Kronotex Rebrands Its Laminate
In the glory days of laminate, Formica successfully became a front-running brand that consumers could identify in flooring almost as easily as they could point to Kleenex for tissues. But now, as the category has matured, modern consumers have adopted a new series of attributes they have deemed important in positively identifying a brand. And with that notion in mind, Kronotex launched a rebranding of its laminate offering in American Concepts this past August.
Travis Bass, vice president of sales and marketing for Kronotex USA, told FCW in September that the company felt that it was the right time to launch a new brand for specialty retail that focuses on the modern consumer’s current desire for flooring that has American style, quality, value and, most importantly, is made in the U.S.A.
“For eight years, Formica Flooring has leveraged a name well known for durability, but there was a need to update to a brand that embodies a new set of trends and consumer demands that will drive sales going forward,” said Bass. “We have technically taken three differently branded lines produced in our South Carolina factory and created a single brand: American Concepts.”
Bass explained that rebranding a name as recognizable as Formica was seen, at first, as a little risky, but the company can now report that it has been an extremely successful transition. “The brand refreshment has provided a much more manageable and serviceable program. Consolidating three brands or product lines into one reduces SKU count which allows us to focus on ‘the best of the best’ in design selection and inventory replenishment,” he said. “American Concepts will be our sole branded product line and we are focused on growing our share of the specialty retail business.”
Before choosing a new brand name, Kronotex made tremendous efforts in researching what resonates with the modern consumer. And overwhelmingly, Bass said, the average flooring purchaser for laminate products chose Kronotex’s new American-themed design over many other well-known national brand names.
“The retailer and consumer response to our program launch has been extremely positive. Purchase numbers from our existing customers has exceeded our expectations and we anticipate continued robust sales as we head into the spring season. The ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ message is timely and strong, and has been well received across all channels of presentation. Retailers have been very happy with our ability to service the program from inventory that is only a matter of days away,” Bass explained. “We are receiving inquiries from new customers as well; an indicator that the industry as a whole likes the American Concepts line.”
American Concepts debuted with 57 SKUs in a variety of thicknesses, colors and finishes. With its first product launches, the designers of American Concepts began with the major trends projected for 2015 such as authentic and handscraped textures placed onto warm, earthy tones. And so far, the first introductions have been selling well across the board, Bass noted. “We are really hitting a sweet spot with each of the initial introductions. Our partners continue to be impressed by how consumers gravitate towards our displays and our product designs.”
American Concepts’ collections range from entry level 7mm products to high-end 12mm products. All 57 items in the offering will be made in Barnwell, S.C., and are Greenguard certified for indoor air quality.
Source: http://www.fcw1.com (Released on 8th December 2014)