Member programs, targeted marketing, online ordering and promotions, social media and increased networking opportunities are just some of the ways the 2019 WOOD 100 companies keep their names and brands at the forefront of customers' minds. This year's WOOD 100 class includes cabinetry and closet manufacturers, residential and office furniture producers, cabinet and casework manufacturers, architectural woodworkers, store fixture manufacturers, wood component manufacturers, closet companies and more.
Now in its 30th year, the WOOD 100: Strategies for Success highlights the innovative as well as tried-and-true initiatives put in place by 100 North American wood products manufacturers to grow their businesses. Here's what some of them had to share for marketing initiatives:
Closet America, Landover, MD — The large manufacturer of custom closet and home organizational systems continues to find innovative ways of marketing its brand.
“We expanded our sales staff, diversified our marketing approach, and created a client-centric environment that puts the needs of our clients first,” noted Tim Brooks, marketing manager.
This year also saw the launch of the President’s Club for top designers and Closet America University, a new training facility for designers and installers to expand their expertise.
On the manufacturing side, Closet America continues to invest in technology, including a new Schelling panel saw.
Following a 17.6% growth in 2018, the company projects 2019 sales to be good, and 2020 to be excellent.
Ethan Allen, Danbury, CT — The manufacturing and retail home furnishings giant has launched a Member Program to enhance customers’ experience and provide special benefits.
For an annual membership cost of $100, Ethan Allen Members receive everyday savings of 20%, plus free shipping and premier in-home delivery.
“The new membership program puts our customers front and center,” said Farooq Kathwari, chairman and CEO. “Our members will no longer have to plan projects around short-term sales and promotions; instead, they will enjoy consistent, predictable and attractive everyday savings on products for any room in their home,” he added. “This level of value, enhanced by our complimentary design service, creates a customer experience that’s second to none.”
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Jim Farris Cabinets, Pasadena, TX
Owner Jim Farris’ strategy was simple and succinct. “Reaching out to past customers when things were slow,” he said, helped the high-end cabinetry and furniture design and fabrication firm keep profits and productivity on the path to success, with 2019 and 2020 sales both projected to be good.
Birdie Miller Designs, Stockton, NJ
Sales projections continue to be good for the custom cabinetry, furniture and interior woodworking firm. Owner Birdie Miller said he relies on social media, phone calls, and customer referrals to spread the word about his products. Miller is also the creator of the EuroButt faux butt hinge. Sales grew 8.3% in 2018.
Saroyan Hardwoods, Huntington Park, CA
“Marketing the company in new, innovative ways, bringing in additional experienced personnel, and organizing the sales force,” have helped the hardwood products manufacturer continue its success, said Jeffrey Saroyan, sales manager. “We sell our premium products for a variety of commercial, residential, and hospitality projects nationwide.” Equipment purchases, including a flooring line, should help sales grow even more in 2020 for the flooring, moulding, and custom millwork producer.
Timberline Cabinet Doors Inc., Cedar City, UT
The company’s wood doors, drawer fronts, custom mouldings, RTA cabinetry and closet components are made to specification and “sold to contractors, home builders, and the general public through our easy-to-use online ordering system and 3D cabinet designer,” said Brett Messer, COO. 2018 sales grew 5.7% at the firm, which also focused on creating a team atmosphere, training and upgrading equipment, including a custom Voorwood shape and sand.
Hardwood Floors, Hillsboro, WI
“We look for customers that have an eye on product quality and timely service with a personal touch,” said Salena Ball, owner of the hardwood flooring and paneling manufacturer. 2018 sales grew 20.0%, with 2019 sales also looking good.
A Better Closet, Calera, AL
Sales for the closet and home storage solutions manufacturer grew 27.9% in 2018, and projections are excellent for 2019 and 2020. A key emphasis on customer service, plus increasing the advertising budget to 6% of its gross sales, helped spur growth, said Robert K. Duff Sr., owner. New equipment included a Kaeser rotary screw compressor.
URDrawer, Clearwater, FL
“By creating a function on our website customers can upload an exported file from their kitchen design software to seamlessly order their drawers and or quotes/orders can be inputted per line item to get exact pricing at that point of time,” said Randy Koch, GM. Customers also can track production status. Sales for the dovetail drawer and pullout storage firm grew 47.7% in 2018.
Morantz Custom Cabinetry Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The firm markets complete home packages – cabinetry, closets and custom furniture – to high-end builders and designers of large budget and “snowbird” clients. “The client has a reliable go-to shop for all their needs and we provide an integrated plan and budget that is totally inclusive,” said Harold Morantz, president. 2018 sales grew 28.0%.
Loudoun Stairs, Purcellville, VA
The stair and rail maker improved its social media marketing, and promoted its new designs, capabilities, on-time delivery and customer service via all digital platforms, noted David Cooper, Automation Manager. “We have an overall willingness to accommodate the customer with a quality product, new custom designs, and state-of-the-art machinery,” including a new Biesse panel saw.
Country Cabinets, Northfield, MN
“We took the time to educate customers on the investment they would be making with us and our company. We worked on gaining their trust before asking for any money down,” said Mary Mittelstaedt, operations/project manager at the cabinet firm. “We also gave them a tour of our shop to show them the quality of work we do, why we do what we do, and why they should go with us.”
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