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Stanton makes changes to West Coast sales team

Richard Crawford

Syosset, N.Y.—Stanton Carpet has made key changes to its West Coast sales leadership. Rich Crawford was promoted to Western regional vice president of Antrim, Rosecore and Crescent, effective April 9. Additionally, Bob Rawlins joins Stanton as Western regional vice president.

“We continue to strengthen and expand our sales leadership with these new and very important roles setting the stage for our next phases of growth,” said Jonathan Cohen, Stanton’s CEO and president.

In his new role, Crawford will be responsible for the growth of the Antrim, Rosecore and Crescent brands in the Western region, managing a sales team of over 12 people. Crawford will work closely with and report to Geoff Siebold, the national sales manager for Antrim, Crescent and Rosecore.

Bob Rawlins

Crawford started his career at Stanton 12 years ago as Western regional sales manager for Stanton, later adding Antrim after Stanton’s acquisition of the brand in November 2007. Crawford’s long, successful pattern of growth and sales leadership across Stanton and Antrim in the West has made him the ideal candidate for this critical new role.

Simultaneous to the promotion of Crawford, Rawlins joins Stanton with responsibility for the Stanton sales team in the Western region. Rawlins is a seasoned veteran, more recently as the Western regional vice president for Royalty Carpet with prior experience as the Western divisional vice president for Mohawk-Horizon and as the vice president of sales for RC Furniture. Rawlins has been a top performer in his past experience in broadloom and furniture.

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Mills find a niche with custom rug programs

March 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

 

As hard surface products continue to take market share residentially, carpet mills are facing some choices: hope the pendulum swings back to broadloom, or get in on the action. Many of them chose the latter, offering custom area rug programs as an add-on sale to hardwood and other types of hard surfaces. In fact, for some mills, business has been flourishing in this era of hard surface growth.

“I tell people we are no longer in the carpet business,” said Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales for Nourison, which is strictly a soft surface supplier. “I tell people we are in the hard surface business and rugs are the complementary piece. The world is all about fabricated rugs.”

Following is a sampling of some custom rug programs and offerings available today.

Anderson Tuftex

A/T, a Shaw Industries brand, will continue to utilize the custom area rug program Tuftex has had for the past several years. “We can cut any of our A/T carpets into a custom area rug up to 24 x 36 feet,” said Katie Ford, director of brand strategy. She said shapes for area rugs include rectangles, squares, rounds and ovals, as well as floor and stair runners. “We also offer a full assortment of edge treatments such as binding, serging, fabric and leather.”

Couristan

Couristan has built on the success of a custom area rug program it started in 2014. Its program allows dealers to fabricate a Couristan product into a custom area rug that addresses their customers’ decorating needs. Today, Couristan’s broadloom business is heavily fabricated, with more than 50% of its business in fabricated rugs. “The hard surface [category] has actually helped our business,” said Len Andolino, executive vice president–residential division, Couristan. “We are pushing the envelope with fabricated rugs.”

Lexmark

Lexmark Residential recently launched its Unite Custom Rug Program that lets retailers select their choice from any of Lexmark Living’s three broadloom pattern collections. “What is great about this program is it is built on the same construction as our hospitality line, which is our bread and butter,” said John Madden, general manager, Western region.

Masland

Masland’s program, Custom Area Carpets and Rugs, expands design options for the floor and offers custom capabilities. Options range from wall-to-wall to inset area carpets and rugs to loose-laid rugs on top of flooring surfaces. This Dixie Group brand has a custom program that can make any size or shape rug from its broadloom offerings. The program has been well-received, according to Jared Coffin, vice president–rugs and wool products, who noted, “Rugs gives us an insight into trends; therefore, it’s an important part of our business.”

Mohawk/Karastan

Karastan, Mohawk’s high-end rug supplier, lets users create their own looks with its Inspired Luxury program. Customers are able to choose looks from a select group of styles, 100 color options and custom rug bindings. In addition, at Surfaces 2018, Mohawk Home showed Vintage Tapis, a hand-knotted collection available in four sizes including 10 x 14. The line is designed with soft, natural cotton rather than jute. According to Mohawk executives, the most sought-after line at the show was Spike Market with Everstrand fiber. This premium polyester is produced with up to 100% post-consumer content from plastic bottles. The rugs are stain resistant.

Nance Industries

For Nance Industries, rugs have always been its bread and butter. “That is really our niche, and you are seeing a lot better growth in rugs,” said Mike Nance, principal. The company showed new custom-made rugs at the show. In fact, Nance employs two custom-rug artists who can create almost any design pattern or theme a customer can imagine at any size they choose.

Nourison

Fifty to Infinity is a custom-rug program by Nourison that utilizes the very best in woven broadloom rugs. Each rug is made to order from premium woven broadloom carpeting and serged on the edges for a quality, finished look. Production time takes seven to 10 business days. Available sizes range from

5 x 7 to 10 x 10 and everything in between.

Phenix Flooring

Phenix is no stranger to trying new things—or markets, for that matter. At Surfaces, it announced its entry into the area rug business under the Cleaner Home Rugs banner.

Mark Clayton, president and CEO, said the move into rugs is a nod to the explosive growth of hard surfaces. “With so many beautiful patterns in our line, this is just a natural addition to what we are doing for hard surfaces.”

Prestige Mills

Add Prestige to the list of carpet mills looking to leverage the growth of hard surfaces. According to Peter Feldman, president, a high percentage of the company’s broadloom business ends up as rugs, in some cases cut by their dealers after shipping. “While cutting broadloom carpet into rugs is good for the rug business, you are only using part of the room with rugs, so more carpet is required if you are going to go that way,” Feldman said. “It is a challenge, but we are up for it.”

Prestige Mills also sells rugs under the Stark Studio Rugs label. Stark, the wholesale rug division of Stark Carpet, is a to-the-trade carpet, fabric, rugs and wallcovering specialist with a significant presence in the custom-rug space.

Stanton Carpet

Stanton is well known for the style and design of its broadloom selections. But the fact is many of the company’s inspirations come from high-end area rugs, according to Jonathan Cohen, CEO. Stanton has been selling custom rugs for years. The company even has a “Create A Rug” page on its website that allows customers to choose carpet style and color, select the finish (i.e., hand serging, binding options) and then use the custom rug visualizer to choose their rug.

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Stanton sets standards for style, performance, luxury across all brands

Syosset, N.Y.—Stanton Carpet is gearing up to highlight its new styles at Surfaces 2018, booth 6047. These innovative products aim to set standards for style, durability, performance and luxury across all four of its brands.

Following are some of the manufacturer’s newest products.

Stanton:

  • The manufacturer’s newly built B2B site, Stantonb2b.com, allows its customers to easily place, reserve and track orders around the clock from your phone, tablet or computer. The site is complete with revolutionary functionality including a Create-A-Rug feature that allows image friendly automation of the rug fabrication ordering process. This feature enables users to quickly choose the style, color, binding, finishing and size for an instant quote. In addition, the B2B site offers the ability to view invoices, search for products and promotional items, check real-time stock, place orders, pay online, etc.

Crescent:

  • Lanark is a wool and tencel blend enhanced by chunky, cable cut yarns in cut pile. The tencel adds refinement and an air of distinction and elegance with the added luster of the tencel fiber to the wool.
  • Morris is a wire wilton-wool blend in a wood grain look design. This style features varied levels of high/low loop structure that add a textured, cutting edge stylized look.

Rosecore:

  • Nexus tweed is 100% nylon type 6,6 and offers a herringbone design re-imagined. Usually saved for classic woolens, the manufacturer has reinvented the look in gleaming, polished nylon using a neutral color palette.
  • Nexus squared is 100% hand-loomed nylon type 6,6 with an oversized and weighty, cut and loop design. The large cut pile windowpane square design is emphasized with cut pile defining the square, and a low, distinctive tight loop pile in the background. Rich solid colors ground the look with a new Macaw blue that steals the spotlight.

Antrim:

  • Archipelago is 100% wool in a hand loomed linear flatweave design. Its random linear striations are unpredictable and provincial. In basic mid-tone on tone colors, we have added coastal shades of pink, slate and citron for a modern and contemporary look.
  • Enlighten is a polysilk and cotton blend all loop corded hand loomed design. Space dye yarn in beautiful tone on tone shades is enhanced by a high interlocking ribbed and corded loop. Highly stylized and dramatic texture is created by the changing of yarn types creating an engaging and dynamic look.

Hibernia:

  • Homestead and Colony feature premium natural un-dyed wool that is hand-loomed into simple yet elegant patterns. A neutral color palette adds to the organic feel of these styles.
  • Branford displays machine tufted natural and dyed wool featuring high and low loops to create dimensional interest. Soft tones and a linear pattern create versatility and allow for use in any space.
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Stanton Carpet launches new B2B site

October 23/30, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 10

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.27.40 PMStanton Carpet is looking to simplify the way it transacts with retail customers via a new B2B website—stantonb2b.com. The site makes it easier for retailers to find products, submit requests to create a rug, view dropped products and order swatches, among other features.

The new B2B site, which launched Oct. 9, is something Stanton has been working on for approximately two years. “A lot of what we’ve incorporated in this first phase comes from feedback we received from the retailers, because ultimately we are creating the site for them to use,” said Chad Johnfroe, director of information systems, Stanton Carpet.

With the development of this site the company has created what Jonathan Cohen, president and CEO of Stanton Carpet, calls “the Amazon of B2B. This is another way we can provide retailers with really great service aside from our other areas of service in the organization. While they are not required to do business with us online, there are so many more things available on the site. It’s better, faster, easier. We feel like we have the best of both with this new B2B system.”

On the company’s previous site, which Stanton refers to as its customer service interface, retailers could place orders. However, it was static and more of a utilitarian site. Retailers who were using the old system are now automatically enrolled in the new site.

With the B2B site, retailers can seamlessly navigate through different menus to view multiple accounts, custom rug jobs, reservations, helpful links regarding topics such as display and installation guides, promotional items, dropped products, new product introductions and more. Dealers can also create a rug as well as order swatches and stock. The create-a-rug feature was developed to help retailers save time when placing a custom rug order. The new site provides brief explanations for finish options, attached backing/padding as well as quarter-turn options. The create-a-rug section also includes a visualizer box that allows the user to zoom in on the product.

Other enhancements include greater access to customer service reps. Through the new site the customer service support desk is now available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is a dramatic change from its previous hours of operations which ended at 6 p.m. EST. The site also contains quick links for dealers with autofill, a mark-up tool and the option to view retailer vs. consumer pricing.

A key element to the creation of the new B2B site is it reinforces Stanton Carpet’s commitment to sell only to the flooring retailer. While certain features, such as the create-a-rug option, will soon be available on an updated consumer website, customers will not be able to purchase products directly from Stanton. If a consumer chooses to create a rug, they will only be able to submit a rug design, which then goes to the nearest retailer who can follow up about the desired product.

Stanton has scheduled a few webinars to help walk retailers through the new site. The company has also alerted dealers of the updated site through email and a “Top Five Reasons Why” campaign. The company also plans on showcasing the website at Surfaces 2018.

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Stanton Carpet makes changes to sales leadership

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 4.39.19 PMSyosset, N.Y.—Stanton Carpet has announced three key changes in its sales leadership. Effective immediately, George Forte will transition from vice president of sales to executive development director; Mitch White has been promoted to vice president of sales for Stanton; and Kevin Blaine joins the team as Northeast regional vice president for Stanton and Antrim.

In Forte’s role as executive development director, he will be responsible for all new sales training, follow up training, key accounts, recruiting and special projects among other responsibilities. Forte started as a regional manager in 1998 and was promoted to vice president of sales in 2003. In this post for 14 years, his expertise helped lead Stanton to significant growth and transformation to mostly company sales personnel over this time.

White, as vice president of sales, will be responsible for all sales managers and all sales including Stanton, Antrim, Rosecore and Crescent throughout the U.S. and Canada. White will spearhead all major sales initiatives while managing Stanton’s big picture sales growth. White joined Stanton 11 years ago as Northeast regional sales manager having grown to include a large portion of the east as Eastern regional vice president.

Blaine joins Stanton, succeeding White, with responsibility for 12 salespeople to grow Stanton’s Northeast business. Blaine is a seasoned veteran in decorative carpet and rugs for 30 plus years joining Stanton from his post as Northeast regional sales manager for Kaleen. He has been a top performer in selling and marketing machine woven and tufted broadloom as well as hand-loomed broadloom and rugs.

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Carpet pushes back against hard surface

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.29.45 PMCarpet’s share of the overall flooring market has dropped from 50.9% of dollars in 2006 to 41.5% in 2016, according to FCNews estimates. While the downward trend has not been dramatic, it has been steady and consistent.

Carpet mill executives don’t need to look at statistics to know what is happening in the marketplace. The big ones (i.e., Mohawk and Shaw) have already transformed into total flooring solutions companies, well positioned to take advantage of any flooring trend. As Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk Industries, explained, “We are not working to stem the tide on anything. Our business is about meeting consumer demand wherever that may be.”

The smaller mills have options, too. Some have entered the hard surface category; others are contemplating such a move. And there are some who have stuck to their soft surface knitting, redoubling their efforts to deliver differentiated product.

So what are carpet mills to do about combating the inexorable gains of hard surface? Some advocate promoting the benefits of carpet. “It’s softer, warmer, more comfortable, quieter and safer than hard surfaces,” said T.M. Nuckols, executive vice president of the residential business for Dixie Home. “We also make beautiful styles and designs that can complement the many looks available in hard surfaces.”

Rodney Mauter, executive vice president, Lexmark Residential, has his own ideas. “We must keep driving the positives of carpet; after all, no one takes a nap on a hardwood floor, no one plays with the baby or puppy on a tile floor.”

Others say it is the carpet industry’s duty to continue to explore innovation and technology. “Whether it’s through style, design or performance, soft floor covering will continue to evolve and develop and ultimately remain a viable flooring option to consumers long into the future,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing, Engineered Floors.

Soft, durable carpet provides a healthy profit margin for flooring dealers, especially when sold with pad. Some observers say the industry needs to drill down on that. “First and foremost, we need to put an end to the continuation of the race to the bottom in terms of PET pricing and overall devaluation of the category,” said Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface category management, Shaw Floors. “The industry collectively needs to do more to promote the many benefits of soft surfaces, none more tried and true than its value compared to other surfaces. We don’t need to give it away.”

Other mills find focusing on a particular niche is beneficial. Stanton, for example, has grown its business by being selective about its patterns and offerings. “It’s about being thoughtful about the design part of it,” said Jonathan Cohen, CEO. “You can use existing technology that is out there to create something fresh. We can step it up a couple notches and produce something that is really good looking.”

Indeed, executives say there is no substitute for continually innovating to create new and compelling products. “Homeowners are no longer interested in 50 shades of beige,” Mauter said. “They demand every room of the home to denote personal style while providing comfort and performance. Easy care and maintenance is also important; products must clean easily and last.”

Ongoing initiatives
Research indicates that consumers shop by look and feel rather than fiber type. To that end, carpet mills are developing products that look great and can withstand high-traffic areas. That is no easy feat, but driving innovation is the only way to keep carpet relevant, executives say. “Carpet can be on the cutting edge of home décor,” Dixie’s Nuckols said.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.30.06 PMTo address the hard surface opportunity for soft surfaces, Phenix has introduced a line of products that speaks to specific needs and that provide unique solutions for the consumer. In 2017 it introduced more patterns and textures to address the fact that carpet is often being used within individual rooms—as opposed to the entire home. “It allows the consumer to use carpet as a focal point of the room’s design,” said Mark Clayton, president and CEO of Phenix Flooring. “We also recognize the fact that broadloom carpets are often being used to create one-of-a-kind area rugs that can be used in conjunction with hard surfaces, so this provides additional opportunities to expand pattern and textural designs.”

Other companies are combining hard surface and soft surface in the same display systems to create a coordinated look for the home. Shaw’s TruAccents carpet collection pairs bold styles and patterns with hard surface visuals on a single merchandiser. “We understand that consumers want both hard and soft surface products in their homes, and this gives them a convenient, one-stop destination for ease of shopping and comparison,” Christensen said.

Mohawk is a total flooring company, and within that scope carpet remains a very significant piece of business. “How do we keep carpet part of the conversation?” Arnold asked. “The relentless focus we have on innovation, which is true of all our categories, is really true of carpet. We invest to stay competitive. The success we have with SmartStrand and all the innovations we brought to market has allowed us to keep carpet a profitable category.”

For companies that don’t have the depth and breadth of a Mohawk or Shaw, there are still niches to fill. Foss, for example, has focused on promoting non-woven, needle-punch broadloom and carpet tile products as an appealing and affordable accessory—or outright alternative—to traditional flooring. “Many consumers who prefer hard surfaces are attracted to our products because of their beauty and warmth combined with the attractive look and durability of a low-pile floor,” said Brian Warren, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Not to mention, our products provide the consumer with a higher level of affordability and versatility because they work in virtually any application or market.”

Advice for dealers
While carpet manufacturers continue to explore ways to recoup market share, executives also believe flooring dealers can do their part to help combat the growth of hard surfaces. Strategies range from offering custom rugs made of broadloom to creating vignettes showing stairs with carpet inserts to upselling customers to better goods.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.30.16 PMLexmark’s Mauter, for example, said his company coaches its retailers to think outside the norm by using different patterns with the same colorway to create subtle differences throughout the home without the need to change paint color or furniture. He also suggested making custom rugs out of broadloom to facilitate room size and dimensions and to create additional revenue.

Mohawk, for its part, emphasizes “X-plusing,” which is educating and selling the consumer on why trading up makes sense. As Arnold explains: “A consumer walks in and is planning to spend ‘X’ and instead of being traded down to lower priced goods—which are often lower-quality goods and reinforces the notion that carpet isn’t made well—offering a smaller selection of better quality product rather than a sea of sameness would be a better option. It’s about great marketing and storytelling. If you provide that customer with a compelling reason to trade up to a premium product like SmartStrand Silk you can X plus them 10%, 20%.”

Arnold said the successful retailers understand that less is more and having the right product at the right price point is key. “You have to set up your showroom for trade-up possibilities and allow consumers to feel the difference. Telling compelling stories and presenting extraordinary product is the formula for retailers.”

Clayton advised retailers to remind the consumer of the true benefits of carpet and hard surfaces and be sure they understand the potential challenges of each product. “Some consumers and their lifestyles would actually benefit from the utilitarian benefits of soft surfaces, not to mention the design opportunities.”

Shaw’s Christensen suggests retailers can help drive excitement by touting the many styling benefits and performance features. “Carpet today has a compelling performance story while also offering breathtaking visuals in a wide array of styling options. Retailers can continue listening to the needs and concerns of consumers and establish credibility by suggesting the right flooring solution for every space and every consumer appetite. There is no doubt that carpet will continue to play an important role for consumers. People forget that carpet is the largest category and still has a dominant position in peoples’ homes, and carpet remains a very import product to help drive this.”

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Social Media: Using Instagram to find new customers

February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19

By Ayme Sinclair, Stanton Carpet

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.47.25 AMIf you look at the top 100 brands in the world, 90% of them have an Instagram account. More importantly, customer interactions with the brands that are on Instagram are 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times greater than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. Statistics prove Instagram is by far the best platform for staying connected with your customers.

Using at least one hashtag (or keyword) increases the likelihood of these connections, making them an important feature to use on this platform. Users can tag their images with keywords to describe things about the photo to make them searchable. These keywords can be a variety of things such as the name of the park where the photo was taken or the type of animal being shown.

But how would this help a retailer? Dealers can use these keywords to find customers who are looking to make renovations. It’s a great tool to help you identify users who have visited a nearby furniture or big box store. The beauty of the hashtag is it also works in reverse. Users can search hashtags, and if you use them properly they will find you. Once you identify and start using the correct set of keywords, your customer will easily find your Instagram page and see the images you’re sharing.

However, utilizing social media isn’t just about sharing photos. It’s a platform that allows you to talk and interact with potential customers to help you build a relationship with them. Remember, hashtags will only increase these interactions. For example, Stanton Carpet recently helped one of its retailer partners develop an effective set of keywords. At the start, Cove Carpet One Floor & Home, based in Summit, N.J., was receiving about 10 “likes” each time it posted a photo on Instagram. Stanton was able to boost this number to 68 after using the hashtags in only a single post. That represents an increase of nearly 600%. But what’s more important than the sheer number was the quality of the audience. Reports show 30% were designers or contractors with another 30% comprising home improvement enthusiasts; 10% were real estate professionals.

“We connected with more people in this post than we’ve ever had before,” said Donna Dwyre, president, Cove Carpet One Floor & Home. “The results were not only fantastic, but they were instant. It helped us start conversations with customers who had not been in the store for months.”

Which leads me to my last point: The best part about using social media marketing is you can see the results immediately, and all the interactions are documented. These interactions, also known as engagement, are golden nugget leads that your sales associates can use to follow up and get new and returning customers back into the store. And the best part is it can all be done for free.

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.53.12 AMAyme Sinclair is the marketing director at Stanton Carpet. Her innovative social media programs in the home industry have provided explosive growth and revenue-generating leads prompting case studies from companies like Architectural Digest and General Electric. For more information on how to use social media to grow your business, join the Stanton Retailer Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.

 

 

 

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Social media: How to create a consistent Instagram feed

January 30/February 6, 2017: Volume 31, Number 17

By Ayme Sinclair, Stanton Carpet

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 4.26.57 PMWith over 50 million photos being uploaded daily, Instagram is the most powerful platform you can use to engage directly with your audience.

When someone comes to your profile he or she will not only see the bio we talked about how to create in my last column, but a collection of the last photos you’ve posted. If your photo gallery is a mash up of posts with no consistency, potential clients and customers may overlook you. Having a consistent feed is really important. Followers gravitate toward cohesive feeds.

Create a color palette and give yourself some guidelines for those images to follow to keep your posts consistent. This is key, but you definitely want to start with great photography. Most retailers don’t have the resources to shoot professional photos of their finished installs after the space is designed. Therefore, a lot of the images used in your advertising come from several flooring manufacturers. So one might ask how can you pull images with the same colors from various places without drastically reducing the options at your disposal? Easy. If you stick with tones rather than specific colors it gives you a lot more choices. Can’t think of a set of tones you’d like to use? Then choose tones that consistently sell well. This allows you to pick images from your manufacturers that fit your rules. If your color palette is more neutral with grays and blues, then stay on the cooler side and pick photos that consist of cooler blue tones along with grays as opposed to warmer, reddish browns.

Now that you have your colors worked out, next you want to focus on the type of posts you’ll feature. Stay on brand. Resist posting photos that are too personal. If this is your business account, don’t add in photos from that time you went on vacation at the lake. That is unless you took the whole staff along. The best posts are the ones that either encourage your audience to engage with you, solve a problem for them or create an emotional response. For more specifics on the type of posts that work well for retailers, visit our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.

Getting a great feed strategy takes time. Remember these are just guidelines so don’t allow not having a photo with the right color to stop you from posting. Trying new things allows you to figure out what your audience is more responsive to. Coming up with the right look is a process, so keep tweaking it until you find the right balance. Some of the big box stores can get away with posting content that comes off real salesy while a smaller retailer might see a huge drop in engagement. The key is to figure out what is right for you and then be consistent.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.53.12 AMAyme Sinclair is the marketing director at Stanton Carpet. Her innovative social media programs in the home industry have provided explosive growth and revenue-generating leads prompting case studies from companies like Architectural Digest and General Electric. For more information on how to use social media to grow your business, join the Stanton Retailer Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.

 

 

 

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Social Media: How to create an eye-catching Instagram profile

January 2/9, 2017: Volume 31, Number 15

By Ayme Sinclair, marketing director, Stanton Carpet

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.52.57 AMNow that you know Instagram and its 500 million-plus users is the best platform to use to build an audience at virtually no cost, the next step is to set up your account.

It all starts with a good profile. Remember, first impressions are everything, so if a user isn’t already familiar with you, then your profile is their first experience with your business. It’s tempting to just set this up quickly and enter in basic information, but if you do that you might miss a few golden opportunities.

Within the profile you can show how your business will solve their next home renovation problem. You can also use techniques to push them to your website. It’s great to have a lot of followers but it’s risky to keep them on one platform. Vine, for example, was a video social media platform with 200 millions users, but it recently shut down. All of the popular accounts completely lost their ability to communicate with millions of their followers. If Instagram goes away, so does the audience you just spent a great deal of time building. Having them on your website and email lists allows you to push them to the next big thing. In the land of social media, the only constant is change.

First, you need to select a username. It’s important to choose one that is consistent with your business name. You get 30 characters so use them. Because Instagram does not allow you to use spaces in the username it’s tempting to want to abbreviate. I strongly recommend you don’t do that; you don’t want to make it hard for your current customers to find you.

You get a second opportunity to expand on your username by entering in a name. Both your username and name are considered when someone types a keyword into Instagram’s search field. So in addition to listing your business name, add in words that will increase your chances to be found such as your specialty and your location. For example, if you specialize in selling carpet and rugs in Dallas, then your name should look something like this: “BUSINESS NAME” | Carpet & Rug Store | Dallas.

The next step is to create your bio. This is the area where you get to talk about who you are. Ideally, you should break up your bio into three separate lines.

Note: By default, Instagram won’t recognize hard returns if you type them into the bio on the app. There are ways around that; to learn more about how to do this visit our Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.

Line 1 should consist of what you do. Many simply write in their mission statement, but I recommend trying something more creative. For example, state how you can solve a particular homeowner’s problem.

Line 2: This should be your phone number. Instagram recognizes emoticons so include a phone icon in front of the number to give it some personality and pizzazz.

Line 3: This should be your “call to action.” You get one link and it shows up directly underneath your bio. Utilize the last line to encourage users to click on the link to act on a request. I recommend including a directional emoticon to further emphasize this is what you want the user to do.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.53.12 AMAyme Sinclair is the marketing director at Stanton Carpet. Her innovative social media programs in the home industry have provided explosive growth and revenue-generating leads prompting case studies from companies like Architectural Digest and General Electric. For more information on how to use social media to grow your business, join the Stanton Retailer Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.

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Stanton Carpet to highlight new styles at Surfaces

Stanton brand's Rhythm from its Contempt collection.
Stanton brand’s Rhythm from its Contempt collection.

Syosset, N.Y.—Stanton Carpet Corp. will highlight various new styles at Surfaces (Booth 6455). According to the company, the lineup of innovative products will set standards for style, durability, performance and luxury across all four of its brands and the flooring industry.

From its Stanton brand:

  • Cottage collection is made from premium wool and polysilk fibers and consists of three styles: Bungalow, Hillside and Sullivan.
  • Contempo collection boasts a juxtaposition of delustered wool and high luster polysilk and includes Rhythm, Art Deco and Mouveau.
  • The company’s popular Atelier Marquee collection has expanded to include four new nylon carpets: Muse, Brick Lane, Primrose Hill and Parliament Square.

From its Crescent brand:

  • Tailormade collection offers a tailored tweed theme that brings the classic, timeless looks from men’s fashion into the home. It includes three styles: Tattersall, Ticking Stripe and Bentley Tweed.

    Crescent's Tattersall from Tailormade collection.
    Crescent’s Tattersall from Tailormade collection.
  • New to the Brittania collection is Irvine which stands besides the pre-existing popular styles of Prestwick and St. Andrews.

From its Rosecore brand:

  • Privee collection consists of 100% handloomed Tencel fibers in cut pile presentations and includes the styles Perla, Pristine and Soiree.
  • Duplexity collection features Duplexity Dash with Stanton’s Tenlon fiber, a new trademarked fiber.

From its Antrim brand:

  • Horizon features rustic textures achieved through the interplay of thick and thin wool yarns, and offers bold and impressive stripe effects in three neutral colors.
  • Inspired and designed by Mother Nature, Antrim introduces three more hand-loomed styles: Minka, Vitality and Utopia.