2012 WOOD 100 Strategies for Success: Marketing Initiatives
By Karen Koenig | Posted: 09/07/2012 11:45AM
Innovative woodworkers don’t tread lightly when it comes to developing and implementing marketing strategies to grow their businesses. Whether it’s through social media and the internet, TV, print ads or word of mouth, these companies have become experts at promoting the innovation, sustainability and/or diversity of their products. What follows are some of the initiatives by this year’s WOOD 100 companies to successfully market and make the sales.
Oshkosh Designs, Winneconne, WI
Marketing efforts touting its product diversification and innovation have set this flooring manufacturer apart from its competitors. Oshkosh Designs use a variety of materials to manufacture parquet designs, inlays, medallions and borders for use in residential and commercial flooring, stair risers, treads, chair rails, ceilings and backsplashes.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Henke says the company “continues to focus on ways to diversify, whether it be different uses for our current product or different uses for our equipment.” For example, she says, the recent purchase of a double-end tenoner helped the company to diversify into strip flooring. Other machinery in use at the company includes saws, moulders and lasers for etching and cutting the intricate wood parts.
In addition to its standard line of product offerings, Oshkosh Designs can also custom size, shape or change materials to coordinate with customers’ decor. At the 65,000-square-foot central Wisconsin facility the company has the capability to manufacture a variety of media, including domestic and exotic hardwoods, natural stone, metal and glass.
Seeing is believing, and on its website Oshkosh Designs offers plant tours by appointment. Products are sold through a nationwide network of preferred retailers.
Morantz Custom Cabinetry Inc. Morantz Custom Cabinetry Inc., Oakland Park, FL
With an eye toward emphasizing the residential and commercial cabinetry company’s quality, consistency and reliability in manufacturing, Owner and President Harold Morantz says promotion efforts include publishing “testimonials onto Google and our website from clients, designers and fellow cabinetmakers.”
Morantz says networking through LinkedIn as well as other social woodworking media sites also have helped drive business to the company. The efforts have certainly paid off, with Morantz Custom Cabinetry showing a sales growth in 2011 of 57.3%.
More Top Marketers
Oak Pointe LLC, Newcomerstown, OH
Made in the USA is a sell point of these components. Other factors driving success, says President David Weissman, are product innovation and diversification, custom capabilities, and expanded sales territory.
Custom Service Hardware, Cedarburg, WI
A new website, plus a multi-level, fully integrated marketing plan are among the reasons behind this rolling library ladder and door company’s 9.6% growth, says Tim Stepanski, marketing division manager.
Beacon Custom Woodwork, Atlanta, GA
Improving its purchasing strategy and investing in good photography to market its finished work helped this closets and cabinetry firm grow sales 22.9%, says owner/president David Buchsbaum.
Island Custom Cabinetry, Sidney, BC
President Jack Van Domselaar says the cabinet firm is “continuing our efforts at networking to meet more contractors and designers” in an effort to grow business. A new CNC machine, edge borer and case clamp also improved productivity and led to sales growth in 2011.
Woody’s Mfg. Ltd., Strathroy/London, ON
“We continue to build value in our brand,” says President Dan Fentie of the cabinet company’s surge to 37.2% sales growth in 2012.
JSO Wood Products, Louisville, KY
President Steve Kitts says the company continues to explore new markets for its veneered products.
D&B Components LLC, Holland, MI
In 2011 the solid wood furniture and components company revamped its website and also received FSC certification. In addition to its finishing capabilities, Owner Linn Boerman says plans call for D&B to continue to “bring value-added processes to the market.”
Kevin Karst Design Inc., Toronto, ON
A new location plus an emphasis on customer care helped drive 2.8% sales growth for this design and custom millwork firm. “By targeting up-market clients, I intend to capitalize on a growing high-quality reno market in downtown Toronto,” says Kevin Karst, president.
McKaskell Haindl Inc., London, ON
Promoting its sustainability, the cabinet and furniture maker switched to a locally made waterborne finishing system. Also, says President Chris McKaskell, “We began making more furniture from trees which have been salvaged locally or saved from builders’ burn piles.”
Custom Wood Products Inc., Charles City, IA
A large manufacturing facility with the ability to complete small runs of components for the healthcare, store fixture and RV industries, CWP looks to grow sales even more than the 5.7% last year by expanding its representatives, says Michael Wilkinson, president & CEO. Purchases planned for 2012 include a press.
Eagle Bay Cabinet Doors & Drawers, Oviedo, FL
Jason Lockhart, partner/production manager said the cabinet component maker’s sales grew through its efforts to “expand our product offerings to help meet clients’ price points.” New technology included miter door and drawer box clamps and a Shape & Sand machine.
Global Fabricating Inc., Kettleby, ON
Sales Manager Steven Kaszab says the store fixture firm will continue to pursue high-end clients, while growing its capabilities. Planned is the purchase of additional acrylic and millwork fabricating equipment.
Country Cabinets, Northfield, MN
Online promotions touting the value of custom over box cabinets is just one of the ways this cabinetry and countertop manufacturer is growing business, says Mary Benkufsky, marketing manager.
Milan Kitchens, Hialeah, FL
TV and web advertising as well as marketing through franchises helped spur the kitchen and closet company to 20% growth, according to Rodrigo Mattevi, president.
Linea Di Marchio, Vaughan, ON
Owner Domenico Marchio cites “aggressive marketing and stronger new products” as factors helping the cabinet and millwork firm grow business.
Bradford Clocks Ltd., Weatherly, PA
President Dan Humenick cites product diversity for helping grow sales. In addition to clock cabinets, sister divisions offer cremation urns and specialty products.
Wooden Woodworking Ltd., Scarborough, ON
The millwork maker promotes its ability to handle any size project and includes customer references on its website, says Peter Huang, director.
Links to 2012 WOOD 100: Strategies for Success stories
More Wood 100 ideas will be detailed in an upcoming webcast on Nov. 14. Register at WoodworkingNetwork.com/webcasts.
About the Author
Karen M. KoenigKaren M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Google+.