten or 11 years ago, Facebook did not exist; YouTube did not exist. When you think about the cultural impact of those platforms alone, it’s astounding. The reality is more has changed in the last 10 years in retail than the previous 50 years.

Looking back over the years, retailers went from making sure they had a functional website to updating that site with content more frequently. That was followed by blogging. But in today’s world that’s still not enough to deliver customers to your doorstep on a daily basis. To be successful, retailers need to be targeting customers on various platforms with new tools such as video, podcasts, etc. The only way to survive is to adapt and never get too nostalgic or romantic about any specific way of doing business. You have to become a practitioner of what is working right now. For example, if your goal is to incorporate Facebook ads but nobody on your staff uses Facebook in that way, good luck with that approach. Same with Instagram. If you’re targeting people age 45 or under—and we’re finding a lot of people buying homes are falling in that age range—Instagram is where they are. But like Facebook, you better have someone on your staff who uses Instagram to understand how it works.

Salespeople will always require the knowledge of connecting with people on a one-on-one basis. While that’s still true, it’s more important to the growth of the industry to be getting the attention of the end consumer in the first place. In other words, where are their eyeballs? Right now social media has a greater impact with the consumer than a billboard or a traditional TV commercial.

 

Matt Beaudreau is a certified keynote speaker at The Center for Generational Kinetics, headquartered in Austin, Texas. He is a millennial who has a reputation as a thought leader amongst his generation.

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Al's Column: How to develop a ‘right-sized’ marketing plan

December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14

By Jennifer Smiga

 

(First of two parts)

The slick print campaigns and glowing Instagram stories of big brands can make successful marketing feel out of reach, especially when you are running a one-person marketing department for a company, drafting budgets while posting to Facebook in the same day. It could even be soul crushing.

If you’re in this position, don’t let it get to you. You can grow a successful marketing strategy even if you don’t have annual sales in the six digits. What you need are some principles taken from the big guys and a budget that’s right-sized for your company.

Early this year The CMO Survey revealed companies in retail wholesale are now spending about 10% of their overall budget on marketing. This may seem out of reach for you today, but consider it in terms of future growth. At Marketing Rival, we find increases in marketing spend are directly related to increased revenue. Gone are the days where a company’s only option was to buy a print spread in a high-profile design magazine. Thanks to the power of digital marketing you now have the power to influence buyers at every stage of the purchasing process using your own website as the key tool.

Following are some tips:

Begin with blog content. Your first step toward creating a larger marketing strategy is to embrace a mindset change from manufacturer or retailer to magazine publisher. Your website and blog are your publishing platform to share your story. You should craft each blog post to attract your ideal buyer. If you’ve already started publishing, look at your posts with fresh eyes. Is your audience clear? Are you targeting another business owner or a customer? Are you talking to homeowners or designers?

For your blog to resonate with readers it has to speak to one persona. To help you focus each blog post, identify the pains and problems of one specific persona. For example, what are the questions your salespeople frequently field from this person? Each pain and question is fodder for blogs that will attract your desired customer as she searches on Google.

Model your marketing after a big company’s strategy. One of our clients is Polycor, a North American stone quarrier. You won’t find this company’s ads in print publications. Instead, the Canadian company has invested a significant portion of its budget in digital marketing with special emphasis on content marketing.

Since 2014, Polycor has consistently published blogs and social media just for members of the stone trade. In focusing on this sector they’ve developed a loyal readership and seen a direct impact on sales. In the last three years they’ve expanded their work to include email marketing, video, digital advertising and influencer marketing, and grown their own internal marketing team to leverage events and photography.

Their robust, weekly publishing may not be doable for your one-person marketing team, but you can implement the basics to align your sales goals and marketing through a strategic content and social media plan. Consistency, targeted communication and organization are key to making this happen.

In the second part of this two-part series, I will talk about a few tried-and-true tips for creating digital content. To learn even more about this topic, be sure to attend my presentation, “Small Business, Big Content: Wide-Reach Marketing Strategy Scaled to Your Size,” on Tues., Jan. 30, 12 p.m.– 1 p.m., at TISE in Las Vegas.

 

Jennifer Smiga is co-owner of Marketing Rival, a digital marketing and PR agency that creates profitable social relationships for makers of design products through storytelling, social PR and brand ambassadors. For more information, visit marketingrival.com.

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Marketing mastery: How to leverage your online reviews

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.45.16 AMStatistics show nearly 90% of consumers consider ratings and reviews before making purchase decisions. This should come as no surprise in this era of Amazon, Google, Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, Angie’s List and Home Advisor, to name a few. Let’s face it: These days, everybody is online—especially consumers in the market for floor coverings. This presents a valuable opportunity to be proactive and get out in front of the customer by not only boosting your web presence, but also interacting with potential—and existing—customers in a meaningful and timely manner.

First, it’s important to understand the customer’s mentality when it comes to researching and buying products online. Not too long ago I was on Amazon to purchase individually wrapped computer screen cleaners; I was trying to decide between a dozen options. I read several reviews to help me make a decision on what turned out to be a $19 purchase. How many times have you done the same thing for minor purchases? For that matter, how many times have you checked reviews for larger purchases such as choosing a restaurant, booking a hotel or hiring a service business? Most of us do it on a regular basis. More importantly, your prospects are increasingly checking reviews prior to purchasing flooring.

Here are some statistics to consider:

  • 92% of consumers today read online reviews vs. 88% in 2014.
  • 94% of consumers would rather use a business with a four-star rating.
  • 88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations vs. 83% in 2014.

These stats highlight the importance of getting positive reviews for your business. However, it’s also important that you have lots of reviews, and that new reviews are being posted regularly.

So, how can a dealer generate a steady stream of positive reviews and get the most marketing leverage out of them? There are three things to consider when it comes to reviews. The first is review acquisition, which means actively seeking reviews from your happy customers. Most review sites allow you to solicit reviews, so it’s generally OK to ask. However, be careful about offering incentives for positive reviews, as this is against the guidelines for many review sites.

Conventional wisdom states the best time to ask for a review is after a successful installation—providing the customer is pleased with the products and services you have provided. Get into the habit of sending each of your customers an email asking for a review, and include links to several popular review sites.

Here’s a word of caution: Don’t have your customer use your store’s computer or tablet to write reviews. It’s easy for review companies to detect these kinds of “kiosk” tactics using incoming IP addresses and browser cookies. It’s best to email the request and let the customer give the review from her home.

Next, make sure you are monitoring them properly. If you get a bad review, reach out to the customer and try to correct the issue quickly.  Depending on the site, you may be able to comment on the review and explain what steps you have taken to make things right. Don’t panic if you get the occasional bad review. Studies show consumers are skeptical when they only see 5-star reviews, so a couple of less-than-perfect reviews can actually make you seem more real.

In future columns I will provide more tips on how to get mileage from your positive reviews.

 

Jim Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring retailers. For a free copy of his latest book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes Online,” visit BeatTheBoxesOnline.com.

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Al's column: Maximizing your online presence

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11

By Jay Flynn

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 9.45.39 AMSearch-engine optimization. Pay per click. Organic (and paid) social media initiatives. All these elements stand to have a big impact on any online marketing strategy. So the question is: Why aren’t more flooring retailers taking advantage of these tools?

They’re not acronyms and strategies to be afraid of but rather embraced. Still, just a mere mention of many of these online strategies makes some managers’ palms sweat. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone. Also know that there are certain resources you can tap into to better understand these strategies and take your online marketing to the next level.

One such resource within your reach is The International Surface Event (TISE), scheduled to take place Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 in Las Vegas next year. One seminar in particular, “How to Maximize Your Online Marketing Presence,” is designed to help retailers overcome fears of online marketing. During this presentation, I will give attendees the information they need to take their flooring company’s web presence to new heights, potentially leading to new business opportunities and, thus, more sales.

The seminar will consist of a panel of industry-leading retail flooring dealers that have driven business growth through a strategic online marketing program. As moderator, I will lead discussion on online marketing campaigns and invite panel members to share the respective tools they use and the results they get from implementing them. The goal is to help attendees learn what they can do in their respective businesses to give themselves more of an online presence, keeping in mind their budgets, competition and end goals.

Panelists will also discuss traditional marketing techniques and how those techniques can help complement online marketing. For instance, many consumers are using social media to discover and research different brands. To run a successful social media campaign, experts say retailers should weave social elements into every aspect of their marketing. One of the keys to social media is the opportunity for peer-to-peer sharing. This allows content to be seen by a larger audience, which could increase engagement.

The seminar will also cover:

  • An overview of all the primary online marketing tools that flooring retailers can utilize.
  • What ROI flooring retailers can expect from each tool based on macro data.
  • What online tools are best suited for a respective business based on specific business parameters.

This informative seminar will help retailers gain a better understanding of how they can ensure they’ve selected the right online marketing tool and what to expect to budget for each. It is designed specifically to help specialty floor covering dealers implement an effective online marketing campaign to help fuel business growth.

There’s simply no reason to fear online marketing any longer. Rather, learn to embrace it. The reward of more leads and increased sales most definitely outweighs the risk. Register online today at tisewest.com to take advantage of these valuable educational opportunities.

 

Jay Flynn is vice president of Creating Your Space, a leading custom website and online marketing provider for the flooring industry. Founded by veterans of the flooring industry, Creating Your Space specializes in providing custom websites along with a suite of online marketing tools for retailers.

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Digital marketing: Retailers sharpen search optimization strategies

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Lindsay Baillie

 

It should come as no surprise that today’s consumers start their purchasing journey online. Many use search engines, social media, company websites, review platforms and online advertisements to obtain more information about products—or retailers, for that matter—so they are better positioned to make a purchasing decision long before they enter the store.

To get noticed flooring dealers must have an online presence—and a strong one at that.

While creating and running a digital marketing program takes time, it is absolutely worth it, say those who are successful at it. For dealers who might lack the time or knowledge to successfully run a digital marketing campaign, there are options available, including help from digital marketing companies.

Following are several tried-and-true techniques that successful dealers have employed in their respective digital marketing campaigns.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.30 AMKelley DeCesaro, digital brand strategist
Star Lumber, Wichita, Kan.
“We continue to work on our SEO and SEM strategies, backed by quality website content and helpful online tools for our customers. We find we get the most lead generation from our PPC plan because we can direct them to a landing page that fits their project needs and prompts them to make an in-store appointment. Customers engage with us and hear our brand voice through social media. Social media is also a great way to push out information about our sales and services. Most of our social interactions are gained through our lighter, human-interest posts, but those interactions boost our profile presence, making it more likely for our customer to see our promotional posts. We utilize boosted posts and ads on social sites to increase our digital presence.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.35 AMMeaghan Karn, director of marketing
Avalon Flooring, Cherry Hill, N.J.
“Digital marketing is essential in today’s business. We know customers are beginning the search online so we work very hard to make sure we are there when they are ready to buy. We use a combination of all the digital marketing methods—pay-per-click, SEO, social media, email, remarketing, etc. Each customer is at a different part of her journey and each one of those methods allows us to offer information about our products and services that are tailored to her needs.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.41 AMKevin Rose, president and owner
Carpetland USA, Rockford, Ill.
“Digital marketing is very important and becoming more significant on a daily basis as even the 50-plus generation is moving to digital. We have hired professionals who know the market to teach us and direct our funds to the appropriate areas. We focus on SEO, pay-per-click, etc.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.47 AMMary Ann Gore, office manager
Bridgeport Carpets, Alpharetta, Ga.
“Digital marketing is very important to us. When customers are ready to purchase, they generally use either a computer or smart phone for their research. It’s helpful if they can just pull up our website and determine whether we have the item. We utilize a digital agency to handle our website. It specializes in online marketing, so we are able to just focus on customers. We also have a Facebook page. The avenues we typically utilize for digital marketing are website, pay-per-click, social media and email.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.53 AMAdam Joss, co-owner
The Vertical Connection Carpet One, Columbia, Md.
“Digital marketing is critical to our business. It is how people are researching and shopping today. Specifically for big-ticket items, people are researching online before they go shopping in the store or contact the store. If you’re not contacting people online you’re losing the game before you even start. Websites, pay-per-click, SEO, email marketing and social media are all important. We also use Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.23.59 AMNick Freadreacea, president
The Flooring Gallery, Louisville, Ky.
“There is a plethora of options available, and the media outlets are driving people to their online presence. When we meet with reps for TV or radio, all they want to talk about is their online options for advertising. We are not that tech savvy but we have been trying new ideas for the past several years. We recently revamped our website and are consistently changing keywords to keep up with the changes that Google makes. It is an ongoing process to tweak their algorithms on what moves a site up the page.

“We also have pages on Facebook and Twitter; we were a Pro on Houzz for several years and just began an Instagram account. We also ran with Angie’s List for a couple of years, but that did not bring us viable clients as most were interested in labor only or strictly the lowest price. There is a fine balance as to what is ‘image’ on a social media site and what actually drives a consumer to your store for a purchase.”

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Deutsche Messe decentralizes marketing activities, appoints new spokesman

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 4.58.54 PMHannover, Germany—Deutsche Messe’s supervisory board has granted approval for the decentralization of the company’s marketing and public relations division. Effective immediately, all marketing and PR activities are being dispersed to three MarCom (marketing communications) departments, which will have direct responsibility for sales in the company’s core and potential core fields of business.

“Our aim in decentralizing marketing and PR and integrating them directly into our sales structures is to make our product communication even more effective,” explained Jochen Köckler, Deutsche Messe managing board chairman. “We are now even closer to the market and our customers and are therefore able to be more agile and targeted in our communication approach.”

Onuora Ogbukagu will head the Industry, Energy, Logistics MarCom department, which is responsible for marketing communications for Hannover Messe and CeMAT. Effective immediately, Ogbukagu is also Deutsche Messe’s new company spokesman, replacing Wolfgang Kossert, who left the company at the start of August as part of the restructuring process. Ogbukagu has been with the company since 2008 and has served as the press officer for Hannover Messe for the past five years. In this position, he will report directly to Jochen Köckler, the new chairman of the managing board.

Daniela Stack will head the ICT & Digital Business MarCom department. Stack’s responsibilities include oversight of all communications undertaken in relation to the repositioning of CEBIT. She also retains responsibility for central brand management and advertising. Stack has been with Deutsche Messe since 2004 and has headed the Advertising department since 2010.

Dagmar Wolf will oversee the third MarCom department, Floor Coverings & Woodworking. The department is responsible for marketing communications for a number of shows, most notably Domotex and LIGNA. Wolf has been with Deutsche Messe since 2013 and played a key role in the initial development and subsequent growth of the Scale11 startup showcase at CEBIT.

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Marketing Mastery: Creating profitable referral relationships

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

(Third of three parts)

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.45.16 AMIn parts one and two I presented strategies for developing and nurturing referral relationships with other businesses, and how those relationships can generate $250,000 to $1 million or more in annual revenue with extremely low marketing costs. Essentially the goal is to round up, nurture and profit from a herd of businesses that send you ongoing referrals. In this part I’ll cover more strategies for nurturing and profiting from your herd.

Affiliate appreciation events
Let’s say you’ve got 20 businesses in your herd. Here are some events you can host to nurture the relationship and position yourself as the “hub.”

Host a drinks and hors d’oeuvres networking event in your showroom. Send a series of email/print invitations to your group. Hire a photographer to take photos for your newsletter.

Throw an appreciation dinner at a hotel and give awards to the top referrers. You can defray the cost by having other business owners speak during the dinner. This gives them exposure to your group and provides valuable information. Have them each pay one-third of the event’s cost.

Educational events
Every month I co-host the FCNews Marketing Mastery webinars with Ken Ryan, senior editor. Oftentimes these webinars feature business experts speaking about topics that apply to any industry. Invite your referral partners to attend at your store. Set up a large monitor and seating, and provide snacks and drinks. This demonstrates to your partners that you care about their success and provides a great networking opportunity.

Affiliate marketing
Let’s say you’re working with an interior designer. Offer to send your monthly newsletter to her list and include her photo and business name on the front page, alongside yours. Offer to either split the cost or pay for the entire mailing. The cost is worth it because you’re now marketing to an entirely new list of customers who already know, like and trust her. The designer is the ambassador introducing her customers to your business. A dealer in Utah did this very successfully with both a designer and a realtor. This produced ongoing referrals to his business, including a $40,000 job from one of the realtor’s customers.

You can take this idea further and do a host/parasite mailing. This is a bit more complicated but I’ve made a lot of money doing it. Here’s how it worked when I did it with a designer:

I wrote a letter from the designer to her customers. This letter had a photo of her at the top and introduced me and my business to her list. In the letter she raved about my business, and said “enclosed is a letter from Jim with a special offer because you’re a customer of mine.”

Underneath this letter was a second one from me with my photo at the top. It thanked the designer and had a special offer “exclusively for customers of XYZ.” The letters were on slightly different colored paper and written with different fonts.

I made it easy for the designer and handled everything: writing the letters, and handling the printing, postage and mailing. The only thing the designer had to do was supply me with address labels. I made at least a 20-1 ROI with this campaign and repeated it several times.

 

Jim Augustus Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring dealers. For a complimentary copy of Jim’s book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes and Escape the Cheap-Price Rat-Race of Doom Forever,” visit beattheboxestoday.com.

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Al's Column: Turning ordinary shops into ones that ‘pop’

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Pamela Danziger

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.55.31 PMA recent survey among small businesses conducted by American Express found growth is the No. 1 priority for small businesses, and that means marketing. Of course, online and social media is a given, but it takes more than high-tech tactics to invigorate marketing for small independent retailers—flooring stores included. The real power of marketing a small business comes through the personal experiences it is powered to deliver.

To many retailers’ dismay, however, the traditional marketing practices founded on the four “Ps” model of marketing (product, place, price and promotion) are no longer working like they used to. That is because marketing has been transformed, not by technology and Internet “disrupters” but because the needs, priorities and, most importantly, the mindset of shoppers have all changed.

In order for retailers to be successful in this area, experts believe their marketing efforts must evolve from the traditional four Ps into the four “Es” framework as described by Brian Fetherstonhaugh of Ogilvy & Mather. These are as follows:

Experience replaces product. In today’s retail environment, the shopper experience seals the deal.

Place becomes every place. Retailers cry out for limited, exclusive product, but that only sets up a conflict between product suppliers and the product sellers. Product is available everywhere, so retailers need to make sure every shopper touchpoint communicates the retailers’ special experiential message.

Price is now exchange. The old idea of “Price it low, watch it go” has become a race to the bottom. But the winner of that race ultimately loses. Today shoppers want to understand the value they get in exchange for their attention and their spending.

Promotion evolves to evangelism. Old marketing consists of “in-your-face,” push promotion, which only interrupts and irritates shoppers. Evangelism, on the other hand, is about “pull marketing,” which entails enticing shoppers via word of mouth and other curiosity-building techniques.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.49.34 PMRetailers that understand their success is determined less by what they sell and more by how they sell product are called shops that pop. This is defined by a shop that creates an extraordinary customer experience that includes not just extraordinary products but also extraordinary displays that attract customer curiosity, in-store service that builds customer involvement and prices that offer the greatest value.

Rather than just a store set up to sell stuff, a shop that pops becomes a stage on which the shop owner tells their special story to (and for) the customer. It combines a unique vision with carefully curated products and services delivered in a personalized way. Specialty retailers must play to their No. 1 competitive advantage: their personal touch.

Maya Angelou famously stated, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” and that is the power of personal retailing. It is the kind of personal touch that people shopping for their homes crave. After all, good flooring products are available most everywhere, oftentimes lower than specialty retailers can afford to match. What the best customer prospects are looking for is more than just a product at a low price to cover their floors. They want to patronize a shop that puts them, their needs and desires first—a shop that truly understands them.

 

Pam Danziger is the owner of Lancaster, Pa.-based Unity Marketing. She will be a first-time presenter at The International Surface Event (TISE), where she will discuss “Transforming Your Floor Covering Store into a Shop That Pops!” on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

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Installation: M-D PRO clients applaud rebranding focus

June 5/12, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 26

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 11.23.56 AMLoxcreen Flooring Group and M-D Building Products recently consolidated its Professional Distribution Channel operations under the new name, M-D PRO. Encompassing all of its professional accessory product lines except PROVA, M-D PRO has developed a new logo to replace Loxcreen Flooring Group for all future product labels, social media and marketing materials.

Since the start of its rebranding, M-D PRO has received positive feedback from customers and end users. “They are glad that we simplified things for them,” said Julia Vozza, marketing manager professional distribution. “We had several customers who were buying under multiple brand names, which caused confusion in the marketplace as to who we were as a supplier and where the products were coming from.”

The company hopes the rebranding helps customers see M-D PRO as one supplier that can provide an array of flooring and building accessory products. “We want our customers and end users to know that they are in possession of an M-D product no matter what the product category,” Vozza explained.

As part of the merger and rebranding, M-D PRO has strengthened its marketing efforts. It’s now promoting M-D PRO as a whole instead of individual product lines to specific customers or channels. “This has not only simplified our marketing messages and collateral but has also brought synergies to everything we produce and communicate,” Vozza said.

The company is also working with distributors, such as Durox Flooring Accessories, to ensure cohesive branding and eliminate potential marketplace confusion. Michael VanVugt, Ontario sales manager, explained marketplace confusion was initially a concern; however, “Loxcreen did a good job of incorporating the M-D logo on all of [its] materials from the beginning so our customers got used to seeing it there. Since the re-brand announcement, we at Durox/Prosol are working closely with M-D PRO to ensure our catalogs and the samples we distribute are consistent with their branding.”

Al Ross, product manager for commercial products, Carpet Cushions and Supplies, also sees the M-D PRO’s rebranding as a positive move. “We continue to have brand differentiation between what we are selling to the professional installer and what is being sold via the big box stores, but at the same time [we’re] raising brand awareness to the homeowner and end user when they see the product on their job site.”

Establishing brand awareness was one of the factors involved in the decision to keep PROVA—the company’s water proofing system—on its own. Others factors include PROVA’s established brand equity, its potential for growth in the marketplace and its proven success for M-D. While PROVA is maintaining its name, M-D will be used as a sub-brand on all packaging and marketing collateral, “so that synergies are maintained that PROVA is still indeed an M-D brand,” Vozza said. “It is ‘PROVA by M-D.’”

In addition to a new logo and marketing strategy, M-D PRO is in the process of developing new, dedicated websites for PROVA and M-D PRO. According to Vozza, the company hopes to launch the PROVA site in fall of this year and have the second site (M-D PRO) follow shortly after. “We are working diligently to ensure we provide our users with a great experience in functionality, tools and search [capability] for products and where to buy them.”

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Karndean Designflooring names new product manager

Samantha BakerExport, Pa.—Karndean Designflooring has added Samantha Baker to the company’s internal marketing team. Baker will fill the role of product manager, formerly held by Jenne Ross who was recently named the company’s director of marketing.

In her role as product manager, Baker will be responsible for planning and coordinating the execution of new product introductions and driving product development and enhancements, including market analysis, segmentation and forecasts. Baker will work closely alongside Ross within the company’s marketing department.

Baker brings more than seven years of experience from Philips Respironics across marketing, operations and customer service fields. She most recently held the role of global marketing operations specialist and oversaw management of the company’s product launches, print collateral, digital updates, and photo and video shoots, in addition to providing sales and trade show support for the company’s North American business.

“Samantha brings a wealth of both marketing and analytical experience,” said Larry Browder, CEO. “Given how quickly Karndean Designflooring’s U.S. business is growing, her past experience working with a global team to successfully execute product launches makes her a perfect fit for this role.”