It’s no secret that hardwood flooring has misplaced valuable market share to competing flooring classes comparable to SPC and LVT/P and, extra not too long ago, laminate. With all of the hoopla surrounding waterproof safety, notably concerning the rising array of resilient choices, it has to turn out to be more difficult for hardwood to compete with these merchandise face to face.
However, hardwood flooring suppliers and specialty wooden distributors usually are not caving into the stress. Past making efficiency enhancements designed to enhance hardwood flooring’s efficiency within the house, suppliers and distributors are additionally making use of their artistic juices by using varied branding and advertising initiatives. The objective, they are saying, is to get retailers and finish customers enthusiastic about promoting hardwood—a premium product class with a bunch of tangible advantages.
One latest instance of this creativity at work is the advertising program that Southern Diversified Distributors—the mother or father firm of high 20 distributor William M. Hen—put in place to advertise each of its supplier-branded hardwood flooring choices in addition to its private-label traces. (These embody Somerset, Raintree, and Palmetto Highway.) Within the outdated days, the duty of shopper advertising within the flooring enterprise has largely been positioned on the producer. Nonetheless, Southern Diversified Distributors has been using another methodology to succeed in and affect the patron in her flooring buying determination by leveraging (look ahead to it) its consumer-facing Twenty & Oak online advertising platform.
Twenty & Oak is an internet site that includes a digital showroom to succeed in customers out there for ground protecting. However, as a substitute for promoting direct to the patron, any leads generated are forwarded alongside to the suitable retail companion for complying with up. “Lately, we actually began seeing the rise of the e-retailer and the way that was affecting our regionally owned, impartial flooring retailers,” stated Sharon Higgins, senior advertising strategist for Southern Diversified. “Many instances they’d see pricing online that undercut what they have been promoting.”
Whereas Southern Diversified Distributors had lengthy noticed a web pricing coverage designed to guard its core manufacturers and suppliers, the corporate realized it nonetheless wanted to discover a solution to have a presence within the online area without hurting brick-and-mortar sellers. “Twenty & Oak actually got here out of that thought course of,” Higgins defined. “For our impartial retailers, it’s about with the ability to compete on-line however in a method that actually displays who they’re. Twenty & Oak helps retailers obtain that.”
At the core of this advertising, the technique is social media. Twenty & Oak has partnered with 4 main house influencers to inform the story of Twenty & Oak, the model, and the retailer, and to showcase the ground shopping for the course of from beginning to end. Twenty & Oak kicked off its influencer program with a partnership with Traci (goes by first identify solely) from Beneath My Coronary heart, offering her Biscuit engineered hardwood flooring from Palmetto Highway’s Chalmer’s Assortment for her house.
Subsequently, the corporate partnered with Lindsay Jackman at White Buffalo Styling Co., offering her Cottonfield hardwood flooring from Veranda by Palmetto Highway’s Charleston Assortment for her residence. Then Twenty & Oak teamed up with Laura Janning of Duke Manor Farm, offering her with Crevasse 100% waterproof hardwood flooring from Raintree Flooring. Lastly, the corporate partnered with Kim Wilson from Sand & Sisal, offering her greater than 1,500 sq. ft of Nola hardwood flooring from Palmetto Highway’s Tuscany assortment.
The influencers have been supplied with the flooring of their selection in change for 4 weeks of protection, together with unique weblog posts, social amplification, video, and high-quality, high-resolution photographs that can be utilized for future advertising and/or branding functions. To assist every marketing campaign, the influencers got a branded URL together with a shopper code for ordering free samples.
“We discovered these companions to be a good way to share their journey of shopping for new flooring from begin to end,” Higgins stated. “Interesting on to flooring consumers and driving customers right into a retailer to ask for the flooring manufacturers showcased was an enormous deal in comparison with the normal distributor function, which is to herald shows and put all of the native advertising on the shop.”
And if this ends in retailers promoting extra wooden flooring, then it’s all well worth the effort. Influencer Janning of Duke Manor Farm partnered with Loganville, Ga.-based Albright’s Flooring, and Sand & Sisal’s Wilson teamed up with Chesapeake, Va.-based Esprit Decor Residence Furnishings on the trouble. The retailers have been concerned within the course of from the start of every marketing campaign with in-store product choice and putting in the flooring. Influencers have been capable of order samples, and Twenty & Oak matched the influencer with their nearest retailer. Subsequently, the influencer was inspired to go to their retailer to view bigger pattern boards to help their choice course. Designers and flooring specialists on the retailer have been additionally capable of help the influencer and reply questions. Your entire journey was chronicled for the influencer’s loyal readers and following.
“It was a really nice expertise,” stated Kris Creekmore, supervisor of the ground protecting division at Espirit Décor Flooring. “Everyone was very skilled and really courteous of our time and assets. It went very properly.”
Extra importantly, Espirit Décor Flooring acquired leads that they won’t have had entry to in any other case, had they not participated within the Twenty & Oak influencer advertising initiative. “I’ve gotten emails the place folks have requested some samples to be despatched to them, and I’ve reached out to them and launched myself,” Creekmore instructed FCNews. Now, it’s only a matter of changing these leads into gross sales.
Different suppliers are using star energy to focus on customers who would possibly quickly be out there for hardwood flooring. Such is the case with the newly launched tmbr brand of hardwood from AHF Products. In assist of the brand new model, AHF enlisted the providers of Seth and Tori Bolt, house owners of Bolt Farm Treehouse. The millennial life-style couple builds extremely sought-after B&B properties that present a nature-immersive journey expertise.
“We really feel deeply aligned with tmbr because the model, like ours, artfully showcases the pure great thing about the good outdoor,” Tori Bolt acknowledged.
Previous to its partnership with the Bolts, AHF efficiently collaborated on a co-branding initiative involving Mark Bowe, host of the cable TV present “Barnwood Builders.” Bowe, a talented craftsman, historian and the founding father of Vintage Cabins and Barns, based mostly in Beverly, W. Va., teamed as much as introduce the Barnwood Residing assortment—a line of American-made stable hardwood flooring that conveys the genuine look of a reclaimed, time-worn ground.
“This assortment brings this genuine look to the mass market, permitting customers to capitalize on this look with the standard they’ve come to anticipate from the Bruce model,” stated Wendy Booker, vice chairman, advertising and product growth, AHF Merchandise.