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Mohawk boosts retailer business with targeted leads

June 8/15, 2015; Volume 30/Number 1

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 2.36.27 PMWith a belief that the flooring industry will change more in the next five years than it has over the last 30, Mohawk is helping retailer partners in this transformation driven by digital innovation.

“We are focused intensely—and have invested significantly—to seamlessly connect the online world, where people go to access information, with our retail partners’ in-store experience, where people go to buy,” explained Mike Zoellner, vice president, marketing services.

The company is focused on various methods of engagement, including consumer websites, search engine marketing (SEM), behavioral targeting campaigns, friends and family initiatives and reputation management (ratings and reviews). Following engagement is conversion, in which “browsers” become buyers, which is facilitated through lead generation and demand generation campaigns.

Mohawk’s approach to lead generation is considered different from what other manufacturers and buying groups are doing for their dealer partners. Those leads that are “highly qualified” are sent into the Mohawk Lead Center, which allows retailers to follow up and target marketing to prospects.

Lead Booster is one feature of the Lead Center that focuses on online ads. Mohawk works with its retailers to “analyze traffic and purchase most-used search terms in a local market,” Zoellner explained. “Digital promotional advertisements begin appearing to targeted consumers and serve up offers, connecting interested consumers to a retailer’s lead platform for follow up and conversion.”

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Mohawk to move workers from BCF yarn plant

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 3.06.23 PMCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries will close its Chatsworth, Ga., BCF yarn plant in August and move the facility’s 156 workers to other sites in Northwest Georgia. The manufacturer recently made investments to support increased demand for products made with SmartStrand triexta and Continuum polyester fibers, and the displaced workers will move to factories where these fibers are being produced.

Many of the employees will likely move to the Murray, Whitfield and Gordon County facilities in Georgia. According to company officials, some workers may choose opportunities within Mohawk outside of yarn plants.

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Mohawk’s in-house design team wins four national design awards

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.05.06 PMCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Flooring’s in-house design team has been awarded four prestigious accolades from the American Inhouse Design Awards, the premier showcase for outstanding work by in-house designers. The awards, sponsored by Graphic Design USA and The Creative Group, reflect the creativity and talent of Mohawk’s internal design team, who help shape the aesthetic and effectiveness of Mohawk’s hundreds of logos, brochures, POP materials, ads and general marketing pieces created every year.

Mohawk’s four awards were earned for a range of design initiatives including the company’s I Do Declare ad, multi-purpose Solutions brochure, ColorWave logo and Transparency ad.

“Our team approaches each project with a fresh perspective,” said Brennan Swing, Mohawk’s senior manager of creative media. “As in-house designers, we also have the privilege of bringing years of brand knowledge and experience to the table.”

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Mohawk wins four Hermes Creative Awards

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 1.14.34 PMCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Flooring has won four 2015 Hermes Creative Awards. This international recognition, judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, is a testament to the company’s priority of creatively and effectively sharing Mohawk’s innovative programs and flooring products with retailers and consumers across the world.

Two Platinum awards, the most prestigious award offered through the Hermes Creative Awards competition, were received for Mohawk’s SmartStrand Forever Clean campaign in both the Product Launch and Publicity Campaign categories. Mohawk also took home two Gold awards for its Creative Home Blog, winning in the Blog category and in the E-newsletter category for Mohawk’s Blogger Bulletin.

“We are honored and humbled to win four prestigious awards with the Hermes Creative Awards program in 2015 for Mohawk’s efforts in public relations, social media and influencer marketing,” said Mollie Surratt, senior director of public relations and content for Mohawk Flooring. “Our customers come first, and we are constantly looking for new ways to drive consumers to Mohawk retailers while sharing our products’ most important features and benefits.”

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Mohawk, Constellation power up solar array at Summerville facility

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 11.01.15 AMSummerville, Ga.—In collaboration with Constellation, United Renewable Energy and Georgia Power, Mohawk Industries has installed a new solar array at its Summerville manufacturing facility. The new panels will generate approximately 628,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity with zero greenhouse gas emissions annually.

“A key component of our business strategy is doing the right thing in the communities where we live and work,” said Brian Carson, president, Mohawk Flooring. “Being a good steward of the environment, offsetting our energy consumption and promoting sustainability throughout our business are all a part of how we do that. We are excited about this collaborative effort and we are committed to further reducing our footprint in the future, both here in Summerville and across our business.”

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Mohawk’s Love Your Floor spring sale begins March 27

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 4.48.51 PMCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk’s annual Love Your Floor spring sales event will feature an expanded package of promotional tools based on retailer feedback and take advantage of sophisticated online lead generation to drive retail traffic and close more sales than ever before. The sale runs from March 27 through May 11.

“Mohawk continues to strive to be the preferred supplier for our customers, and we’re excited about this year’s Love Your Floor Sale as we see the remodel market rebounding,” said David Duncan, senior vice president of marketing and sales operations at Mohawk. “Through the sale, we’re focused on utilizing strategic digital marketing efforts to connect with in-market consumers and drive them to our premier network of retailers.”

The 2015 Love Your Floor sales event includes many great offers such as:

  • Consumer coupons on select styles at the point of purchase.
  • Promotional product blankets to support the sale.
  • Consumer finance offers, including no interest financing until January 2018.
  • Increased opportunities for RSAs to earn Mohawk Infinite Rewards points.
  • An eye-catching, professionally designed POS kit that beautifully delivers the Love Your Floor campaign message.
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Mohawk, Atlanta Habitat celebrate partnership

IMG_7827Calhoun, Ga. — On Aug. 2, Mohawk Flooring and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity will celebrate the fifth year of their mutual ongoing commitment to affordable housing in Atlanta with the installation of flooring in Mohawk’s 150th Habitat house.

Mohawk began its partnership with the nonprofit in 2009 when a Mohawk retailer— who continues to help Habitat with its installations—reached out to Mohawk for assistance with an Atlanta Habitat project. Mohawk donated carpet and pad for several homes that first year, and the retailer’s request ultimately led to the current relationship between the two organizations. Today, Mohawk provides carpet, padding and resilient products for the many homes Habitat builds or refurbishes annually.

Mohawk’s involvement with Habitat is multi-faceted. Mohawk Group, the commercial division of the company, contributed all the carpet used throughout Habitat Atlanta’s new headquarters this year. Additionally, Mohawk employees have participated in numerous Atlanta Habitat projects, including the Lofton family home—Mohawk’s 150th.  Finally, at the owners’ closing, Mohawk Home presents new Habitat homeowners with “Welcome Home” kits containing bath and floor mats.

“Our commitment to Habitat and actively helping our local communities permeates our entire organization,” said Michel Vermette, senior vice president of commercial and international for Mohawk. “Our corporate contributions meet specific Habitat material needs, and our employees donate their time and labor in other areas where assistance is needed. In fact, Habitat projects serve as excellent team-building events for our business.”

“People at all levels of the company connect with Habitat, share its vision and support its mission,” added Tom Lape, president of Mohawk residential. “For years, our employees from both Mohawk commercial and residential divisions have arrived at work sites ready to help with anything from building and raising the walls to landscaping. They consistently participate wherever and however they can to make every project a success.”

Because Atlanta Habitat homes are designed to be affordable, well-built and environmentally friendly, Mohawk furnishes them with EverStrand carpet containing up to 100 percent recycled content.  In addition to its affordability and green advantages, EverStrand is inherently stain-free and easy to clean, giving homeowners the perfect balance of value, beauty and sustainability.

“We feel that Mohawk’s core strengths—developing and using the right products to make homes more beautiful, comfortable and livable—naturally tie in with Atlanta Habitat’s goal of building quality affordable housing for local families and promoting successful home ownership,” Vermette said. “Aligning our values and philanthropic initiatives with those of neighboring groups maximizes our effectiveness in our community and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Habitat to better the areas in which we all live and work.”

 

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Myth busters: Credit misconceptions

July 7/14, 2014; Volume 28/Number 2

Why retailers increase sales with financing

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.58.03 AMDespite the popularity and widespread usage of credit by consumers and utilization of credit programs by most businesses, there are flooring dealers today who resist embracing these payment options.

Believe it or not, one of the credit myths to which skeptical retailers subscribe is that consumers are no longer utilizing credit. However, Mike Zoellner, vice president of marketing services for Mohawk, refuted this assumption. “Over the last 18 months, consumers have started using credit more regularly as the economy continues to rebound,” he said. “Research shows that a strong credit offer attracts customers. It drives store traffic as well as influences the entire buying process. Additionally, it has been proven that consumers are willing to spend more and upgrade their floors when they know there is a good consumer financing opportunity up for grabs.”

In fact, GE Capital Retail Bank (now operating as Synchrony Bank) reported that 72% of cardholders actually spent more on their purchases as the result of financing. Eighty-three percent of cardholders said having financing available influenced their final choice of a flooring retailer, meaning a credit program is a likely way of attracting more business.

Credit also helps flooring dealers maintain a competitive edge. By offering private-label credit cards, Zoellner explained, independent retailers are able to offer extended financing at competitive rates usually available only from big box retail stores. “These rates level the playing field by allowing dealers to advertise and promote at the same level as the larger home centers.”

Brian Copps, industry vice president, flooring, GE Capital Retail Bank, also noted how credit and financing brings independent retailers to the same level on which larger operations conduct business. “A financing program puts flooring retailers on par with larger merchants, generates top-of-mind awareness and encourages the customer to come back more often and make referrals. When a consumer is approved and makes a purchase, retailers may use this information to cultivate relationships and repeat business with them in the future,” instead of going directly to big boxes.

Another credit myth is that private-label financing is an additive cost of doing business. “In these cases, retailers are forgetting they are already paying MasterCard or Visa to process that card,” Zoellner said. “If a customer uses her private-label store card, then there is no bank card cost. For example, if 6-month financing costs the business 2.5% to process and Visa costs the business 3% to process, it actually saves the retailer money.”

Of course, choosing the right financing provider is a key part of the process. Companies like GE Capital Retail Bank help support retailers who may find themselves in a bind with their private-label programs.

For example, Zoellner noted that retailers mistakenly think they will be responsible if the consumer stops making her monthly payment. “While we cannot speak for all finance programs, Mohawk offers a non-recourse private-label program, underwritten by GE Retail Bank, which eliminates the store’s exposure and puts the risk back on the bank.”

Banks like GE Capital help eliminate the fear that retailers and salespeople will find it difficult to understand and communicate information about stores’ independent credits programs. For example, GE provides a list of all special financing options and required consumer documents, making them easy to understand and follow, and offers detailed training via its online Learning Center. “We also provide loyalty solutions and research and insights on consumer buying trends and the purchase journey,” Copps noted.

Some ideas resistant retails should consider:

•When applying for credit, a consumer provides information about herself such as her name, mailing address, phone number and email address. When a consumer is approved and makes a purchase, you may be able to use this information to cultivate relationships and repeat business in the future.

•More than 46% of those surveyed by GE Capital Retail Bank categorized their flooring purchases as a “need.” Customers who have a retailer’s credit card usually have room on their accounts for future projects, if they have moved or want to remodel an additional part of their home or are looking to upgrade to a better model— all top purchase triggers. Sixty-seven percent of GE cardholders surveyed indicated they are “extremely likely” to use the card again, and almost all GE cardholders are aware and open to using their credit card again in the future.

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Mohawk: Continuum drives PET; character wood is hard surface story for ’14

January 20/27, 2014; Volume 27/Number 19

By Steven Feldman

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 12.06.41 PMDallas—The floor covering industry began its long climb from the depths of the downturn last year as retailers saw more customers walk through their front doors, something that is only expected to continue in the years ahead. With such a backdrop, much of Mohawk’s 2014 carpet introductions reflect the return of that diverse customer who may be seeking more than higher-end products like SmartStrand and SmartStrand Silk, on which the company focused over the last few years.  Continue reading Mohawk: Continuum drives PET; character wood is hard surface story for ’14

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Mohawk Flooring partners with HomeAdvisor

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 4.13.18 PMCalhoun, Ga. — Mohawk Flooring has announced a new partnership with HomeAdvisor, a leading website and mobile app provider offering resources for home repair, maintenance and improvement projects. Through this partnership, Mohawk’s Aligned retail partners are eligible for special promotions and quarterly rebate credit on service professional products.

Mohawk’s Aligned retailers will have access to HomeAdvisor’s digital marketing products, including a mobile app, website, an online profile listing and the HomeAdvisor Seal of Approval. The Seal of Approval is given to contractors who pass HomeAdvisor’s background check and become part of HomeAdvisor’s network of service professionals. Millions of homeowners use HomeAdvisor’s network to find a reputable service professional for their home projects.

“This partnership provides Mohawk’s Aligned retailers access to our continuously expanding product suite,” said HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill. “Our proven success in online marketing will help these professionals increase their success by growing their online reach.”

Mohawk is pleased to be able to add HomeAdvisor to its collection of Aligned retail services. “HomeAdvisor is a technology leader in the home space. Connecting our customers to this service continues to differentiate Aligned retailers in their respective marketplaces and adds value to the overall consumer experience,” said Mike Zoellner, VP Marketing Services for Mohawk.  “As a HomeAdvisor partner, Mohawk Aligned retailers will be able to leverage HomeAdvisor’s network of more than 25 million homeowners.”