Partnerships Are Giving Flooring More Stimulus
Harvey Booth, UK sales and marketing director at Kährs UK, says partnerships and customer friendly products are creating new opportunities:
AS an industry, I think we’ve turned a corner. For so long, it was all about the price per square metre. Now it’s all about something else… partnerships and the added value that they can bring.
The tough economic climate has reshaped the marketplace, and I believe that one of the most positive changes has been the forging of even stronger relationships. From a manufacturer stand-point, the producers of wood flooring are working a lot harder to fulfil demand.
Rather than just introducing a new product or range, we’re now tailoring new products to suit specific customer needs. Take one of our recent restaurant applications. A new product was given a bespoke treatment on site, so that the floor was the exact same shade as other restaurants in the chain.
Or, the chain of department stores for which a bespoke floor was developed, to complement the stores’ design and corporate signage colour scheme. A few years ago, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. But now there’s a new flexibility and its opening new doors.
In product development, it’s no longer just the designers and trend forecasters that make the decisions. Customers are getting involved as well, so we’re able to produce products that tick all of the boxes. It’s an approach that’s been used in other sectors, like fashion, for some time and it’s great to see it breathing new life into the wood sector.
These partnerships are also enabling all parties to make a bigger impact in the marketplace. For example, shared investment in the showroom environment is allowing dealers and retailers to create more attractive, well designed spaces. Joint marketing initiatives are also allowing partners to pool funds and make more impact – from dual promotion of a CPD seminar or new eco-innovation, to the combination of different ‘complementary’ products on the same exhibition stand.
Despite the often gloomy press, there are a lot of fabulous opportunities out there. Our product ranges are more diverse than ever before and, by putting our heads together, we can make a real difference. We can add real value and build foundations for a great future.
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This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.